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Unauthorized gyno exams by medical students common: report

TT/The Local · 27 Dec 2009, 11:07

Published: 27 Dec 2009 11:07 GMT+01:00

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The woman was unconscious under anesthetic during the procedure at Östra Hospital in Gothenburg, when several students went into the room to examine her genital area.

The patient was not informed of the exam either before or after, nor was it recorded in her chart.

The head of the medical programme has confirmed the incident and has said that he will take action against the doctor responsible, since the patient must always give consent.

An anonymous source told Aftonbladet that it is common for students to perform gynaecological examinations without the patient's consent. "This occurs systematically," the source said.

Story continues below…

Christian Munthe, professor in practical philosophy and an expert in medical ethics, said it is likely that the phenomenon occurs at all university hospitals as a result of an outdated culture.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:27 December 27, 2009 by Deema
Come on people! you expect doctors to be trained well, but most of you make a big deal when we want to practice on you! If you're unconscious and unaware of it, then who cares? assuming the doctors won't take photos of your genitals and post it on FB or YouTube... that's when it should make it to papers..

These doctors are likely to be the ones saving your children's lives one day. bear with them...
12:40 December 27, 2009 by Hagen
I cannot see what the problem could be ! I would expect that Medical Students really need this sort of experience so that they know what suspected Cervical Cancer looks like.

Could it be though, that the patient was one of those religious minorities we hear about whose women must never display their pudenda to men other than their husband upon pain of an honour killing ??
12:57 December 27, 2009 by insect
The question here is not against education and experience, it is about invasion of privacy.

I don't think I want any unauthorized (by me) person rummaging around inside my genitals. It has nothing to do with religion. It is simply a matter of consent. I am all for the education of doctors but not when they practice on people unknowingly.

What if something had happened and they forgot a tool inside there or clipped something by mistake? Would it be okay since they are learning for the good of the world? I dont think so!
13:31 December 27, 2009 by Hagen
insect .:-I don't think I want any unauthorized (by me) person rummaging around inside my genitals.""

They were not, "rummaging", as you put it, they were doing an examination.

By the way, a womans genitals are external,(pudenda) once you go inside they become , " vagina." .
14:39 December 27, 2009 by the pigeon hunter
insect, clearly the examination was done under supervision by the woman's doctor. had something bad happened during it then that would have been the docotr's responsibility.
15:04 December 27, 2009 by livinginsweden
To all those who don't mind ... kindly send your sisters, your mothers, your grandmas, your girlfriends, your wives, your daughters to the nearest medical school .... or have them show their vagina, etc. to any stranger or men in the lifts or who passes by cos all men need to know the anatomy of the female genitals in order to know what they are doing .....

ha ha
15:09 December 27, 2009 by Tennin
They should at least ask for permission, or notify the patient that there will be others in there to exam or study the operation.

Ít's out of respect of respect for the patient.
15:09 December 27, 2009 by Yimp
In teaching hospitals this is common. How do you expect future doctors to learn if they don't have the experience of seeing and examining? In the US a patient often has signed a consent if they are being treated within a teaching program during which med students may examine them.

As a doctor, I do inform my patients on the rare occasion that I've done a pelvic exam whilst they were under anesthesia, if it was an unexpected thing.
16:24 December 27, 2009 by ou2chi

Shame on you. Quit masquerading as a doctor or medical student or any HE student for that matter. It's obvious you have never been anywhere near a lecture theatre. Ever heard of medical ethics? Did you get the operative word: Its CONSENT. Let me take your twisted reasoning to its logical conclusion: Any scoundrel can rape your daughter, sister, mom etc. As long as the poor women are unaware and there are no pictures posted on FB or YouTube, it's fine with you. Otherwise how will the rapists learn to father children if they do not practice? You make me sick. Dimwit Deema!
16:29 December 27, 2009 by Flying Scotsman
Oh here we go again, Swedes and their fascination with "invasion of privacy". Are you hiding weapons of mass destruction, and does this break you human rights?

These doctors are there to learn and help, their research makes improvements to the quality of life and others, no big deal!
17:02 December 27, 2009 by vladd777
It happens all the time in state-run hospitals but usually the procedures are presided over by an intern.

A medical intern is a term used in the United States for a physician in training who has completed medical school. An intern has a medical degree, but does not have a full license to practice medicine unsupervised. In other countries medical education generally ends with a period of practical training similar to internship, but the way the overall program of academic and practical medical training is structured differs in each case, as does the terminology used (see medical education and medical school for further details).

18:55 December 27, 2009 by krrodman
While a gyn exam without consent is an invasion of privacy, the fact of the matter is that in a teaching environment medical students "practice" on patients without direct consent all of the time.

