Consent for Medical Exam and Evidence Collection

  • Consent for medical exam and collection is needed.
  • Review the “Authorization for the Sexual Assault Medical Exam and Release of Payment Information” form with the patient.
  • Respect the patient’s right to change her/his mind at any time before or during the examination.
  • Briefly describe the evidence collection and examination process in order to help the patient understand what s/he is consenting to.
  • Notify the patient at initial processing that s/he will not be charged for either the cost of the Kit or the completion of the Kit, even if s/he is undecided about whether to report the assault to police. (See page 69 for more information). Explain that s/he may be responsible for other medical expenses associated with her/his medical treatment, but also may be eligible for help with those expenses through the Office of Victim Services Compensation Program. (See page 74).
  • Follow your facility’s usual procedures for obtaining consent where the patient is a minor, mature minor, or a person with a cognitive disability.
  • Follow your facility’s usual procedures for obtaining consent in extraordinary cases (e.g., for severely injured or incoherent, including drugged or intoxicated, patients). Any patient who presents with a complaint of sexual assault shall be given the opportunity to provide informed consent to the sexual assault forensic exam prior to discharge.
  • There is no requirement that police be notified in order for evidence to be collected. If the patient consents, evidence can and should be collected as deemed appropriate, even if police are not notified at that time.
  • Note that police should not be present in the examining room during evidence collection. (See page 29).
  • If the patient is undecided about whether to report to police, explain the importance of prompt evidence collection, and that the evidence can be held for 60 days to give her/him time to decide. Explain also that during the 60 day period the evidence will be identified by a control number-not her/his name. (See page 19 for information regarding the creation and use of a control number).


Consent for Police Notification

  • Notify the police of the sexual assault only with the patient’s consent (unless the patient meets mandatory reporting criteria). See child/adolescent section (Pages 52-54)
  • Only verbal consent for police notification is needed. Respect the patient’s right to change her/his mind at any time. (See below for additional information regarding consent).