Don’t Force Students to Undergo Transvaginal Probes

valencia college logo by valencia college

UPDATE: Valencia College has abandoned this practice! Thank you to all the signers for supporting this important cause.

Target: U.S. District Court Judge Thomas B. Smith, Orlando Division

Goal: Hold Valencia College accountable for alleged invasive practices.

Valencia College in Florida is being sued by two students who say they were forced to undergo transvaginal ultrasounds as part of their coursework. The two students were studying medical diagnostics and were told that if they didn’t submit to these invasive procedures their grades would suffer and they wouldn’t be hired by employers once they graduated.

Although it is accepted and common in medical schools for students to volunteer as models for exams, these students say they were forced. This is unacceptable and the students deserve justice.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Judge Smith,

In a recent lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Orlando, two women say they were forced to undergo invasive vaginal ultrasounds as part of their coursework at Valencia College. While practicing on volunteer students is accepted in the medical field, these students say they did not volunteer. They were allegedly told if they didn’t submit to these invasive procedures then their grades would suffer and they wouldn’t be employed after they graduated.

Forcing a person to do something they are not comfortable with is unacceptable. Valencia College must be held accountable. We the undersigned urge you to punish Valencia College if they are found to have been in the wrong.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Valencia College

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22 Comments

  1. In S Africa the Zulu culture condones virginity testing as a cultural practice, in fact some wanted to intoduce the practice into all schools to control HIV.
    Our Constitution and tribal authorities conflict in a number of areas.
    So what does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights say about that? And how can it assume it is a crime against humanity?

    • This isn’t a cultural question in this context…it’s not a test of virginity either, the issue is being forced to undergo medical experiment research without informed consent…being threatened with loss of grade is coercion…sexual penetration via ultrasound on this case constitutes RAPE.

  2. RIANNE HODGMAN says:

    Really Ed? and next comes the penile probe … thank you for volunteering … should be easy for you as you’re one big PRICK!

  3. Dianne Pearce says:

    Its just an excuse for perverts to see what they want!!

  4. Heather Brophy says:

    WERE PENIS PROBES REQUIRED FOR MALE STUDENTS? YOU BASTARDS!

  5. Bucktooth says:

    This is stupid!In med school we had professional models who came in for prostate/Gyn and final clinical exams.
    Keep suing them!!

  6. A Anfaani says:

    This is not South Africa!

  7. Kathy Williams says:

    These accusations sound bogus. No one could possibly ensure that these students would never find employment, and if people believe otherwise, they’re just stupid.

    Even if these allegations were true… “invasive?” Offensive, yes. In this context, however, invasive is a term I’d reserve for when academia (along with cosmetic and industrial companies, Big Pharma, factory farming, government agencies et alia) subjects MILLIONS of other sentient species to physical, emotional and psychological pain and intense, prolonged suffering every single hour of every single day of their shortened, miserable lives UNNECESSARILY – i.e. not to improve skill or knowledge, but rather, simply for profit. And those beings who are: held captive in breeding farms, industrial farms and laboratories all over the world, terrorized, isolated from their family members and their natural environment, denied freedom to act on natural instincts (e.g. what, when and even IF they get to eat and drink, when or IF they get to sleep, play, groom, mark their territories, mate, relieve boredom and stress) violently assaulted and then killed when they are no longer useful… GENUINELY don’t have any choice! So if someone wants to discuss any kind of compensation or restitution, and moral boundaries, let’s first begin by criminalizing the exploitation of other animals in the name of so-called education or research, and just to meet the demands of callous, arrogant, gluttonous homo sapiens.

    Again: I don’t believe these claims have any merit. I’m sure the syllabus was introduced before these students invested their time and energy. They probably didn’t even go through the proper chain of command by contacting the Dean after they were supposedly “forced” to participate. Like too many these days, I think these students are just looking for a bonanza/undeserved enrichment.

    So, fellow petitioners, don’t get your panties in a bunch and indiscriminately sign every petition. After all, I’d like to believe that people concerned with making this world a better place are completely capable of exercising common sense and employing independent thinking. Since time and energy are resources, let’s pick our battles.

    • AL Guerin says:

      Kathy W: I don’t understand that you only care about animals but not people. Why can’t you care about both?

    • KatWrangler says:

      Kathy: How is having a probe inserted into your vagina NOT invasive? I guess your definition of invasive is not like most others.

    • Kathy,I and clearly others find you to be a horrible person. You are the type who blames the victim and that is disgusting. You were not there. You do not know what happened yet you assume the victim is lying. Your negativity is ugly.

