Implementing Chaperones

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta Ethics 101, Messenger Leave a Comment

You’re a family medical doctor and recently several of your employees completed the Medical Office Chaperone course through MacEwan University. You see the benefits of offering your patients a chaperone during visits for both their care and your practice. You have posted this notice in your office waiting room and your employees advise patients when they check in that a chaperone will be present during exams such as pap tests.

A few months after you implemented this, a patient has denied a chaperone to be present. She has concerns about privacy and is wondering why you needed to implement this process. She has looked at your physician profile on the College’s website and there are no conditions placed on your practice requiring a chaperone. You explain to her the benefits from both a patient’s side and your own. She still insists on not having a chaperone present.

What do you do?

  • Proceed with the exam
  • Have her sign a waiver and proceed with the exam
  • Refuse to proceed with the exam and advise her to consider seeing another physician
  • Or another action?

Join the conversation below or email and tell us how you would respond.

Do you have an ethics scenario you would like to see discussed? Email your idea to