When Going To The Doctor Means Losing Consent
Rebecca Lemke

It’s interesting that the responses here seem to be around the necessity of pelvic exams, when that’s really not the point that’s being made. Of course there are times when they are necessary, but it is (or should be) entirely appropriate for a patient to insist that the procedure is justified in every case where it is “required” as a matter of course. There has got to be a balance between using the procedure judiciously after a discussion with the patient and doing it because that’s what training, tradition, and the CYA mentality developed in response to malpractice suits dictate. In my case, I was unhappy with what I felt were excessive requirements for office visits to continue to receive a particular prescription. The doctor felt it was his professional duty to require these visits. I found another doctor who felt she could operate within the standards of medical professionalism while requiring me to come in just twice a year. I was able to find a doctor who was willing to listen to me and could compromise an accepted practice to accommodate me while still operating within the bounds of professionalism. This is choice. And most women simply don’t have it when it comes to gynecological exams.

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