Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Issues We Need to Address

Please share your feedback about what issues you think Medical Patient Modesty should address. Please check out the web site for Medical Patient Modesty. We wish to expand the web site. There are so many issues that need to be addressed.


Please share about why patient modesty is important to you.

26 comments:

  1. I am trying to navagite this site. I think the concept is good and I actually was introduced to the Medical Patient Modesty website from a different similar site but I think that something needs to be done to make it more user friendly.

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  2. Thank you for the suggestions! Can you please be more detailed about how we can make our web site more user friendly?

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. Hello Misty.

    I like your site: do you have a list of links to other sites? It's nice to know that people do still care about modesty. ...But sadly, it seems that there are really only a handful of people writing about this modern scandal --- the only dedicated sites I could find were Doug Sherman's two blogs, your website, and this lady's blog (which seems to have stopped early last year).

    Do you know of any other dedicated sites? Also, much of the discussion seems to be for women, although there are a few articles for men, too. But then I guess since men are often taunted if they are embarrassed about undressing, they are more likely to be reticent to speak. What a shame.

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  5. Unfortunately, there are not many web sites or blogs that are devoted to patient modesty.

    Dr. Bernstein has a blog about patient modesty that you can check out at http://bioethicsdiscussion.blogspot.com/2012/10/patient-modesty-volume-51.html#comments. A lady named Janet has a blog about patient modesty at http://patientmodesty.blogspot.com, but she has not updated it since 2007.

    We are planning on adding more articles to Medical Patient Modesty's web site about different issues in the near future so please keep checking our web site. It is true that men are often taunted when they speak up about their wishes about modesty in medical settings.

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  6. Thank you, Misty.

    Best wishes with your site!

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  7. If possible, create a "form" letter where visiters can enter the doctors name and address. Print it out on their computer and mail it to the doctors office.

    In the "form" letter, have the important patient modesty issues/concerns in it. and a mention of the bias of men/women modesty, where a male doctor will have a female chaperone in the room while examining female patients. But refuse to have a male chaperone while a female doctor is examinating a male patient....

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    1. Many small clinics don't have nurses, so they'll use whoever is available to chaperone a male patient receiving an intimate exam from a female doctor, which might be a receptionist. Receptionist are not healers, so what right do they have seeing a male's nakedness? I've heard stories about how receptionist chaperoning male patients at some clinics become voyeurs, enjoying watching men get genital and rectal exams.

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  8. Young women in nursing school are expected to do many things in their training that they may find personally offensive. Nursing schools should be more open to using models, allowing nurses to train as strictly attendants to females or finding some modest way to deal with this issue.

    As a midwife, I train only women to work with only women. I use drapes for exams and ask the woman's permission for ANY procedure involving personal rights. For births, women wear whatever they please that does not constrict their lungs or prevent baby from emerging safely. Many women choose a knee-length t-shirt or their own closed gown (not open down the back) that can easily be pulled up in emergencies.

    Many women have told me that one reason for choosing homebirth is that male doctors had made lewd comments in their presence. I think this problem is under-reported.

    Concerning pap smears, I do not recommend that virgin women have vaginal exams before marriage. A vaginal exam for a young virgin can be very upsetting. Historically, her first encounter with anyone touching her would be her husband, not a stranger of either gender. Medical care is for the sick. Sexual activity and birth are as normal a part of our physiology as eating and eliminating. Imagine having a doctor stand by while using the bathroom "just in case" one had a toileting emergency!

    Hurrah for your site!

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    1. Midwife,

      Thank you so much for your positive feedback! You have provided many great insights. I would love to hear from you personally. We are in need of more volunteers who are passionate about improving patient modesty.

      Misty

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  9. Also there is the issue of "medical surveillance" in emergency and operating rooms, or other such places in which patients would not expect to be monitored. There are advantages and disadvantages, of course, and many providers have a disclosure or consent form available for patients to review.

    Example of the issue: http://www.compliancehelper.com/article/53244-hipaa-and-surveillance-in-hospitals#.U9iRRvldWSo

    Excerpts from the text of article are below for convenience (but reader comments not copied):

    By Rebecca Herold, Posted 12/28/09 11 comments

    Over the years there have been many...too many...instances where doctors have performed the wrong types of surgeries on patients, and even the wrong surgeries on completely wrong patients..Hospital was fined $150,000...must also install video cameras in all of its operating rooms. All surgeries will have to be watched by a clinical professional trained in surgical safety measures.

    Of course video and audio surveillance will not PREVENT such incidents from happening...how the hospital would ensure that the videos and audio recordings of such surgeries were used only for that purpose, and would not infringe upon the privacy of the involved patients...Privacy can be invaded very quickly and irreversibly if simple precautions are not taken. For example, in March of 2008 it was reported that an unmarried woman had a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure at a community hospital following an incomplete miscarriage. "During the D&C procedure, the woman's face was shown on the OR video monitor, and she was recognized by someone who passed the OR suite when the door was open. This serious privacy issue came to light after the passerby disclosed the woman's presence in the OR to other people. Gossip spread around town about the woman's pregnancy and D&C. It raised a great deal of speculation and was embarrassing to the woman and others."

