Sexual abuse under guise of health care presents barriers

Incidence of sexual abuse within health care is estimated to rival levels found within the church and other major institutions, but people who are sexually abused by doctors and other health care workers within the context of health care are faced with many unique barriers that are not present in other settings.  Some of the barriers include difficulties distinguishing what constitutes sexual abuse, a decreased ability to prevent sexual abuse from occurring, and a lack of support and justice for instances when sexual abuse has taken place.

Recognizing sexual abuse
Recognizing sexual abuse within the context of health care can be difficult.  It can be difficult to distinguish between health care and sexual abuse when routine examinations involve genitals and other sexual areas of the body.  But it is the very nature of these exams that places doctors and other health care workers in a privileged and unique position to disguise sexual abuse as something else.  For example, doctors are able to perform exams such as vaginal/rectal/breast exams when they are medically unnecessary, and to then defend their actions by claiming they were being “thorough”, or that they were done for the woman’s own good.  And it can be very difficult to prove otherwise except in rare instances.  For example, Dr. Stanley Chung was brought before the College of Physicians and Surgeons on allegations of frequent and unnecessary rectal and vaginal exams on women, some of whom were virgins.

It can also be difficult to determine when the line from appropriate behavior to inappropriate behavior during an examination has been crossed, especially if the sexual act is subtle.  For instance when the doctor’s hand brushes against a breast as if by accident, or the doctor’s fingers linger a bit too long inside the vagina during a bimanual exam.  In these instances the woman only has her hunches and instincts to support her suspicions.  In other cases it is fairly obvious when the line has been crossed, such as instances where it is obvious that exams are not medically necessary.  For example, a commenter on this site stated: “When I was thirteen my mom suspected I might have a kidney infection and took me in to see a urologist. He told me to cross my arms over my head, held my arms down, removed the paper shield and did a breast exam on me while I was fighting against him.” April 4, 2013 at 4:23 pm Clearly a thirteen year old girl would be considered as not being at risk of breast cancer. Another example is the court case of Wasserman versus Ms. Gugel:

Ms. Gugel alleges the doctor took her into an examination room and sexually assaulted her upon the conclusion of his “consultation only” appointment.  The doctor claims the alleged sexual assault was actually part of a legitimate medical examination, even though he had already examined her the previous day . . .  The doctor also contends the alleged sexual assault was part of a legitimate examination despite his not wearing examination gloves, his smelling his finger after using it to touch Ms. Gugel’s vulva and inserting it into her vagina, and his subsequent sexually harassing phone calls to Ms. Gugel, which were recorded.

Prevention
Preventing sexual abuse within the context of health care can be difficult.  Many women have the reasonable expectation they will be able to trust their health care providers and sexual abuse is not something that is likely to be on a woman’s radar.  However, even when distrust of a health care provider is present, the lack of informed consent involving intimate examinations provides little opportunity for a woman to avoid them.  In fact, the current situation in women’s health allows for coercion to the point of bullying and the withholding of medications and other health services when women wish to decline pelvic exams/pap tests/STD testing.  The power imbalance that is already present in the doctor/patient relationship becomes even more pronounced when a woman feels pressured into invasive exams or is unaware she has the right to say ‘no’, and the opportunity to prevent sexual abuse becomes extremely remote.  In addition, the coercion that is the norm in women’s health care allows increased opportunity for predatory behavior and sexual abuse on the part of doctors and other health care providers.

Lack of support and justice
The effects from having been sexually abused by someone in a position of trust can be devastating.  Dr. Gerald Monk, a professor at San Diego State University, states “Patients can feel especially violated in the context of health care. Not only do patients anticipate being safe and secure, they expect to be healed. Following an adverse medical event, a patient may experience a lifetime of heartbreaking anguish and suffering.”  Juan Mendez  in his work with the Human Rights Association compares some unnecessary medical procedures to torture and states, “medical care that causes severe suffering for no justifiable reason can be considered cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and if there is state involvement and specific intent, it is torture.

