Among the flurry of activity this legislative session is Louisiana Act 269 (House Bill 435), which addresses consent issues relating to pelvic examinations on an anesthetized or unconscious patient. Across the country, it was reported that pelvic examinations were being performed on incapacitated patients without consent for purposes of training medical providers, among other things. As of August 1, 2020, such examinations may not be performed except as follows:
- The patient has given written consent and the examination is necessary for instructional, preventative, diagnostic, or treatment purposes;
- Informed consent is given and the examination is within the scope of care for the patient; or
- The patient is unconscious and incapable of providing consent and the examination is medically necessary - in which case the patient must be informed of the examination prior to discharge.
Violations of the Act may result in adverse licensure action. The Act also provides for conditions under which learners may be involved in these procedures.