Pennsylvania imposes consent laws for medical students, pelvic exams

Pennsylvania passed a new law requiring physicians to receive patients' verbal and written consent before allowing medical students to perform pelvic or rectal exams on someone under anesthesia, CBS News reported Nov. 27.

The law, which goes into effect in January, will enforce a minimum $1,000 penalty for violations by healthcare providers.

At least 20 states have similar laws, according to the report, though there is little data to show how often medical students are asked to perform pelvic, rectal or prostate exams on anesthetized patients.

Some physicians say the new law is governmental overreach that could diminish trust, while others say it increased transparency and protects medical students.

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