Consent for intimate examinations may not be adequate
Doctors teaching students to do intimate examinations on anaesthetised patients do not obtain adequate consent in almost a quarter of cases, a study has shown. The study, led by a medical student, surveyed 386 students in the second, third, and fourth years of one medical school and asked students about intimate examinations they had done.
Around 702 examinations were done on sedated or anaesthetised patients. In only 24%, written consent was obtained, and a further 24% were apparently conducted without written or oral consent. In a third of examinations carried out by students in their second year and half of those by third year students, the students did not know whether consent had been obtained.
Some students said they felt compelled to perform examinations and that they often found it difficult to express their discomfort. A total of 5% of all intimate examinations performed by fourth year students were done