For Modest Male Patients
Many times doctors unnecessarily
use female nurses or assistants as chaperones during an intimate
procedure. This practice causes embarrassment for male patients.
In some cases a female assistant stays to observe and/or take
notes while the male patient is undressed. Male patients should
speak up and ask for a private exam with the doctor.
If a doctor or a hospital will
not accommodate your modesty wishes or wishes for male medical
personnel exclusively, you should go somewhere else even if
it means traveling farther. Look at an example of a man
from Maine who traveled to Utah for an Urolift procedure
because he found an urologist willing to do an in-office procedure
with the help of a male physician’s assistant.
Patients whose modesty wishes
are not accommodated should write a letter to that hospital
and doctor explaining that the procedure was done elsewhere
because of this. It’s time for hospitals and medical professionals
to recognize that male patient modesty is as important as female
patient modesty. If male patients speak up for their modesty
wishes and refuse care from female medical personnel, the more
likely facilities and doctors will hire more male nurses, techs,
etc. to accommodate these requests.
We encourage men reading this
article to print the article, How
Urologists Can Be More Sensitive to Men's Modesty? and share
it with urologists.
1.) You should
find a male doctor who is sensitive to patient modesty, one
who will protect patient privacy as much as possible. Consider
interviewing a doctor about his stance on patient modesty before
allowing him to do intimate examinations. Explain to the doctor
that having female nurses or assistants present for procedures
that involve private parts is not an option. If the doctor has
no male nurses or assistants ask if he can do procedures such
as vasectomy without assistance.
2.) Do not be
pressured into having a random genital or rectal exam at doctor
appointments. For instance: if the appointment is for a sore
throat, don't spend time being lectured about the importance
of having a genital, prostate, or rectal exam. Tell the doctor
the visit is for the specific reason it was made (ex: a sore
3.) Keep in mind that genital exams are often unnecessary
unless you have urological symptoms or a genital injury. You
have the right to refuse genital or rectal exams at any time.
4.) If possible, take along a trusted person
(preferably your wife) for doctor appointments which require
genital or rectal exams. This helps in regards to potential
abuse and to act as another set of eyes and ears during the
appointment for any instructions and recommendations given.
If the doctor refuses to allow the accompanying person—leave.
5.) If anything is uncomfortable
during an exam or procedure speak up and stop the exam or procedure.
6.) Don't undress or don a medical gown when
it is unnecessary and/or an uncomfortable situation. Most procedures
and tests—including blood tests, blood pressure tests,
stethoscope heart exam, eye, ear, nose and throat examinations,
as well as throat cultures—can be performed fully clothed.
If the appointment is for an infection or suspicious skin spot,
uncover only the necessary body part. Consider wearing shorts
or other type garments. Think in advance what would be more
accommodating and helpful for the examination, limiting patient
exposure and embarrassment.
7.) If general anesthesia is required insist
that a family member or a friend be present for the procedure
for patient protection. Patients who are under general anesthesia
are extremely vulnerable, exposed and defenseless. Many patients
are routinely and unnecessarily stripped naked for surgeries.
One male hand-surgery patient had his gown and underwear removed
after he was put under anesthesia. He found this out when he
woke up in the middle of surgery. Check out Why
You Should Have a Personal Advocate For Surgery?
8.) If hospitalization is necessary, have someone
who is not employed by that hospital continually present; especially
when you are asleep or drowsy. Many men are more comfortable
with their wives bathing them than a nurse so this should always
be an option for them if they need assistance with bathing.
If a nurse or aide must assist you with bathing, ask for a male.
9.) Insist that no urinary
catheter be inserted unless it is absolutely necessary. Many
urinary catheterizations are done unnecessarily and with
serious complications. If catheterization is required, request
a male nurse.
10.) Insist on a male ultrasound technician
for scrotal ultrasounds.
11.) During procedures request that the doctor
put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the
door and/or close the room’s curtain. Sometimes medical
personnel randomly enter exam rooms during intimate procedures.
12.) If you are the parent or guardian of a
boy, do not assume that he is safe from sexual abuse! Always
have a responsible adult not employed by the clinic or hospital,
preferably a parent, with the boy for all examinations and procedures.
Advocate for his privacy as well, regardless of his age. Even
if your child is a toddler, respect for his privacy and his
bodily autonomy must be enforced. If you agree he needs the
procedure, assist the medical professionals to communicate to
him this is necessary in any way you can. Genital / hernia exams
are not necessary for sports