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Bill would stop pelvic exams for women without ‘informed consent’

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — Next year, state lawmakers will consider a bill to mandate “informed consent” for pelvic exams for women.

The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Nancy Barto (R-North Phoenix) was “appalled” that doctors may not be following what is considered medical policy.

“That’s not something I would expect as a patient that if I knew was happening to me, I would feel violated,” Barto said.

To be sure, Barto hasn’t heard of widespread problems in Arizona or throughout the country.

However, she wants a law on the books to protect women going through the invasive exams.

“I don’t think it falls into the category of ‘general consent’ when you’re going under anesthesia for a local procedure,” Barto said. “This is different.”

Other states passed similar legislation this year, especially to teach medical students how to uphold patient dignity.

“Even if you’re at a teaching hospital, you do not expect one or more persons performing that kind of examination when you’re not aware, and you haven’t given that expressed consent,” Barto said.

Utah approved similar legislation this year. New York and Maryland are following suit.

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