Please don't touch me there: the ethics of intimate examinations: Summary of rapid responses

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7402.1327-b (Published 12 June 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1327
  1. Alison Tonks, associate editor
  1. BMJ

    EDITOR—The 46 rapid responses to this article included four from patients, four from medical students, and 30 from practising doctors.1

    The issue of intimate examinations without consent attracted the most powerful comment. Almost all those who mentioned it said that it was unethical and must stop. Some were incredulous, others disappointed that so little progress had been made since this issue first surfaced in the early 1980s. Two (a patient and a solicitor) said it was, or should be, a criminal offence.

    No one could explain why it endured. And only a handful tried to defend it. One, a junior surgeon, wrote: “The gynaecology consultant urging medical students to examine a patient while under anaesthetic, …

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