The issue of consent and performing pelvic exams on women under anesthesia

DETROIT – When a woman is under anesthesia it’s not illegal in Michigan for a medical student to perform a pelvic exam.

The exams are for the student’s education but have come under increasing scrutiny. Learning how to do pelvic exams is difficult and awkward for many medical students.

Most schools hire volunteers to have multiple exams in order to teach students and give feedback on the proper approach to the sensitive subject.

In a 2003 study titled “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by a physician at the University of Michigan raised the important issue of obtaining consent for pelvic exams done for training purposes under anesthesia.

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