Chaperons can be requested by a patient during a pelvic exam or additional personal procedures that a patient may find uncomfortable, reports HospitalDr. This includes breast and rectal examinations, notes The New York Times. Having a chaperon present may also protect against improper behavior and false allegations.
A doctor should detail the procedure and offer the presence of a chaperon. However, if one is not available the exam can be rearranged. Ethically, having chaperons readily available is suggested, yet most health care providers lack ample staff members, states The New York Times. As of November 2009, many patients chose to proceed with their exams without a chaperon, says HospitalDr.