For example, a patient has surgery and has given direct consent for the supervising surgeon to perform the surgery. In fact, everyone on the team from the medical student up to the surgical resident performs a task commensurate with their abilities. It is likely that the least experienced person closed the surgical wound. Needless to say, the patient did not directly consent for the medical student to "practice" wound closure on them.

That said, for the last 30 years at least(when I graduated from medical school), gyn exams by medical students were closely supervised by MDs or specially trained RNs. In fact, first gyn exms were performed on volunteer RNs, or local "call girls" who were paid for every exam performed.
19:19 December 27, 2009 by volvoman9
It would seem to me that the men who largely find this irrelevant might change their tune if they were the subject of an anal exam. This is about consent and it is a simple matter to ask before administering anesthesia. I don't think anyone would suggest that their is a need for adequate education but lets have some human decency.
19:37 December 27, 2009 by someoneonthenet
What is so wrong with informing patient or asking her consent ?

Students need to learn and they should be able to practice on patients while under supervision but patient should at least be informed ( it would be better to ask for consent ) that some tasks might be performed or observed by students.
19:39 December 27, 2009 by ou2chi
Please someone help me: Are all these so-called doctors or graduates of medical schools who are in support of this unethical practice an example of the product of Swedish medical education? Let's hear from a real medical school graduate?
19:56 December 27, 2009 by krrodman
Just so that there is no confusion, I am NOT in favor of gyn exams without consent. My point was that medical students perform procedures(supervised) on patients as a matter of routine without specific consent. There is clear understanding that in a teaching hospital students participate in the care of a patient.

I think that is the critical point here. A group of students performing an exam on an anesthetized patient are NOT participating in the care of the patient. Rather, they are just using the patient as a teaching maniquin. No question, they need consent to do that.
21:08 December 27, 2009 by G Kin
Isn't it the case that the petients know that medical students are part of the team?

And often the petients earn some discount for the procedure.

I have once been used like that and paid 50 %. Had no complaints especially as I was a student myself with limited cash.
21:44 December 27, 2009 by dizzymoe33
So to all you men out there you wouldn't mind it if some male/female medical student grab your testicles and penis while you were unconsious or gave you a rectal exam with out your permission but it is okay with you that a woman can be violated without her consent.
22:41 December 27, 2009 by CatGirl
This kind of reminds me of my experience so far. I went to the emergency at Danderyd sjukhus a week ago because of really heavy bleeding. I went to the acute gynecologist and she said I had a tumor in my uterus and that I should quote " look in the phone book for another gynecologist" and she acted like it wasn't a big deal. I called the hospital back and another doctor looked at my file and said that she had actually taken a sample from me and sent it in for testing. She did not tell me she took a sample. I guess she took the sample to see if my tumor was cancerous. Now I am living in fear of having cancer and I am not sure what to do next except try and find another doctor who will give me some straight answers.
00:25 December 28, 2009 by browneyes10
I think consent is very important and it should not be avoided in either gender case. Even if it is a matter of teaching hospital and it is the every day medical students clinical round even than one must not compromised on Consent.

Moreover, it is the DUTY of Head/Professor of every ward that not to allow medical students or any doctor to approach a patient without his or her proper CONSENT.
03:47 December 28, 2009 by crunchy2k
As a dirty old man, I like to see what I'm getting into.

But in reality, teaching the students that people are not machines to be viewed without permission is the first step in the teaching of morality to med students, far more important than them seeing something something they can see in a video or textbook media.
04:31 December 28, 2009 by KatarinaNolte
A gynecological exam on a woman is more than just fumbling around with ones genitals.

This falls into the category of rape.

Women in such cases should press criminal charges.

The alternative of being violently raped in a men's prison would stop the abuse by these medical student and responsible doctors immediately. Not to mention the hospitals' responsiblity toward their paying customers.
05:25 December 28, 2009 by crunchy2k
This raises a good question on the new Muslim female immigrants. As it normal to castrate these women under Allah to remove sexual feelings. Allah himself married a 40 year old woman and then the female castration teachings became common place. @ allah....were you not man enough? What a silly religion,.,,,,to create castrated female the medical scandinavians want to first hand see...
09:35 December 28, 2009 by EarleyDaysYet
Female genital circumcision was an existing common practice in tribes in the south-west of the area in Africa that was converted to Islam. Those tribes maintained the practice and folded it into Islam, in much the same way as South American tribes integrated Catholic Saints with their own gods. The practice of FGC spread back up the path of Islam-converted tribes and grew from there. It is not inherently a Muslim practice, but a tribal practice now almost exclusively linked to Islamic beliefs. Not all Muslims practice it, but most who do are now Muslim.
12:02 December 28, 2009 by Deema
@ou2chi. There's a reason you are not, and will never be a doctor.