    • Vivien Counsell Mitchell says:

      I agree with Kathy – humans have the element of choice. Animals do not. I suggest the people involved should perhaps question authority more than they apparently did.

      • Coercion is not choice nor us making a decision under duress a decision at all..because circumstances forced the person to feel pushed into doing something…this happens with people with little life experience…colleges have rules about research…and medical procedures…even if this us a hoax…you miss the point…and that is…no students grade should ride on opening their legs and being shafted for any reason without their express YES… (CONSENT)*…maybe that will clear it up…RAPE IS RAPE.

    • Uh…..so its OK to threaten young female students with loss of a grade, possible loss of scholarship or other money, if they don’t let themselves be degraded for NO REASON?

      Just because factory farm animals have it VERY BAD (no one is arguing about that) and wild animals have it WORSE, doesn’t mean we should ignore abuse of young students for NO reason at all……

      Have you ever had a Transvaginal ultrasound? I have…..they put a LARGE probe up your vagina which is necessary and good if they’re looking for, say, tumors or something like that…..but its POINTLESS and nothing but sexual abuse in this case.

  8. jim Gerstley says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is here. These are medical students. They’ve chosen the field. How else are they supposed to learn other than hands-on? It is no less humiliating than learning how to do rectal exams, learning how to examine the male bladder and insert catheters into the penis. Yet I’d find it hard to believe that all of those are not demonstrated on a physical body during the course of study. Or do you think these potential doctors and nurses should only learn on patients? After all it is just as humiliating for a patient. Or maybe you feel it should be done 1-on-1, same sex, with each examining the other in a private space? That will take a lot more class time out of an already intensive program, though it is one approach. Plus often the patient doesn’t get a choice which gender examines or inserts probes into him/her. It can’t all be learned out of a textbook. Later in life when you’re having surgery you’ll have mixed gender people of different specialties in a room [and more watching if in a teaching hospital]. You’ll be exposed to all of them at some point, the only difference being you may be unconscious. Yes it’s an age where people tend to be self conscious about their bodies; I was too. But you can only provide privacy up to a point for physical exams and medical procedures.

    • I’ve been an RN for over 30 years, and NO we never had to do anything remotely like this, nor should anyone have to do this for the sexual turn on it gives whoever is doing the probe.

      Yes, we DID volunteer to give one another injections when learning how to do that, but that was the MOST invasive thing we had to do in RN school, and was totally voluntary.

      THIS is someone with a bizarre sexual fixation being in a position to force young girls to do this…..and its way different from learning how to catheterize a bladder, a skill needed by all RN’s…..transvaginal probing is normally done by specialized techs who work in Ultrasound facilities.

  9. Karen Remnant says:

    Well said AI Guerin! This petition is about humans! Unfortunately there are many petitions about animal abuse, those are the places to vent your anger Kathy.

  10. Kathy – There are many battles to be fought, and who are you to say which are worthy or not? And why are you so arrogant to assume that this procedure was neither invasive or painful. A friend of mine underwent a similar procedure to test an abnormal menstrual cycle, and told me it was extremely painful as it induced severe cramping. She is still experiencing discomfort weeks after the procedure. I truly doubt this was listed in the syllabus, for it would clearly be an act of gender discrimination. As a previous commenter and medical student mentioned, the ethical and academically viable approach would be to employ medical models for these types of procedures. Your attitude belies self-hating sexism, when you accuse women who are brave enough to speak out against sexist abuse of lying. Yeah, sure, medical students have plenty of free time and money to participate in a high profile trial. And why would they risk their future medical reputation with potential employers? People who claim this kind of thing are obviously ignorant of how lawsuits like this usually proceed. It isn’t as if you are going to the Atm to withdraw millions in cash. It takes years usually for lawsuits to be settled. And the whole process is nasty and disruptive to the lives of those involved. I prefer to Gove these women the benefit of the doubt, as they have FAR more at stake if they lose, and battling sexism in Florida’s courts is practically a fool’s errand.

  11. Christine Bennett says:

    This disgusting coercion is much more than invasive! I consider it should be found to be institutional assault. It would appear to constitute technological rape committed against victims, who were subjected under duress!! This whole sleazy operation of degrading practices is, at best, totally unprofessional!!

  12. do not talk about -sex.
    do not see -sex,
    do not hear any thing about sex.
    its good for unmarried humans.

    sex is path way of every life.do not misuse it.

    care less mistake and unwanted thoughts kills mind and life.
    be normal human.

    drop this work .this is against humanity.

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