Informed Consent To Intimate Patient Examinations
The bill prohibits a licensed physician; licensed medical resident, intern, or fellow; licensed professional nurse; advanced practice registered nurse; registered direct-entry midwife; or medical, nursing, or direct-entry midwife student or trainee (licensee, student, or trainee) from performing
and prohibits a licensed health-care facility from permitting a licensee, student, or trainee to perform, an intimate examination on a sedated or unconscious patient unless the patient has given specific informed consent to an intimate examination. Additionally, a student or trainee may perform an intimate examination on a sedated or unconscious patient for educational or training purposes only if:
- The examination is related to the planned procedure to be performed on the patient;
- The patient recognizes the student or trainee as part of the patient's care team; and
- The student or trainee is under the direct supervision of the supervising licensee.
The bill outlines the requirements for obtaining the patient's informed consent. Failure to comply with the requirements of the bill, or retaliating against a person who complains about a violation of the bill, constitutes unprofessional conduct, is grounds for discipline, and subjects the licensee, student, or trainee to discipline by the regulator that regulates the particular health-care profession.
A licensed health-care facility is required to either:
- Develop a policy prohibiting intimate examinations of sedated or unconscious patients at the health-care facility if the examination is for educational or training purposes; or
- Develop, make available to licensees, and require licensees to use a specific informed consent document to obtain a patient's informed consent to an intimate examination for educational of training purposes.
A licensed health-care facility is required to report to the applicable regulator any licensee who violates the facility's policy against intimate examinations of sedated or unconscious patients for educational or training purposes or who fails to obtain a patient's specific informed consent to such examination. A licensed health-care facility that fails to comply with the requirements of the bill is subject to sanctions imposed by the department of public health and environment.
Additionally, liability limitations otherwise applicable to health-care professionals and institutions under current law do not apply to a licensee that performs, or a licensed health-care facility that permits a licensee to perform, an intimate examination on a sedated or unconscious patient in violation of the requirements of the bill.
(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)