Throughout the US, it’s legal for medical students to perform pelvic exams on unconscious women without obtaining explicit consent.

Legal frameworks vary. Some teaching hospitals have implied consent while other institutions have hazy policies allowing physicians to complete “medically necessary” exams while the patient is under anesthesia.

One study noted disparities: Uninsured unconscious women may be more likely to receive invasive exams without consent.

Advocates and medical experts who view the practice as a highly unethical breach of trust have proposed implementing “trauma-informed care” and special policies for “sensitive exams.”

Last year, 11 states proposed legislation banning unauthorized pelvic exams.

The New York Times

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