Did you know that in hospitals and medical offices across the country, attending physicians and medical educators teach students via procedures performed on unconscious and/or anesthetized patients?
Moreover, these procedures– particularly pelvic exams– are performed on women without consent. And oftentimes, the women are not even informed afterward.
In fact, according to a 2019 survey of over one hundred students from seven American medical schools, ninety-two percent reported that they performed pelvic exams on anesthetized female patients.
And sixty-one percent of those students never gained explicit consent from the patients.
Recent outrage toward this medical practice has pushed twenty states, including Utah, New York, Delaware, Maine, Florida, Maryland, and Washington, to pass legislation that makes nonconsensual exams illegal.
However, some states, including New Mexico, have not yet followed suit. This has prompted over one hundred and thirty-five thousand petitioners to sign a Change.org petition aimed at outlawing the practice– first in the state and then nationwide.
“Both students and patients are traumatized by this long-standing practice. It is very hard for medical students to say ‘no’ when they are asked to do something,” the petition’s organizer, A’magine Goddard, wrote.
“Institutions often defend and protect this practice despite public outcry. We need to outlaw this practice in order to make it clear that this kind of betrayal of patient bodies is not okay.”
The Change.org petition is currently directed toward New Mexico Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and has garnered widespread support from women across the country.