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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Would you be OK with a GP doing this?

(45 Posts)
confuddledDOTcom Sat 22-Mar-14 20:57:08

Had to take my 7yo daughter to the out of hours GP yesterday. Saw a doctor we always hope not to see (of all the places they can send you to, of all the doctors that you could possibly see... why do we always end up with this guy???) and he did the usual checks, asked to look in her mouth, then asked her to open wider she said no and closed her mouth. He said it was ok, he'd do without and checked her ears then without warning pushed a tongue depressor in her mouth. I've seen them do it to toddlers who don't understand "open wide", it makes them gag and open their mouths wide enough to see but I've never seen a GP do this to an older child who has refused them.

Optimist1 Sat 22-Mar-14 20:59:06

Yes, have seen a tongue depressor used for children of all ages, and even adults.

UnicornCrisps Sat 22-Mar-14 21:00:39

Was she upset by it? I'd be fuming if she was, she's not a baby, there's no need to trick her.

confuddledDOTcom Sat 22-Mar-14 21:00:51

To choke them into opening their mouths?

confuddledDOTcom Sat 22-Mar-14 21:01:28

Yes she was Unicorn, she ended up pretty much wrestling him as she clamped down and wouldn't give it back.

EdithWeston Sat 22-Mar-14 21:01:59

It has to be done by stealth if it cannot be done by co-operation.

If it is a necessary part of the examination, and your DD ignores the instruction and disobeys you, then there is little else that can be done, other han to abandon the consultation. Is that what you would have preferred?

GiveTwoSheets Sat 22-Mar-14 21:04:35

I guess I would if my child was that ill i had to take them to out of hours drs, doesn't help with child hating seeing drs again though. Took ages for my toddler not to scream going through drs door because of having things shoved in ears and mouth, he now lets drs do this and listen to his tummy and back.

UnicornCrisps Sat 22-Mar-14 21:06:20

Instead of accepting her refusal and saying he would carry on without, and then tricking her, he could have at least had a go at explaining to her why it was neccessary and what he was doing. She is old enough to at least try reasoning with.

WooAGhostCat Sat 22-Mar-14 21:07:15

Maybe I'm being thick tonight, but which not upset you? The use of the tongue depressor itself or the fact that she was tricked?
Either way, you took her to be diagnosed, and thats what he was trying to do surely?

Piscivorous Sat 22-Mar-14 21:07:48

So your daughter was ill enough to require out of hours treatment and yet you think it's ok for her to not follow the doctor's instructions to allow him to do his job? hmm

Why didn't you just tell her to do as she was told?

MrsKCastle Sat 22-Mar-14 21:17:33

Dear god. I would be furious. I would consider that assault. She may be a child, and it may have been a medical examination but you just don't do that.

As for what would you prefer to happen- well, for the doctor to explain what he's doing and why, and encourage her to cooperate. If she wouldn't cooperate by consenting to the examination, then the parent should have been asked to consent/ refuse on her behalf, after being fully informed about why/whether it was completely necessary.

confuddledDOTcom Sat 22-Mar-14 21:18:16

If he hadn't have said "that's OK, I can do without" then we would have told her hmm

I never said I was upset, I asked if other people would be OK with it. The bit I was asking about was the gagging a child with a tongue depressor who was old enough to reason with if he had tried instead of saying "that's OK, I can do without".

She is ill, she's an ex-prem, chronic, brittle, silent asthma and has flu which he managed to diagnose without looking in her mouth.

confuddledDOTcom Sat 22-Mar-14 21:20:19

She didn't disobey because he said it was OK.

Branleuse Sat 22-Mar-14 21:22:27

id be ok with it in those circumstances.

zoemaguire Sat 22-Mar-14 21:22:41

Not ok
At all. What message does it give about bodily integrity and respect if a medical professional tricks a child like that? A very bad one I'd say. She is 7 not 2. I'd put in a formal complaint, the gp should know that that is utterly unacceptable. It is not about obedience, I'm shocked that anyone would reduce it to that. It is about trusting that a doctor is not going to do the express opposite of what they said they'd do.

hazeyjane Sat 22-Mar-14 21:28:22

No I wouldn't be ok with it at all.

cafecito Sat 22-Mar-14 21:30:47

well, he should have said 'I need to do this'
however I think it better he had a look than not, something very serious could have been missed especially if sick to be in OOH care

so, I think it was ok on balance but not the best way to communicate it

WooAGhostCat Sat 22-Mar-14 21:31:30

Oh ok I see. Given the circumstances, yes I would ok with it. You know she can be reasoned with, but he doesn't. He was probably just using what he thought would be the quickest most effective technique.

mymatemax Sat 22-Mar-14 21:34:53

I'd be ok with it.
He needed to look in her mouth.

confuddledDOTcom Sat 22-Mar-14 22:34:19

But he told her that he didn't need to look as soon as she said no, he didn't try to reason with her, to ask the adult for help. He obviously didn't need to look in her mouth because he managed to diagnose from checking everything else.

As he said that it was OK and he didn't need to look, how was any of us to know to ask her to open her mouth? Would you have told a child off for not doing something they didn't need to do? Trust me, I have held my children (4 preemies, I'm a pro at this) still for all sorts, doctors always comment on my "assume the position" response when they say they need to do something and I know how the doctors like them held. I have assumed the position many times more than most parents, I have done it and hidden my face in the arm of someone I'm with because I feel a monster but I do it, I have travelled to hospital strapped to an ambulance cot because they couldn't treat my child without it. I have forced them to have treatment far too many times. I have no issue with making sure they get treated in the way the doctor wants to but when a doctor says he doesn't need to check something I'm not going to force them.

Unicorn, MrsK, Zoe - you're saying what I have been weighing up. I am so used to forcing things and feeling the monster of the story that this is one I have been tossing around.

Sarahplane Sat 22-Mar-14 22:43:11

Maybe for a younger child it might be necessary but for a child old enough to be reasoned with he should have explained or asked you to persuade her. A doctor wouldn't do that to an adult. How is she supposed to trust doctors in the future if they lie like that?

Branleuse Sun 23-Mar-14 08:48:26

are all your 7 year olds much more reasonable than mine??
it was important enough to go to OOH, he needed to look in her mouth, and he managed to get a look in a small childs mouth, by stealth.

dont act like it was some practically sexual assault. jeez.

tribpot Sun 23-Mar-14 08:59:32

Completely out of order. She said no (who wouldn't) and rather than explain why, or ask you to intervene, he taught her that doctors will try to trick you into doing things that are uncomfortable (or even frightening). Next time's gonna be a right barrel of laughs, isn't it?

I hope you make a complaint about this doctor; at best he shouldn't be dealing with children in out of hours.

hazeyjane Sun 23-Mar-14 09:27:58

I wouldn't expect a dr to do that to any of my dcs.

Ds (3.8), who has lots of drs prodding and poking him due to being disabled, hates opening his mouth for dentist, or to have his throat checked and will clamp shut. Because of this I will tell him what we are going to do and hold him in such a way that the dr can have a look. If the dr just went in there without warning, I would have words with them.

It's not about saying it is like a sexual assault - it is about trust, and you should be able to trust your dr.

ChunkyPickle Sun 23-Mar-14 09:39:02

No, I'm not OK with that - yes, the doctor needed to see, but tricking (or adults) is no way to build a trusting relationship!

DS (3), despite being in hospital for a week, being repeatedly stabbed (for blood) and fed horrible medicine isn't afraid of doctors or hospitals, because each and every one he saw (pretty much) explained what was about to happen honestly (with my help), and brought him round to what needed to be done rather than just forcing it on him.

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