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Bill banning pelvic exams on anesthetized patients without consent passes Utah Senate

By Lisa Riley Roche, KSL | Posted - Mar 4th, 2019 @ 6:28pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill banning doctors from performing pelvic examinations on anesthetized patients without their consent passed the Senate unanimously Monday and now goes the House.

SB188, sponsored by Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, said the idea someone "could be treated like for lack of a better term, a lab rat, to do whatever inspections someone wants to do on them seems egregious. None of us would agree to it."

McCay and other senators reacted to Deseret News and other reports of nonconsensual pelvic exams, a practice accepted for years as a way to train new doctors.

"I was absolutely horrified that this is not only happening but it has been defended," Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, said. "I understand doctors need to practice. I get that. But I think patients should consent to that."

Weiler even suggested paying patients who do agree to the examinations.

Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, said she "was really, really shocked to read this is a practice that actually happens in the United States and pretty appalled that we even need a bill addressing this issue."

Henderson said when she delivered her second child in a hospital, she was asked repeatedly if students could "practice" on her and always gave her consent even though the situation was "awkward and uncomfortable."

Lisa Riley Roche

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