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Found out I had pelvic exams done without my consent

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  • #16
    I totally agree you need to talk with an attorney. My primary care doctor has an intern working with him and I had to sign a consent form for the intern to be at all involved in my care --- including being present in the room.


    Note: At the time I made this suggestion, I was under the impression that multiple pelvic exams had been done by students. That information is no longer listed on the edited opening post. A pelvic exam by a physician at the time of a hydrodistention is a reasonable expectation; multiple exams by students is not.
    Last edited by ICNDonna; 04-11-2007, 06:31 AM.
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    • #17

      Lori, this is AWFUL. It made me sick to my stomach to read that. Shame on them. Even *if* they did bury it in the fine print, it is outrageous you weren't spoken to about it. I mean, is it routine procedure to do this to women while they are under anesthesia at teaching hospitals? Ugh, I am just sick to hear this and I'm so sorry that it happened to you. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us and providing us with information to protect ourselves.
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      • #18
        I am just aghast this happened to you! Feeling violated? No wonder; I think anyone would! I would be hopping mad, too. Totally inexcusable. But this took place at a military medical facility, didn't it? So what are your legal options? Obviously a complaint can be filed with the Commander. Can you contact the Jag Office? Knowing how wonderfully your husband has supported you with other issues, I am betting he's furious and once again ready to go to bat for you. Oh, Lori, I hope you will find a way to take action. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior, not in the civilian sector and not in the military, either!

        My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry this happened! Sending you lots of gentle

        Ulcerative Colitis and IBS
        Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

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        ---My dear hubby

        Never go to a doctor whose office plants are dead.


        • #19
          I don't blame you for being violated. You might as well call it rape because what they did was done without your consent. I defiantly would call the Police and a lawyer as well. That doctor and the hospital needs to be sued!!

          How horrible for you to go through this!! This is nuts!!
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          • #20

            Though I read your post hours ago< I havent been able to get it out of my mind> It was so disturbing< that there just arent any words to describe it> please overlook this weird punctuation> i have hit something weird on the keyboard again> Anyway< I just wanted to tell you that I cant quit thinking about this and am so shocked and angry> i dont know how they could do this to someone!

            i hope you are okay> that is the first thing in my mind but the second is the shock and rage>

            if you need to talk< i am here>

            sending more hugs>


            • #21
              Thank you all so much. I'm so sorry for worrying all of you like this. I don't think any of you had doctors who have violated you. I think the vast, vast vast majority of doctors are absolutely trustworthy. I don't think this will ever happen to anyone else here. At least I hope and pray it won't.

              But just in case - the advice to put on your consent forms that you don't consent to med students/pelvic exams is sound advice, and the site link I provided might be useful too. Of course, a great many women don't have any problem with students doing exams, or practicing pelvic exams under anethesia, but I think that most of us prefer to be told ahead of time and offered the choice - not to have this done against our will, without our knowledge and consent.

              Thank you all for listening.

              Last edited by ICLori; 04-10-2007, 09:36 PM.


              • #22
                I asked the Patient Advocate to look into this, to look into changing the consent forms and the way patients are informed before procedures, to ensure that women have a chance to give informed consent to pelvic exams under anesthesia.

                I showed her news articles about this hot-button topic, showed her position statements from the ACOG and other prestigious organizations condemning this practice, and let her know that it would be in the best interests of not only the patients but also the hospital (avoiding lawsuits and bad publicity)
                to change the current practice of doing pelvic exams on anesthetized women without their prior consent.

                I hope that changes will be made to help other patients. I know medical students need to be trained, but they don't need to do training on women who have not given their consent.

                I have allowed so many medical students to observe and practice pelvic exams etc. and other procedures on me. Military hospitals are always involved in teaching new students. I have never once said "no." I literally could not count how many medical students I've had doing things to me. I always have been pleasant and cooperative, WHEN I AM ALLOWED TO HAVE THE CHOICE OF WHETHER OR NOT A MED STUDENT DOES THINGS TO ME.

                In this case, I was NOT given the choice, and THAT is what I am uncomfortable with. I hope everyone who has a medical background or someone close to them in the medical profession, understands the point I am making. I do not want to deny med students the ability to learn what they need to learn. In fact I have helped med students on more occasions than I can count. But I want it to be MY CHOICE. I want women to have a CHOICE about what is done to them under anesthesia.



                • #23
                  You are so right Lori.... It should be a womans choice on any kind of proceedure.. Like I said before your doctor was wrong!!! If I was you I would not let this go..(((((((((((hugs)))))))))))) wish I could do more....

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                  • #24
                    Lori...This is just very wrong. Please check your PM.

