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Unconscious patients in Missouri and Kansas could receive invasive medical exams without consent

Marcel Scholte
Patients can give consent for medical students to be involved in their care. Some educational training can be conducted on patients under anesthesia.

A KSHB investigative news team discovered some medical students are practicing invasive medical exams on unknowing patients, and it's legal on both sides of the state line.

Allowing a medical student to be involved in your patient care might involve an intimate exam without your explicit consent or knowledge, a KSHB-41 report discovered.

Medical students in Missouri and Kansas are able to perform pelvic and prostate exams on unconscious patients. In 21 states, the practice is banned unless patients have given explicit consent. Because the procedure is often done for educational purposes and not charted as part of the patient's care, it's unknown how common the examinations are.

KSHB's I-Team joined Up To Date to explain what they learned about the ethically questionable medical practice and how lawmakers have responded.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
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