Med Students Are Doing Vaginal Exams on Unconscious, Non-Consenting Patients

June 27, 2019

(Vice) – The practice of using non-consenting, unconscious patients as pelvic-exam training tools for medical students has continued to an unknown degree across the country since Silver-Isenstadt, now a pediatrician in Baltimore, first learned about it. It happens not only during gynecological surgeries, but also in the midst of unrelated procedures like stomach surgery. As a student, Silver-Isenstadt was ready to avoid doing such an exam at all costs, and his refusal became part of a movement to end the practice—an effort that would ultimately lead to statewide bans, first in California in 2003, then in Illinois, Virginia, Oregon, Hawaii, Iowa, Utah, and Maryland.  While some individual medical schools like Harvard ban it, the practice remains legal in 42 states.