Naked exam – Doctor breached Rights

A case where a doctor is said to breach certain Rights in terms of Informed consent and adequacy of care code reemphasizes the importance for people to voice out their concerns with the Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC)  if they think they are mistreated in the health clinics.

The HDC found that a patient presented to an after hours clinic with a history of body aches and burning while urinating. The patient advised the doctor that she suspected she had a urinary tract infection.

The doctor performed an unchaperoned examination of the patient, including an examination of the patient’s upper and lower body that involved the doctor touching the patient’s legs, groin, breasts and back. During the lower body examination the patient was naked from the waist down. During the upper body examination she was fully naked. The patient was not given any privacy to undress or dress, nor was she provided with a cover. The doctor did not wear gloves during the examination. The patient’s clinical notes were altered numerous times following the completion of the examination.

It was held that the doctor breached Right 6(1) for failing to provide the patient with sufficient information about the proposed examination and therefore also breached Right 7(1) for not obtaining the patient’s informed consent.

It was also held that the doctor breached Right 4(1) because the examination was not clinically indicated. For failing to wear gloves during an intimate examination the doctor breached Right 4(2), and for failing to inform the patient of her right to have a chaperone present the doctor breached Right 6(1).

The overall manner in which the doctor conducted the examination lacked respect. Therefore, it was held that the doctor breached Right 1(1). For altering the clinical records the doctor breached professional standards and accordingly breached Right 4(2). Furthermore, the doctor’s actions may have impaired the ability of other providers to provide continuity of care to the patient and, as a result, the doctor failed to minimise the potential for harm to the patient. Accordingly the doctor breached Rights 4(4) and 4(5). The doctor was referred to the Director of Proceedings.

The clinic was found not to have breached the Code.


About The Author

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

Right now Kaniva News provides a free, politically independent, bilingual news service for readers around the world that is absolutely unique. We are the largest New Zealand-based Tongan news service, and our stories reach Tongans  wherever they are round the world. But as we grow, there are increased demands on Kaniva News for translation into Tongan on our social media accounts and for the costs associated with expansion. We believe it is important for Tongans to have their own voice and for Tongans to preserve their language, customs and heritage. That is something to which we are strongly committed. That’s why we are asking you to consider sponsoring our work and helping to preserve a uniquely Tongan point of view for our readers and listeners.

Latest news

Related news