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  10. While working as an RN in a trauma room were seriously injured people are taken for treatment I witnessed this scenario of the double standard of modesty for male patient many times. The first thing the medical staff would do is cut all the patients clothes off to examine their entire body. A digital rectal exam is performed to see if there is blood in their rectum and then the patient would be catheterized to obtain a sample of their urine to analyse and detect the presence of blood. This is done to all patients. Many trauma's were a result of car accident's or crime victims etc so the police would normally be involved. The police would routinely walk in the trauma room and were allowed to stand around and watch as patients, that is male patients were put through the necessary but extremely embarrassing ordeal . If the patient was a female the curtains would be immediately closed and kept closed until the entire trauma procedure was complete. If the patient was a male the curtains were always left open and the police officers which often included female officers were allowed to watch as the patient was stripped naked, under went the rectal exam and catheterized. Allowing the police especially female police officers to watch this is blatant patient abuse. I think this double standard of modesty for male patients is an extreme violation of medical ethics and standards of decency that are supposed to apply to all patients. Police should not be allowed to enter the trauma room in the first place without permission or be allowed to " hang out " there while patients are being treated.

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    1. A double standard for male patient modesty also happens often when females are used to chaperone them during prostate exams. The male patient is already in an embarrassing situation, and then to have third observe him getting a rectal exam only makes the situation worse.

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    2. Hi Joe:

      Unfortunately the double standard isn't going away.

      The healthcare system won't take this issue seriously until more men who have modesty concerns voice them and say enough is enough.

      This may even take government intervention to make them make a few common sense changes like hire an equal number of male and female nurses, doctors, and techs.

      Yes there are shortages of male nurses and techs but when the hospitals have a choice of hiring an equally qualified male or female, when it comes to a nursing position the hospitals are hiring the female over the male more often than not.

      Men (believe it or not), have concerns about who's involved with their treatment.

      When a man sets up an appointment don't assume and automatically set him up with a female caregiver.

      Healthcare institutions and doctors offices alike need to start thinking out of the box & when a male goes in for an office visit, test, or surgical procedure, the hospital/doctor office should go out of their way to set this gentleman up with male caregivers until such time he and he alone requests female caregivers.

      You do it for women now without even thinking about.

      How about doing it for men also?

      We're not asking anymore than you already give women without their even asking.

      It's time for the system to change & respect men's dignity and modesty concerns the same way that women have been respected all along.

      Without change, many men will forego the healthcare that they need and needlessly die at a young age.

      Let's see if the healthcare industry really cares or not.

      Best regards to everyone,
      NTT

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  11. Thank you for your website and those who have commented. I am the mother of 3 young women ages 19, 23 and 24. Each of them has received at least one or more letters informing them that they should make an appointment for a pelvic exam and a pap smear. They are all virgins and do not intend to become sexually active until when they marry. After reading your material I feel more confident in advising them that they can continue to ignore these letters and that they do not need to get a pap smear or a pelvic exam. Thanks again.

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    1. I am so glad you found MPM's web site. You are a wonderful mother. I appreciate you protecting your daughters from unnecessary intimate exams.

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  12. Hi:

    Until the healthcare industry finally admits "Yes, we need to do more and treat people the same when it comes to modesty" or the government starts listening to the patients, nothing can change.

    There are many people of ALL races, creeds, and colors that have modesty issues.

    These issues must be addressed on a countrywide basis not just here and there.

    For example.

    The industry complains every year not enough people are getting screened for colorectal cancer.

    Yes part of it is the prep but part of it is also modesty.

    They say they keep you covered but, what they say and what happens at testing time can be two very different things.

    If they want more people tested, they should do as the Brits have done. Give each patient a pair of what the Brits call modesty pants to wear for the testing to protect their privacy.

    That one step will go a long way to putting the patient with modesty issues at ease which in turn will bring more people in to be tested.

    The same level of respect must be give to BOTH sexes not just women.

    When and if that ever happens you will see both men and women taking a more active roll in their healthcare.

    Regards,
    NTT

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  13. There is no reason that a pateint be completely exposed, one nurse of the same gender should and can privately prep and drape the pateint. No one else (surgeons, nurses, sales people or other medical staff) to waltz in while the patient is exposed. This nonsense that we've seen it all and it's routine procedure has to stop. We as patients are paying for a service and should have complete compliance with our wishes. Why would the patient want to lay there completey naked in front of medical students, other surgeons, etc while being prepped for surgery when they can easily be covered with the exception of the area needed? All medical staff need to realize that although routine to them, it's huge for us!

