Abstract Sir.—Traditionally, most of us have been taught that a female chaperone should be present during pelvic examinations by male physicians. One textbook of adolescent medicine1 stated, "It is advisable to examine adolescent girls only in the presence of a chaperone." Implicit in this recommendation was concern about possible allegations of assault and battery directed toward male physicians by female patients if there were no witnesses to testify to the contrary. Chaperones usually were nurses who helped physicians with procedures and explained those procedures to patients. Most physicians were taught that proper medical practice dictated such protocol. As pediatricians have increasingly provided services for adolescents, the use of chaperones during genital examinations has become a subject of scientific inquiry. Furthermore, as more women physicians are being trained, questions have been raised about whether chaperones should be present while female physicians perform genital examinations on male patients.2 Questions have References 1. Gallagher JR: The care of adolescents , in Gallagher JR, Heald FP, Farrell DC (eds): Medical Care of the Adolescent , ed 3. East Norwalk, Conn, Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1976, p 71. 2. Phillips S, Friedman SB, Seidenberg M, et al: Teenagers' preferences regarding the presence of family members, peers and chaperones during examination of genitalia . Pediatrics 1981; 68:665-669. 3. Phillips S, Bohannon W, Heald FP: Teenagers' choices regarding the presence of family members during the examination of the genitalia . J Adolesc Health Care 1986;7:245-249.Crossref 4. Faigel HC: Attitude of college students toward medical genital examination and self-examination of their own genitals , abstracted. J Adolesc Health Care 1981;2:163. 5. Buchta RM: Use of chaperones during pelvic examinations of female adolescents: Results of a survey . AJDC 1987;141:666-667.
American Journal of Diseases of Children – American Medical Association
Published: Jun 1, 1987
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