Utah seeks to ban pelvic exams on patients who have not given specific consent

Utah seeks to ban pelvic exams on patients who have not given specific consent

Legislators in Utah reportedly passed a bill Wednesday that bans pelvic examinations on patients who are under anesthesia and who have not consented to the exam.

The Deseret News reported that the legislation says that consent must be given in large font and on a separate form.

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The law applies to exams on both men and women and covers any examinations in the pelvic region, according to the newspaper.

The Deseret News reported that consent for such exams is often technically given but hidden within significant paperwork.

Utah state Rep. Jen Dailey-Provost (D) told the newspaper that "there’s no reason why informed consent should not be given" for such exams. 

"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.

The passing of the law comes after a Deseret News report earlier this year raised questions about the ethics of performing pelvic exams on women under anesthesia without their consent.

The newspaper reported that performing such exams without the woman's knowledge was a common practice.