Controversies around the clinical examination in gynecology

Is the clinical examination, during gynecological consultations, threatened? In any case, this is the fear expressed by the National College of French Gynecologists and Obstetricians (CNGOF) in a press release published on June 24. “The CNGOF pays the greatest attention to complaints expressed by women. However, the learned society is very concerned about the current use of the word rape to qualify medical examinations, in particular gynecological examinations, carried out without the slightest sexual intention. specifies the text, written following the legal proceedings launched against Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, current Secretary of State for Development.

Gynecologist by profession, she is the subject of at least three complaints for rape, filed on May 25, June 16 and June 24 by former patients, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office, confirming information from the weekly Marianne. “The serious accusations against me, relating to medical clinical examinations carried out in order to diagnose and treat the illness of my patients, are unacceptable and revolting”disputes Chrysoula Zacharopoulou in a press release sent to AFP by her lawyer.

Compulsory gestures

The facts would consist, among other things, of obstetrical violence committed during a clinical examination. According to the account of one of the complainants, the gynecologist “obligated his trainee”, male doctor at the“auscultate”. The doctor, a great specialist in endometriosis, would then have taken over. Still according to the plaintiff’s account, she would have said to her, using familiar terms: “You’re going to have to open. Me, I am not him.” She was trying, trying, she wasn’t happy at all, and I was very nervous, tense and stuck.”she said.

Legally, “the law defines the notion of rape as any act of sexual penetration, of any kind whatsoever, or any oral-genital act committed on the person of another by violence, constraint, threat or surprise, with the aim of protecting the people “, continues the CNGOF, in its press release. But “it increasingly leads to medical examinations being qualified as rape”. Gold, ” not no longer carrying out these examinations for fear of prosecution could harm the health of women”, believes the Professional College, which considers that other professions like “urologists, gastroenterologists, radiologists, surgeons, midwives”in short, all those who perform vaginal or rectal examinations are concerned.

Consent to collect

A shortcut that annoys Sonia Bisch, founder and spokesperson for Stop Obstetrical and Gynecological Violence (StopVog). “It is obviously not a question of condemning all clinical examinations. But especially those who do not respect the patients. There can be rape without there being a sexual intention behind the gesture. The testimonies of violence that we receive regularly report examinations for which no consent was obtained, painful vaginal penetrations, during which the patient screams, vaginal or rectal examinations on sleeping patients, doctors who do not stop not the examination when the patient asks for it”, explains the activist. Which, she recalls, “is contrary to the Kouchner law on patients’ rights”, which in 2002 reaffirmed the importance of free and informed consent. consent who “can be withdrawn at any time”, specifies the text of the law.

“The CNGOF has published a gynecological examination charter, insisting on the benevolence and consent essential during this examination” recalls the learned society, as a pledge of good faith. Again, the founder of StopVog protests. “It’s very nice to expose a charter, in the cabinets. But how can you be sure that this charter is respected? » His association demands above all “better training” doctors, with greater patient involvement and more sanctions for professionals “deviants”.

Questioned by AFP, the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, qualified the debate on the consent of debate ” important “. “Complaints are filed, justice will do its job” and Chrysoula Zacharopoulou “will have the opportunity to explain”added the Matignon tenant.


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