Some women who have been sexually abused by a doctor are not even sure what to call it, and in fact sexual abuse when committed by doctors is assigned special terminology and renamed as “medical misconduct”.  When some women attempt to seek help they are often met with a white wall of silence and discover that denial and persistent altercation of the facts are prevalent.  Sanda Rogers, University of Ontario law faculty, in her discussion of failed promise of reform regarding sexual abuse by health care professionals, states: “Patients report abuse. The evidence is there, as is the evidence that abuse is seriously under reported. The legislation provides the health disciplines with the tools necessary to respond to the abuse perpetrated by some members. Instead, the College of Physicians and Surgeons and other Colleges, have failed to ensure that complainants are provided with the support necessary to assist them to survive the process of complaint, investigation and hearing. The drop off rate on complaints by the CPSO, and by other Colleges, is such that almost no complaints and few complaints of sexual misconduct and abuse proceed to a full hearing. Each stage of the process favors the professional and undermines the complainant.”  Sanda also states that complainants  who were interviewed by the College members found the complaint process “an amplification of an already traumatic experience“.

As a result, doctors and other health care providers are often left free to continue abusing for years even after complaints against them are made. Dr. Alan Cockeram and Dr. George Doodnaught are just two examples of cases where many women filed complaints and they were ignored.

Sexual abuse under the guise of health care presents many barriers and can have devastating effects.  Sanda states that “Abuse in the guise of care, enabled by professional status, access and patient vulnerability and dependency, is an insidious and terrible breach of trust and an unconscionable and violent abuse of power and authority“.  Women are often placed in positions where they are vulnerable and left with limited resources to protect themselves from sexual abuse by health care providers.  The women who have been abused and who find the courage to complain are often led through a process that often only fails them.  In addition, women who have been faced with such experiences are left in a place where health care can be viewed as a threat to their personal safety and psychological stability.  In other words, these women are left to cope in a society where health care, for them, does not exist.

images.jpgnd

About forwomenseyesonly

Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
Gallery | This entry was posted in doctor abuse, feminist, health, medical misconduct, pap test, pelvic exam, sexual abuse, unnecessary pap test and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

370 Responses to Sexual abuse under guise of health care presents barriers

  1. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Good for you Coley, I hope he gets a fright too, a BIG gut-wrenching fright.
    Routine breast exams are not recommended in the UK for women of any age, end of story. I can’t see how he could justify his conduct, I suspect he’ll deny he did a breast exam.
    The hospital might try to fob you off or deal with it in-house, taking no real action, are you going to send a copy of your complaint to the relevant official body as well?
    The fact the other women saw different doctors doesn’t matter much, but the fact there was no mention of breast exams is important….confirming they’re not recommended, necessary and certainly not “compulsory”…and were not mentioned by the insurer. The use of the word “compulsory” is important, IMO, he intended to back you into a corner, pressure you into accepting the exam. Predatory conduct, in my opinion…
    Actually, I was thinking if an American insurer mentioned a breast exam (the routine breast exam is still promoted there) and the exam was conducted in the UK, they’d probably have to delete the clause or obtain express informed consent from the patient, “this exam is not recommended, it carries risk and is of no proven benefit etc.”.
    Pleased you’re feeling better already. Now who has the power!

  2. I wanted to let everyone know that I got an email from a male doctor who criticized my article, Tips For Female Patients To Prevent Sexual Abuse In Medical Settings (http://sexualmisconductbydoctors.com/femaletips.aspx) today.

    Here’s what he said to me in the email:

    I noticed your tips like “never go to a male gynecologist”, “never go to a male GI doctor for colonoscopy”,”never let a male EKG technician” etc.

    Here’s a few thoughts:

    I would like to make some recommendations on how you can present your information in a more scientific and accurate manner.

