The AMA (American Medical Association) code of ethics states that physicians should adopt a policy whereby patients have the right to request a chaperone during physical examinations. Some states have adopted a legal policy for physicians to provide a chaperone for intimate examinations.
The Texas State Medical Board states that:
“A policy that patients are free to make a request for a chaperone should be established in each health care setting. This policy should be communicated to patients, either by means of a well-displayed notice or preferably through a conversation initiated by the intake nurse or the physician. The request by a patient to have a chaperone should be honored.”
Also, an opportunity for private conversation with the patient should be provided without the chaperone present, and physicians should minimize history taking and sensitive inquiries while the chaperone is present for the exam.
These policies are to assure both the patient and physician that communications are professional and respectful. We encourage consumers to know their rights, and to share this information with family and friends.
Rosen & Spears is a plaintiff law firm which seeks to protect the rights of healthcare consumers and their loved ones through medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, financial abuse of seniors, and other types of claims. For more information, please contact us.