Maryland governor OKs bill requiring pelvic exam consent

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has signed a measure to require patients to provide explicit consent before health care practitioners and medical students can conduct a pelvic, prostate or rectal exam while the patient is under anesthesia.

The measure, which was approved unanimously by the General Assembly, was signed Monday.

Bills were introduced in roughly a dozen states this year to require that women undergoing gynecological surgeries give explicit approval to a pelvic exam beforehand. A pelvic exam is standard practice before gynecologic surgeries. Medical students sometimes do the exams as part of their training.

Sen. Brian Feldman, who sponsored the Senate bill, says state lawmakers have not received reports of such exams happening without consent in Maryland, but they wanted to spell out in the law that consent is required.

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