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  14. Hello Ms Roberts,

    Thank you very much for your article "Concerns About Modesty During Colonoscopy". Your recommendation re wearing boxer shorts backwards is terrific. After researching colonoscopies, I realized that colonoscopy shorts were available. A quick check of Amazon found them for about $80 for 100. (Wow! Who needs a hundred?) After an hour of searching local and online medical supply stores, I couldn't find a place selling individual shorts or a pair. That's when I happened upon your site. Your boxer shorts suggestion was so very welcomed. I'll be seeing a gastroenterologist and I'll ask for this accommodation as well as a same-sex medical assistant (another of your suggestions). I'm also going to ask for a no-sedation procedure. My research indicates that there is only minor discomfort, with absolutely no drug-induced "hangover" or memory loss. Additionally, being awake allows one to observe what's happening during the entire procedure. (Twilight via drugs is not my definition of "awake" - i.e., being able to make considered, rational decisions. I would ask if my wife could be present; however, she uses a walker and is a bit shaky.) I will submit these requests to the doc. If they are not respectfully received (or agreeably modified), I will do as you suggest and find another doctor. I am an adult survivor of childhood (female) abuse and have eschewed medical care for decades because of this. Keeping my private parts private is of great concern to me. Only now, upon become elderly, have I needed to approach the medical community for assistance; and, has the need for privacy become paramount. I cannot thank you enough for your site and for your contribution to medical modesty. May God bless your endeavors. Reginald

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    1. Glad to hear the colonoscopy article helped you. You can actually buy a colonoscopy short for less than $1 from http://www.primepacifichealth.com/examshorts/.

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  15. Good Morning:

    Hi Reginald. I as you, will always protect my dignity.

    I did as Misty suggested & contacted Prime Pacific Health & got a pair of their colonoscopy shorts.

    In my case, unfortunately none of the ten facilities I contacted to perform the test would accommodate my requests for no sedation, a same gender team, use the shorts, or boxers backwards.

    Every facility was adamant, "no clothes of any kind allowed".

    They all said, don't worry, we'll take good care of you. We've seen it all before hundreds of times.

    After ten attempts I gave up & told the pcp if they want me tested it would have to be the home FIT test as I wasn't going to change my mind about dropping any of my accommodations I wanted.

    As colonoscopies are considered clean procedures, not sterile, I see absolutely NO reason not to accommodate a patients request for the use of 100% cotton boxers worn backwards and 100% cotton bras for the women. The patient must and should be allowed to keep their dignity at all times.

    They should also be allowed to bring their spouse in as their advocate if they so desire.

    The medical community has forced their way of doing business down our throats for too long.

    It's time for people and patients alike to stand up to the healthcare industry & force a change in their thinking. It's time to be more accommodating towards the patients needs.

    Working together we can build a healthcare system that works for everyone not just the healthcare industry.

    Regards,
    NTT

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    1. NTT,

      I admire your courage in standing up for your rights. I do not understand why those clinics would not allow you to wear colonoscopy shorts. Prime Pacific Health did a great job designing those colonoscopy shorts. It seems like many doctors prefer to follow rite of passage. There are some clinics that are receptive to colonoscopy shorts.

      Misty

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    2. Hello NTT,

      You mentioned Prime Pacific and I, therefore, assume that you're on the West coast. I live in So. Cal. and have seen the gastroenterologist I referenced in a previous post. He was receptive to an all male team, boxers backwards (although he was quizzical with this) and NO SEDATION (he was again puzzled, saying that he only sees 1 no-sedation patient a year). I'm scheduled for the colonoscopy next week. I'm hoping all will go as planned. The doc's name is Jose Roque. He's in practice with another male & female gastroenterologist. They're located in Orange, CA. You may wish to contact the office, if you live nearby. If you truly want to get the colonoscopy, please don't forego the test because of negative responses to your requests. Others should not prevent you from being as healthy as you possible can be. I wish you success and will happily forward the doc's address and phone, if you like. Reginald

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    3. Reginald,

      I am glad you spoke up and stood up for your rights to your doctor. Patients like you change things. Too many patients do not speak up. I hope that everything goes well and that you will be able to post a testimonial on http://patientmodesty.org/testimonials.aspx after your colonoscopy.

      Misty

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    4. I'll do that directly.

      Reginald

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  16. The double standard immorality that makes it okay for female reporters to enter a mens' locker room for professional sport (eg, NFL), and allows female prison guards to enter the shower rooms of male inmates is the immorality that allows female nurses/receptionist to chaperone male patients getting an intimate exam from a female doctor. Sadly, many Christian doctors and nurses aren't bothered by this double standard. The reasoning is that female medical practitioners are immune from sexual thoughts or gossiping about male patients.

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