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[Viewpoint] Virginity testing in professional obstetric and gynaecological ethics

Doctors around the world might be asked to provide virginity testing. The ethical framework for the assessment of the physician’s role in virginity testing is based on the professional responsibility model of ethics in obstetrics and gynaecology and its three core ethical principles: beneficence, respect for autonomy, and justice. Beneficence-based objections are that virginity testing has no clinical indications and has substantial biopsychosocial risks. Autonomy-based objections are that virginity testing might be the result of social and cultural pressures that result in non-voluntary requests and, by being undertaken mainly for the benefit of others and not the female patient, impermissibly violates the patient’s human right to privacy.

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