Legislation Dealing With Invasive Medical Examinations Sent To The Governor

The legislature has voted to ensure that Missouri patients can no longer have invasive medical examinations performed while they’re unconscious and without prior knowledge or consent.

Legislators were told that medical students and residents have been allowed and even directed to perform anal, prostate, or pelvic examinations on unconscious patients as part of their instruction, sometimes without those patients’ consent.

House Bill 402 contains several provisions regarding healthcare. One of those would specify that such exams on unconscious patients may only be conducted when that patient or their authorized representative has given consent; the examination is necessary for medical purposes; or when such an exam is necessary to gather evidence of a sexual assault. The legislature voted last week to send HB 402 to Governor Mike Parson for his action.

Representative Hannah Kelly sponsored that provision.

The patient examination issue was an important one for legislators in both parties, and as a standalone bill, was voted out of the House 157-0.

Any health care provider who violates the new section of law, or any supervisor of a student or trainee who violates it, would be subject to discipline by their licensing board.

The House voted 120-31 to send HB 402 to Governor Parson, who can now sign it into law, veto it, or allow it to become law without his action.