SALT LAKE CITY — Legislators passed a bill Tuesday banning pelvic examinations on patients under anesthesia who have not knowingly given consent to the procedure.
This practice has been done to help train medical professionals.
House sponsor of SB188, Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, said she found out near the end of 2017 that conducting pelvic examinations during other procedures is a fairly common practice and often consent is given but is hidden among the many papers a patient signs before surgery.
The bill requires consent is given in a large font and in a separate form in order for a pelvic exam to be performed under anesthesia. It applies to both to men and women, encompassing any exams in the pelvic region.
A Deseret News article published at the beginning of this year examined the ethics of this practice.2 comments on this story
Sen. Daniel McCay, R-Riverton, sponsor of the bill, told the Senate the House had made a change to give the ability to perform exams without consent when a patient is not responsive when they arrive. He said it is a great change to help medical care be available in those circumstances.
Rep. Jen Dailey-Provost, D-Salt Lake City, expressed support for the bill.
"The best thing that any health care provider can give to his or her patients is full and honest information ... if there’s a medical need then there’s no reason why informed consent should not be given and received from the patient," Dailey-Provost said.