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Hospital Patients (Examination)

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 November 1950

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27.

asked the Minister of Health if his attention has been called to the common practice, in teaching hospitals, for patients to be examined intimately by groups of students, often against the natural inclination of the patients; and if he will issue a general regulation to the effect that the consent of every patient must be obtained before an examination may be performed.

I am not aware of any general dissatisfaction with the existing arrangements, or of any sufficient reason for suggesting they should be changed. My hon. Friend will realise that it is vital that medical students should have adequate clinical training.

Is it not also right that the patient should be consulted before his body is employed as a nationalised exhibit?

That is a very wicked statement to make. It has always been the case that in teaching hospitals medical students must be taught with the clinical material available, that material being human beings. The hon. and gallant Member ought to have a greater sense of public responsibility than to make a statement like that.