If you have gone to a doctor for a health concern that is unrelated to your reproductive health, and if you do not want a pap test/pelvic exam/STD test, but find your doctor pressuring you into one – even after you have already said no – then here are three ways to combat the doctor’s unethical behavior:
1) Bring a tape or digital recorder along on your visit. Some cell phones have one built in but if you need to purchase one they are fairly inexpensive. You can put the recorder in a discreet location such as a pocket, bag, or propped in an outer purse pocket. This way if your doctor refuses to treat you based on your decision to decline a pap test/ pelvic exam, and the health condition you had gone to see your doctor for worsens – or if you end up in emergency due to being ousted from your doctor’s office – then you will have recorded proof of the doctor’s unethical behavior. Recording a conversation without the doctor’s knowledge is legal in most countries as long as you are involved in the conversation, but check to determine laws in your own country.
2) Bring a companion along on your visit. With a second person present the doctor will be less likely to be aggressive regarding a pap test/vaginal exam. If the doctor refuses to allow your companion into the consult room, leave and find a different doctor. If you have brought your recorder with you, try to get the doctor’s response on record.
3) Prepare a typed or written document and ask the doctor to sign it, for example:
I, Doctor ____________, am refusing to treat the following patient ____________, on this date_________, based on the patient’s refusal to consent to an optional cancer screening test (undergo a pap test/vaginal exam).
Of course the doctor will most likely refuse to sign such a document, but simply preparing the document and asking the doctor to sign it will help isolate and highlight the doctor’s unethical behavior.
Information on informed consent for cervical cancer screening: http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2009/11/informed-consent-missing-pap-smears-cervical-cancer-screening.html
Research regarding unnecessary pap tests/vaginal/bimanual exams: http://forwomenseyesonly.wordpress.com/2012/09/30/battle-brewing-over-pointless-pelvic-exams/
Story of doctors bullying women into pap tests: http://forwomenseyesonly.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/what-some-male-doctors-do-when-women-say-no/