This case is making it’s way through the U.S. Courts. It started in Florida where the District Court ruled against the students. Now it’s at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Some heavy hitting First Amendment lawyers are weighing in on this one for the students.
Last year this case became a topic for discussion with our daughter who was participating in ‘Clinicals’ related to her academic nursing program. No one at the table had a JD or Bar card so the following recollections of those conversations don’t mean much except what got said in one circle.
Perhaps it was foolish of us to expect the case rested on gender discrimination, medical privacy and would be quickly resolved. The freespeech and consent arguments raised support the conclusions we’d come to though court rules limit Appeals to arguments raised the first go around. So don’t look for any legal briefs focused on our table talk for this case.
I don’t know if that class or college also teaches rectal ultrasound but it seems like a safe assumption. If it turns out they do not that’s okay since the underlying argument of gender discrimination isn’t dependent on a comparison of forcing male students to undergo a prostate exam in the same conditions or with the same refusal consequences.
Gender Equality is a myth…all bodies are not created equal. If the college gave extra credit to female students voluntarily submitting their vagina as a superior teaching tool to the anatomical dummies available male students would claim they were not allowed the same academic opportunities. Male students at risk of failing the class or losing GPA dependent funding would claim it wasn’t their fault they weren’t born with factory original or aftermarket lady bits. Okay no extra credit, nor consequences. Gender Equality is a myth, Equal Rights treatment, respect etc. shouldn’t be.
Forcing a female student to submit to a vaginal ultrasound exam in a classroom violates medical privacy rights. Students do not waive their right to medical privacy because they have a body part their professor prefers to the inanimate teaching materials available. There is no client/provider privacy in the classroom setting. From the court documents it seems this professor would insist any medical reason a student would use to justify refusal would be an invitation to insist the class not be deprived of the opportunity. Ooh you’re pregnant…lets get that cervix on the screen. Post abortion? undiagnosed cancer, genital warts etc are all exciting anomalies for students.
These students are buying an education in process and practical knowledge to prepare them for actual patient care. If Valencia College curriculum is teaching students bodily autonomy, consent and the right to privacy come second to a hands on classroom exercise; who’s teaching these students to respect patients rights?