Missouri  |  Health Care Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 8/31/05, 10:19 pm

female patients with only men in attendance

I have been a Registered Nurse for almost 30 years.I was taught in school that a female patient must always have at least one female staff member in attendance during an office exam, clinic procedure that requires disrobing or an operating room procedure. I was told by a Veterans Administration Legal Counsel 20 years ago that when a female is in one of the situations as above or on a psychiatric unit in restraints or seclusion that she must have a female in attendence at all times and documentation to validate it. When I bring this situation to the staff attention in our operating room the female employees deny any need for this practice and scoff at the idea. This is a real issue to me because I feel that if it were my mother, wife or daughters, I would want a woman there with them .Not only is this my wishes it's theirs also.Is this a law anywhere or not? Doesn't this seem like common sense practice? I'm amazed that the women I work with see this as a joke but I know them well enough to know that everyone of them would insist on a woman present for their own procedures.

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