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Pap Smear Ransom – Is It Ethical to Refuse to Refill a Patient’s Birth Control Until They Come in for Their Annual Exam?

Authors Marchand GJ, Sainz KM

Received 16 January 2020

Accepted for publication 30 March 2020

Published 8 April 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 265—267


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer

Greg J Marchand, Katelyn M Sainz

The Marchand Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery, Mesa, AZ, USA

Correspondence: Greg J Marchand
The Marchand Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery, 10238 E. Hampton, Suite 212, Mesa, AZ 85209, USA
Tel +1 480 999 0905
Fax +1 480 999 0801
Email [email protected]

Abstract: A review of the common but questionably ethical practice of refusing to refill a patient’s birth control prescription until they are seen in office for, and presumably pay for, a yearly examination. This forced decision between making time for the appointment or risking an unintended pregnancy is comically referred to as “Pap Smear Ransom.” This short review examines the limited data to support or decry this common practice.

Keywords: annual exam, birth control, contraception, office gynecology

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