US Health Department Mandates Written Consent for Sensitive Medical Procedures

US Health and Human Service Department
US Health and Human Service Department. Credit | Adobe Stock

United States – US Health and Human Service Department issued a mandate that teaching hospitals and their medical schools in the nation must obtain written consent of patients prior to examinations by the means of all medical procedures considered personal such as pelvic and prostate exams at least 24 hours beforehand, as reported by HealthDay.

Ensuring Patient Rights

This action stems from the recent complaints about patients being treated this way without knowledge of the intimate examinations confirmed through media and scientific literature. Stressing the significance of patient autonomy as one of the core values of this directive, it is aimed to provide patients, who take part in directing their treatment, with the requisite information.

Legal and Ethical Implications

The new rule prohibits transferring hospital charges onto patient bills unless written, informed consent from the patient has been obtained. This emphasis fits within the existing standards of care and local laws that ensure patient rights and promotion of trust in the healthcare system, as reported by HealthDay.

Addressing Past Failures

Reports, including an investigation by The New York Times in 2020, have uncovered instances of unauthorized pelvic exams performed on patients under sedation, often for educational purposes without explicit consent. The directive seeks to rectify such breaches of patient trust and uphold ethical standards in medical education and practice.