There have been many documented cases of doctors being falsely accused from behaving inappropriately during intimate examinations. It could be argued that a chaperone should be recommended for physical examinations of all parts of the patient’s body. Doctors have extensively been advised to have a chaperone present during any physical intimate examinations to provide protection to the doctor against false allegations. But the frequency of chaperone utilization in health clinics has generally remained low in the United States. For years now there has been a heated debate whether or not chaperones should be present during intimate examinations and every time the argument is rekindled, it ends in a stalemate, and is a topic that tends to stay
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Chaperones can be considered as a risk management strategy when intimate examinations are performed. For example; if a chaperone was not present during an intimate examination, doctors will be at risk of being falsely accused with sexual misconduct. The consequences of a false accusation can destroy a doctor’s reputation, lead to suspension, removal from the specialist register, with loss of livelihood, and also possible criminal proceedings (9). A chaperone being present during an intimate examination protects the doctors from allegations of inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct or from misconduct by the patient.
The American Medical Association recommends that an authorized health professional should serve as a chaperone whenever possible. The GMC recommends that a family member or a friend is appropriate but this is unsatisfactory if the only role is to protect the patient. It would not, however, protect the doctor, and possibly result in doctor’s being less able to defend themselves against false accusations (11). The British Association for Sexual Health and Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecology do not, recommend families or friends alone. They rather advocate that a chaperone must be a third party, with nothing to gain by misinterpreting the facts, and of the same gender as the