    (1) Instead of saying generalizing and saying things like “many doctors” and “nearly half of all doctors” or “all male doctors” etc., It would be far more accurate and scientific to present the exact percentage of male medical doctors found guilty of sexual misconduct.
    ** Give percentages based on reliable data **
    — For example according to a 2012 census there are 578,478 licensed male physicians in the USA and 264,846 licensed female physicians in the USA.

    Next count up all the cases where a male and female was found guilty of sexual misconduct, do the division and report the percentage on your web site.

    Question: Is it possible that the percentage is less than 1% of male doctors were ever found guilty of sexual misconduct? Do the statistics and present the information.

    (2) Instead of saying chaperone’s do not help and something might happen too quickly etc — please provide some verifiable examples , and then do the statistics again. Figure out the total number of papsmears done every single year by male physicians and female physicians. The number should be over a million for each. Then divide just the complaints by that and present the statistics. It is possible that less than a tiny fraction of a percent had instances of sexual misconduct.

    (3) you mentioned that not all the stories referenced are necessarily accurate. Perhaps you can put up a list of inaccurate stories so that people can know what not to do.

    There are some young ladies out there who are actually in the news for lying. You can read about one story from england at this link http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/6840553/Gynaecologist-attacks-false-allegations-after-sexual-complaint-withdrawn.html

    I think it would be a smart idea to add that to your website so that people will know that not all accusations are true.

    I believe that you will find that after getting the data , instances of sexual misconduct total services provided every year is less than a tiny fraction of a percent. — and that research would show that it is incorrect to generalize to all male medical doctors.

    • Alex says:

      Why doesn’t he find statistics on how many doctors have prevented sexual (or any other) abuse? I guess that would be a pretty damn low number.

      Another point is that he keeps bringing up whether something is “verified” or not, but that largely hinges on a conflict of interest, doesn’t it? Medical organizations calling something for what it is when it doesn’t look good for them? There a lot of determinations that are based entirely on in-house review. Cronyism isn’t just for the White House & if someone’s cut from the same cloth (and, I believe, that’s the point of certification) they won’t be too likely to go after things like that. Not really of a couteractive mindset.

      The point that things aren’t always reported is another thing. Not really a hospitable environment when someone refuses something to begin with, so why would something being reported be met any differently? It wouldn’t be. That’s complaining to the source about the things it causes.

      Someone might not have been found guilty of anything, but that doesn’t mean whatever situation didn’t happen. Interestingly enough, baseless lawsuits & wrongful convictions are something they ARE aware of. I guess there’s nothing wrong that comes from them.

    • Moo says:

      When you are victim of a CRIME you do not want to be told that you are just a statistic. For example a certain number of women are sexually assaulted by strangers. Statically one particular woman might come in contact with any number of strangers per week that do not sexually assault her. Is she supposed to feel alright then that only a small percentage of strangers or even just one raped her?

      Trying to ignore or minimize the problem is wrong. No one should get blamed for being sexually assaulted.

      There can be many reasons why a sexual assault accusation can be withdrawn. Sorry I did not read the article yet.

      Any health worker (male or female) should encourage women to bring their own chaperone (even their partner) at any time to protect themselves for being accused. If they find that inconvenient, then they should seek another profession or just see male patients. I might note that some male patients might also want chaperones to be present.

      This would not totally prevent crime but greatly reduce it. It might also prevent predators from entering certain professions as they know they would likely be caught.

    • Misty, the male doctor who criticized your article was asking you to provide evidence in a “more scientific and factual manner”. What that doctor probably knew was that there are no statistics to support the claims of sexual abuse committed by doctors because IT HAS NOT BEEN RESEARCHED. If you read Sanda Roger’s article: Sexual Abuse by Health Care Professionals: The failed promise of reform, you will discover the difficulties in determining the actual numbers of cases of sexual assault by doctors.

