Medical Patient Modesty - a non-profit organization to improve patient modesty in medical settings


Choosing a Doctor and a Medical Facility

Many patients assume that if they had a good experience at a medical facility, they will continue to have positive encounters at that same facility. The truth is not all departments and doctors are the same. You could have a wonderful Labor & Delivery department at a hospital that only employs female nurses, but the cardiac department could allow male nurses to perform intimate procedures on women.

A man in Iowa was caught completely off guard when he had a positive experience during a cardiac catheterization procedure, but then suffered a completely humiliating ordeal during a venous ablation procedure at the same hospital two years later. During the cardiac catheterization, the doctor informed the man that he was going in his wrist, which he did. He was extremely alarmed when a nurse attempted to fling up his gown before the procedure began. As a result, the man vocally protested, which led the doctor to inform her that he was going in his wrist. The nurse then released his gown. At no time were his genitals ever exposed or touched. His groin was never shaved or accessed, and he was allowed to wear his own underwear. He was also awake and aware throughout this procedure. Unfortunately, this experience gave him a false sense of security, and he thought his venous ablation procedure performed at the same hospital was going to be the same. However, he was shocked to learn otherwise. During his venous ablation, he was completely incapacitated due to Propofol he was given; the disposable underwear that hospital personnel gave him was removed, thus exposing his genitals; and his groin was shaved without his knowledge or consent, even though incisions were made around his knee only. He was confused as to why he had to be completely incapacitated during his venous ablation procedure that involved inserting a wire into his leg when he was allowed to remain awake for his heart procedure that involved inserting a wire with a camera near his heart. Ultimately, he learned that he could have been allowed to remain awake during a venous ablation as is commonly performed in other medical facilities. This was a hard lesson to learn, and so patients should always be vigilant when dealing with medical personnel at all times.

Just because you have a doctor who may be sensitive to your bodily privacy, do not assume that other medical professionals will be as accommodating.

Here are some examples:

  • One lady had a wonderful female gynecologist who was sensitive to her modesty during a C-Section, but the anesthesiologist was horrible.

  • One male urologist agreed to accommodate a man’s wishes for an all-male team for his urological procedure by using a male Physician’s Assistant instead of a female nurse. The patient was shocked when someone in the office said a female nurse would participate. Fortunately, after the patient contacted the urologist, he straightened out everything and the patient’s wishes for an all-male team were honored.

All patients are encouraged to ask questions and write down their wishes such as no urinary catheter, no sedation, etc. before they submit to any procedures, Be prepared to stand up for your rights. Cancel the procedure and leave if the doctor or medical facility is not willing to accommodate your wishes. Be sure to let them know that you will take your business elsewhere.

Resources to Check out:

Patient Modesty Friendly Doctors

What You Should Know About Surgery

Unnecessary Underwear Removal For Surgeries

Sedation, Versed, and Your Procedure

Modesty Concerns for Procedures and Surgeries

Why You Should Have a Personal Advocate For Surgery?

Surgery and Your Modesty

Surgery and Your Modesty - Youtube Video


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