To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has issued guidelines to hospitals to ensure that no internal examinations are conducted upon women under anaesthetic without their written consent; and if he will publish the guidelines.
The Department's guidelines provide that an explanation of the nature and effect of an operation or investigation procedure under anaesthetic must be given to a patient and the patient's written consent obtained. Separate consent should be obtained if patients are to be involved in teaching of medical or other students. The guidelines were issued as circulars HM(73)8 as amended by HC(77)18, and DS30/71. Copies of the circulars are available in the Library.