Opt-In Policy for Sensitive Examinations

Policy Name Opt-In Policy for Sensitive medical Examinations
Vice President:
Vice President for Student Life Adopted: May 17, 2019
Responsible Office or Department: Health Services Reviewed: May 17, 2019
Contact: Anne Mavor
Revised: N/A

Policy Statement

Manhattan College is a Lasallian Catholic educational institution, deeply committed to engaging in a quality and safe educational environment for its Students (as defined below), faculty, administrators, staff and visitors. This Opt-In Policy for Sensitive Medical Examinations (the “Policy”) continues in that tradition and serves to ensure that all individuals are welcomed, honored, and respected by the Manhattan College community, including Minors (as defined below).

This Policy promotes the well-being and security of Students seeking medical care from Practitioners at Manhattan College (the “College”) as it relates to examinations or procedures that are more sensitive in nature.  Specifically, this Policy covers Students who: (1) are enrolled at the College and able to use health services, or athletic training services, or (2) are seeking an examination that is sensitive in nature, as defined in this Policy. Students will be made aware that they can opt-in to have a chaperone present during Sensitive Medical  Examinations (as defined below, or if requested by the Patient).

Who Should Read the Policy

  • All members of the Manhattan College community.
  • Consultants and Independent Contractors

Links and Resources

Employee Handbook (Sections 1.26.1 Employment; Section 8.20 Children in the workplace: https://inside.manhattan.edu/offices/human-resources/employee-handbook.php)
Minors on Campus Policy
Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policy
Community Standards and Student Code of Conduct


Terms and Definitions

“Student” for purposes of this Policy means any person enrolled and matriculated as a student at the College.

“Patient” is any Student or person seeking medical assistance while at the College.

“Minor” is any Patient under the age of 18 who seeks services and who is not otherwise defined as a Student.

“Practitioner” is an employee (or contracted employee) of the College who has current, active licensure or certification to practice medicine or medical procedures in the State of New York.

“Sensitive Medical Examination” for purposes of this Policy means an examination or procedure performed by a medical professional from the office of Health Services or Athletics and includes the physical examination of, or a procedure involving the genitalia, rectum, or breasts, regardless of gender.

“Emergency Situation” for purposes of this Policy is any situation in which the Students’ health or safety is at risk, and their care cannot be delayed.

The Policy

I. Policy Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to provide safe, and comfortable care for our Students who are utilizing medical services available through the College. There can be physical, psychological, and cultural reasons why a chaperone may be requested. Practitioners should only perform Sensitive Medical Examinations or procedures in accordance with this Policy. The use of chaperones is only a part of the College’s efforts to have a safe educational environment and responsible medical care that is consistent with the College’s prevention plan for sexual misconduct and abuse.

II. Policy Requirements Governing Chaperones for Sensitive Medical Examinations

In an effort to promote the well-being and security of Patients on campus, the following rules must be followed:

  • A chaperone may be provided to help protect and enhance the Patient’s comfort, safety, privacy, security during Sensitive Medical Examinations or procedures. The chaperone may also be present to provide assistance to the Practitioner with the examination or procedure.
  • A chaperone is a person who acts as a witness for a Patient and a Practitioner during a medical examination or procedure. A chaperone should be in a location where they are able to observe the examination, therapy or procedure.
  • A chaperone may be a medical health professional or a trained unlicensed staff member.  This may include medical doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, technicians, therapists and athletic trainers.
  • Whenever possible, but not required, the chaperone should be the gender that the Patient feels most comfortable with.
  • Family members or friends of a Patient should not be expected to undertake any chaperoning role in normal circumstances. A family member may be present during Sensitive Medical Examinations or procedures if it is the expressed desire of the Patient, but the family member may not serve as a chaperone for the purposes of this Policy.
  • If a chaperone is not available, the Practitioner will notify the Patient and make arrangements/referrals for the Patient to return for an exam when a chaperone is available or refer the Patient to another medical facility for the Sensitive Medical Exam.
  • A chaperone must be present for any sensitive exams involving Minors.

III. Policy Standards

      A.  Opt-In Policy:

A Patient or their legal guardian may request a chaperone for any examination or procedure. The Practitioner should discuss the scope of the Patient’s care and ability to request a chaperone during Sensitive Medical Examinations and procedures as defined above. Additionally:

  1. The scope of the examination and reasons for the examination should be explained to the Patient.
  2. If a Patient with decision-making capacity declines a part of the examination, it should not be completed and the refusal should be noted in the chart.  
  3. If a Sensitive Medical Examination is performed, and the Student declined to have a chaperone present, it should be noted in the chart.
  4. It is the responsibility of the Practitioner to ensure that accurate records are kept, which also includes a Patient’s refusal of a chaperone.
      B. Non- Compliance:

Practitioner non-compliance with this Policy should be reported as described below.

IV.  Training

All medical professionals should receive training in regards to their responsibilities under this policy, upon hire (then reviewed annually).

V.  Additional Requirements and Procedures

     A. Reporting

All College employees, especially those that serve as chaperones, shall report any known or reasonably suspected non-compliance with this Policy to the Title IX Office (718-862-7512) as soon as possible, and no later than twenty-four (24) hours upon learning of the non-compliance.

Additionally, if a patient has any concern with a Sensitive Medical Exam, they are encouraged to report it to the Title IX Office (718-862-7512).

     B. Prohibition of Retaliation 

No person who makes a good faith report of suspected non-compliance with this Policy will be retaliated against in the terms and conditions of their educational program or employment.

VI. References

The University of Michigan Medicine, The Use of Chaperones During Sensitive Medical Examinations and Procedures