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                    • #25
                      Lori, what really brought tears to my eyes was when you said it brought back memories of your being raped as a child. That memory never goes away and to have that relived is unjust. If your doctor even had a glimpse of that history he should have had an ounce of compassion and not let that happen. Military or no, teaching or no, hospitals and doctors have every moral obligation to keep the dignity of their patients intact.
                      I would not let the opportunity of talking with the doctor go by at this time when he is at his most 'vulnerable'. But - do not talk to him on the phone or alone. Have your husband - his commanding officer - a lawyer - someone there who can be your support. Write out what you want to say so that you do not let your emotions take over. Your emotions are a big part of this, but you need to be focused to carry this through. I'm appalled that this would happen. Surely, there are other ways for physicians to get practice. I had two friends who were training. One asked if the exam she was doing could be taped for training purposes - asked, signed papers.... Another asked a friend if she could practice a pelvic on her - a little awkward no doubt but she was asked...
                      Organize your thoughts, get support and confront the doctor on your turf - not his. Get this thing straightened out before the dust settles.


                      • #26
                        OMG Lori, this is just so horrible. I agree with everyone else that it has to be illegal not to get your consent for something like that, they have to get it for EVERYTHING, how can they leave out getting a pelvic done by a med student while you are under anesthia. I would talk to a lawyer or someone and find out what your options are. I wish there was more that we could do for you.

                        I have been diagnoised for 6 1/2 years now. I have taken a long break from the ICN but really miss helping out my fellow IC patients and want to get back into posting.
                        1st hydro 4/07 showed no visible signs of IC but tons of mast cells in all my biopsy samples which did prove IC.
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                        • #27
                          Sr. Maggie has given you some very good advice. I agree. Do not talk on the phone with the doctor, but make an appointment for a meeting and have support and perhaps even legal advisors with you when that discussion occurs.

                          I certainly understand why you are so upset. The lack of CHOICE in this matter is the whole thing. Without giving your consent, what happened constitutes assault. It matters not how "professionally" or "clinically" this was conducted. It is still an assault, not to mention a violation of ethics. Throughout your IC experience and the myriad of medical procedures, exams and appointments you have undergone, you have demonstrated an extreme willingness to help medical professionals learn by volunteering to allow students to observe and participate and you have participated in medical trials further proving your willingness to assist in furthering the knowledge of medical personnel. It's not about that at all. It is entirely about this being conducted without your consent. Furthermore, as was previously stated, we all know pelvic exams can cause extreme discomfort for IC patients and can trigger long-lasting flares. By allowing repeated pelvic exams to be conducted by students while you, an individual with severe IC, were unconscious, did he not create a situation that had the potential to substatially increase your pain levels when you regained consciousness?! Then there is the matter of the emotional pain. This doctor had full knowledge of your history and yet proceeded to allow this to happen.

                          Add to all this his knowledge of lab results and failure to notify you or take action to protect you from what he knew was a developing and very serious problem and.........whew!!! I'll just bet he wants to talk to you, desperately!!! I am not an attorney and not a medical professional, but it seems to me he has put himself in very treacherous waters.

                          This is so upsetting to all of us. Thank you, Lori, for sharing your experience and this vital information with us. It is so important we all take those consent forms seriously, read them carefully and hold medical professionals responsible for their actions. It is all about CHOICE and action must be taken when that choice is denied any of us! It may not happen often, but it happens often enough that it is a big issue in the medical community. I commend you for standing up for your right to choose. By doing so, you are standing up for all of us.

                          Ulcerative Colitis and IBS
                          Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

                          Retirement is great! Work is highly overrated!!!
                          ---My dear hubby

                          Never go to a doctor whose office plants are dead.


                          • #28
                            Feel Sick...

                            just thinking about your ordeal. Even having a doctor do a pelvic exam on me while awake feels like I'm being violated. I just grit my teeth and pray for it to be over! I've had bladder and gyne exams (too numerous to count) since I was 6 years old. I'm so sorry they did this to you. Not only is it soooooo wrong in the worst way, but during their 'exams' they could have caused you damage!!!!!!!!! Unbelievable. You've got a case that no lawyer would turn away from. The doctor is definitely sweating right now because he knows what a stupid fool he was. No telling how many other women had this same 'educational guinea pig' type exam done on them. I imagine some women have recurring memories of being violated and can't figure out where or when. No telling how much damage has already been done by this doctor's more than careless procedures! Sick, sick, sick!!!! I even feel violated when the nurse has to help the doctor with a pap smear! I will be praying for healing for you in this terrible breach of trust. Your doctor has done more damage than he can imagine. I know you're strong enough to get through it and you absolutely have to make him pay!


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                            • #29

                              Reason:Unwanted male comment
                              Last edited by Tip and IBS; 04-09-2007, 07:30 AM.


                              • #30
                                Wow Lori,
                                That is awful. He had absolutely no right letting anyone touch you without your approvel. That is a total violation of privacy, almost like rape in a sense sense you did not approve or give any consent for this. I would totally go to the hospital board and let them know what this doctor did. He should not be practicing. What he did was wrong. I dont what I would do in this situation. Again, I am so sorry you had to deal with that. Sending big hugs your way.