My wife recently had an appointment with a new doctor to renew her birth control pill prescription. She is 30 has been on the same pill for the last 10 years, all that usually happens is her blood pressure is checked and she is given a 6 month supply.
We have recently moved here and have no established relationship with any doctors or health care providers; I accompanied her to this appointment at her request as she did not know the doctor and my company medical insurance would be paying any costs.
At the appointment in his consulting room he confirmed that he could renew my wife’s birth control prescription but that first he needed to conduct a physical examination, he then asked me to leave the room. I started to get up to leave but my wife said she was happy to have an examination but wished me to stay, the doctor said that this was not “allowed”.
My wife insisted that I stay, she did not know the doctor, who was an older man and my staying would she said help her relax and make the examination, if it was really necessary, as stress free as possible.
Let me say at this point that I was happy to stay or go and wait outside as she wished I had no preference other than her wishes.
The doctor however refused to allow me to stay, my wife argued a little with him and repeatedly said that surly it was her choice if she wished to have her husband present for the examination, we both left with out her having the examination or getting the prescription for her Birth control pills.
My wife went straight to the reception/administrator to complain about the way she had been treated, to our amazement instead of getting an apology we were told that is entirely up to the doctor who he “ allows” to be present during any examination.
The administrator then did offer to arrange another appointment the following week for my wife with a female doctor, my wife agreed but said that she still whished me to be present for any examination if one was required ( I think by this stage it had become a pint of principle) to our surprise my wife was told again that this would be completely up to the doctor but the administrator though that is would not be allowed and was against the “rules”..
At this point we left, angry, frustrated and upset, my wife had still not been able to refill her birth control pill prescription which had been the whole point of the visit in the first place.
My wife has subsequently contacted a couple of other doctors, explained that she wants top refill her Birth control prescription to protect against an unwanted pregnancy, they both said she has to come in for a consultation, which she is happy to do but both have refused to confirm to her that she will be “allowed” to have her husband present if any examination is required. Apparently is depends on the “policy” of Dr X or the “Rules” of Dr Y.
We have had very little dealing with the medical profession as we are both fit, health and active in our early 30’s but I have to admit my wife’s recent experience has been frightening.
Surely she is correct that it is HER choice who she does or does not want to have present for any physical or personal examination. It is not up to what the Dr “allows” or not or what his “ policy” is ?
If my wife or any patient wants to have their husband present during an examination, surely that is the patients right and doctors should respect that, not completely ignore it.?
As I said I have no strong person view with this other than wanting to respect the wishes and preference of my wife, I would be happy to accompany her or not, to wait inside or out as she wishes but surely it is her right to make that decision.
I would welcome any medical / legal comments or opinions on this.