Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery
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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 45  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 592-593
 

Chaperones and plastic surgery practice in India


1 Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Apollo Hospitals, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Plastic Surgery, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication12-Jan-2013

Correspondence Address:
Harinatha Sreekar
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Apollo Hospitals, Bangalore, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-0358.105999

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How to cite this article:
Sreekar H, Lamba S, Gupta AK. Chaperones and plastic surgery practice in India. Indian J Plast Surg 2012;45:592-3

How to cite this URL:
Sreekar H, Lamba S, Gupta AK. Chaperones and plastic surgery practice in India. Indian J Plast Surg [serial online] 2012 [cited 2019 Apr 18];45:592-3. Available from: http://www.ijps.org/text.asp?2012/45/3/592/105999


Sir,

In this era of legal and ethical tangles involved in medical practice, documentation as has often been highlited is paramount. The presence of chaperones during intimate physical examination (especially if the patient is of opposite sex) is routinely followed in most centres. The chaperoning policy is influenced by a few medico-legal cases, where doctors, nurses or occasionally patients have behaved inappropriately and such instances are only highlighted by our gossip happy media. The US and British medical associations have the policy of offering chaperones to the patient before examination. [1],[2],[3] General guidelines are as follows.

  • Female doctors should offer a chaperone to all. In most of the cases, the patient will indicate this is not necessary.
  • Male doctors should offer a chaperone to all men. Again, in most of the cases, the patient will indicate this is not necessary.
  • Male doctors should have a chaperone when they examine female patients. If a patient objects, they should ascertain the reasons why and consider whether a female colleague should perform the examination. [4]
Such guidelines though effective still have glaring lacunae. Such guidelines are lacking in Indian medico-legal documents. [5] The mere presence of a chaperone is insufficient unless his/her name is documented in the chart. A simple method of doing it is by having a seal which has the Chaperone's signature indicating his/her presence during the examination. Such documentation adds substance in cases of misbehaviour. This is a simple method to prevent false accusations by patients. Such simple methods should be inculcated into teaching medical students during their clinical training and should become a routine practice.

 
  References Top

1.Molajo A, Vaiude P, Graham KE. Are we documenting chaperone use? J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 2012;65:275-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]    
2.Baber JA, Davies SC, Dayan LS. An extra pair of eyes: Do patients want a chaperone when having an anogenital examination? Sex Health 2007;4:89-93.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]    
3.American Medical Association. Use of chaperones during physical exams. Report of the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs of the American Medical Association. Chicago: AMA; 1998. http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/code-medical-ethics/10015a.pdf   Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Rogstad KE. Chaperones: Protecting the patient or protecting the doctor? Sex Health 2007;4:85-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]    
5.MCI India website. http://www.mciindia.org/RulesandRegulations/CodeofMedicalEthicsRegulations2002.aspx [Last accessed on 1st Nov 2012].  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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