July 21, 2020

Florida Healthcare Practitioners Seek Guidance on New Pelvic Exam Law

Holland & Knight Healthcare Blog
Kimberly A. Case
Healthcare Blog

As highlighted in Holland & Knight's June 30 article, "Scope of Practice and Reproductive Health Changes Coming to Florida," the new pelvic exam law (SB 698) went into effect on July 1, 2020. The language requiring written consent before pelvic exams has already created uncertainty for physicians and nurses, which is why the Florida Medical Association (FMA) and the Florida Nurses Association (FNA) filed petitions for declaratory judgment with the Florida Board of Medicine and Florida Board of Nursing, respectively.

The FMA, in its petition, requested a declaratory statement seeking clarification regarding the following:

  • that the law does not apply to males
  • that the law does not apply to surgical procedures involving organs such as the vulva, vagina, ovaries, uterus and rectum
  • that the law does not apply to insertion of catheters or cleaning of the pelvic area during a diaper change
  • that the law does not apply to visual exams of the pelvic area
  • that written consent for an initial pelvic exam is sufficient for any additional pelvic exams needed during treatment

The Board of Medicine has a meeting scheduled for Aug. 7, and this issue is expected to be considered.

Related Insights