Any patient who goes to a university hospital gives consent to participate in the education of students. To have to wake a patient from anesthesia in order to take her consent and do the uncomfortable gyn exam while she's awake is unreasonable!

For all of you who are playing the daughter, wife, mother card, get a life, and let them decide what to do with theirs!!
12:04 December 28, 2009 by Michael84
It's hard to give an opinion here. on one hand we have students who must practice on the other hand people don't feel comfortable letting them look at their private parts. all in all i can't agree with what they did, They sure should have asked for the permission. It's unacceptable to examine people's private parts without their permission.
12:44 December 28, 2009 by ou2chi

You are not dim, not even dimmer. You are the dimmest dimwit on the forum. Are you really sure about what you are saying? Going to a university hospital equals consent to be used as a study subject? I do not think you are even worth responding to. I let it to thinking people to figure you out. I give up!
12:58 December 28, 2009 by Deema
Oh, smart comment. I am indeed impressed. Because insulting a random person with a different point of you and profound inability to understand a simple concept does in fact prove that you are superior than the rest of us, I suppose..

I'm glad you give up, i wasn't waiting for a response anyway :)
16:25 December 28, 2009 by insect

I am a woman and have had gynaecological exams done on me before. I know what it entails, and it is not a pleasant experience. The story says clearly they did a gynaecological exam on that woman.

If it is done without my consent whether I am conscious or not IT IS A VIOLATION!

If it wasnt then i guess it would be okay to walk around touching peoples genitals in the name of education.
16:57 December 28, 2009 by Hagen
dizzy posted.:-So to all you men out there you wouldn't mind it if some male/female medical student grab your testicles and penis while you were unconsious""

I had to go into Hospital for an operation on my Heart, when I awoke there was a catheter going into my bladder.

Somebody obviously stuck it in, but did I complain ?

answer is of course, No.

If Students helped the insertion, it's no problem to me, it's better learning on a live person than a blow-up plastic doll !!
01:26 December 29, 2009 by Davey-jo
For your entetainment and as it's partly related I quote the following little rhyme. Doctor's please note.

That portion of a woman that appeals to man’s depravity

Is constructed with considerable care,

And what appears to you to be a simple little cavity

Is really an elaborate affair.

And doctors of distinction who’ve examined these phenomena

In numbers of experimental dames,

Have made a list of all the things in feminine abdomena,

And given them delightful Latin names.

There’s the vulva, the vagina, and the jolly perinium;

The hymen (which is found in many brides),

And lots of little gadgets you would love if you could see ‘em:

The clitoris and lord knows what besides.

What a pity then it is, that when we common people chatter

Of the mysteries to which I have referred,

We should use for such a delicate and complicated matter

Such a very short and unattractive word.

This is by Alan Patrick Herbert:
22:57 February 11, 2010 by CCK4CANDY2
This is a total viloation of any patients rights!!!!!!!!! I hope lawsuits by thousands are filed against such un-ethical activities as this! Patients have rights & just because it's a university or teaching medical center or hosppital does not give anyone to violate a ptatient!!!!!!!!
16:11 December 23, 2011 by GaryCee
Is it any wonder we are seeing the rash in the under-reported crime of doctors abusing defenseless patients ? It was taught to them in MED SCHOOL !

(Proof that at least some have derived / sought arousal during the activity)

This practice is pathetic, and there is no rational reasonable defense of the practice..PERIOD. Simply requesting advice and permission is a must. The patient consents to a given procedure and anything done by the attending staff should concent the patient and only the patient. Opportunistic invasion , without so much as requesting permission , especially regarding intimate regions should be a criminal offense. If the "care-givers" feel it is no big deal they should indeed be willing to request permission .

People have every right to expect there will be no unwarranted , unneccessary invasions while they are unable to approve or deny the disgusting behavior. There is absolutely no justification for a woman unergoing gall bladder surgery to undergo multiple pelvic exams ..without previous advice and consent regardless of "supervision.

The condescending comments regarding our expectations of trained, educated medical staff are disgusting at best . The key words here are respect and consent. There would be plenty of training opportunities and more than enough willing participants if the consent were obtained in advance..period ! Of course doctors always demand payment for services rendered ..perhaps the those who offer their bodies for trianing purposes should also seek compensation for the valuable service rendered ?

I hope that as these instances of virtual rape are uncovered that every party involved with this barbarian practice is driven into oblivion by the torte system.
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