      A self-survey was done in the U.S., where doctors were sent surveys they could fill out and return anonymously. Of 1,000 physicians, 5 – 13% self-disclosed they had engaged in sexual contact or sexual assault of their patients.

      What is know is that cases of sexual abuse are vastly under reported. Certain groups of women are at higher risk for sexual assault, such as women with disabilities, and of those women, 63% reported being sexually assaulted by someone in the health care system:
      “Women with disabilities who are institutionalized at higher risk of being victimized by sexual assault, more than half of their victimizers are those in the health care system. He cites a 1990 study of women in psychiatric institutions, which revealed that:
      … 37% of those interviewed had been sexually assaulted in adulthood;[93] in another 1986 study on women with disabilities, 63% indicated that while they were in an institution, they had been assaulted by someone in the health care system. According to the Canadian Panel on Violence Against Women, the ‘complete powerlessness in institutional settings [also] leaves [elderly women] highly vulnerable to sexual and physical abuse’.” http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/csj-sjc/ccs-ajc/rr06_vic2/p3_4.html

      The incidence of sexual abuse by health care providers rivals levels found in the church and other major institutions: http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.ca/2012/03/medic-sex-abuse-worse-than-church.html

      Here is a recent article on the subject: http://voxxi.com/2013/03/25/sexual-abuse-by-doctors-common/

    • Sue,

      It is impossible for us to have full statistics for doctors who sexually abuse patients. I have gotten a number of emails from women who were sexually abused by doctors, but most of them felt intimidated to report the sexual abuse. For example, I tried to help one college girl to report sexual abuse by her male doctor at the infirmary, but she was afraid to report it. Her mom also encouraged her to not report it because she believed the doctor was just being thorough.

      I can certainly see why sexual abuse in medical settings is much higher than the church. Women take their clothes off in medical settings for medical exams,. Women are less likely to take their clothes off in a church.

      Misty

      • Misty, yes it is impossible and the numbers of articles on the subject are few and far between. It is an issue that is kept well hidden. In my own experiences, the only times I have experienced sexual abuse has been at the hands of male doctors. I never suspected a doctor could do such things though – until it happened to me. I think most women probably don’t suspect a doctor could be guilty of sexual abuse.

        Sexual assault of women in health care goes beyond individual cases. The propaganda promoting pap testing establishes a platform for all women to be at risk of sexual abuse at the hands of health care providers. The fear mongering sets women up to believe they need to be pap tested. No doctor in my experience will tell women that cervical cancer is rare and no doctor will tell women that they have a choice. Pap tests are never presented as a choice. Women are led to fear a rare cancer, believe pap tests will be “life saving”, and are not given truthful information or a choice. With this as the base for pap testing, then a penetrative and intimate vaginal exam IMO is a form of sexual abuse.

    • Alex says:

      Sue- The term for that is “mental vitiation.” They deceive some, thus it’s not them making their own decisions. They con someone into believing that these problems are much more common than they actually are, that these are both safe & effective methods of detecting these issues, and do not mention any risks, inaccuracies, or alternatives to these tests. Deception vitiates consent- that’s an important thing to keep in mind.

      Mentally undermining someone’s autonomy is another point. It’s made out to be defective or immature for someone to have a problem with the mechanics of these situations. It’s not physically wrestling with them, but it’s trying to kick the chair out from under them mentally.

      All of this as a product of someone else’s decision-making is an attack. That’s pretty plain & simple. As a means to an end, it would still most likely be problematic due to the dynamics of the situation- even if everything worked as advertised & there was no compulsion taking place. Someone else acts as though that gets a “failing grade” & is somehow “vetoed” out of existence- but reality is not formed by recognition. Their argument is that something ceases to exist, despite it’s EXISTENCE. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it comes up A LOT in medical situations. Intellectual negation does not generate a transformative influence on the situation.

      I guess you could lump all these things together as social engineering or maybe just subtle tactics. Either way, they push these situations on people & then say “They’re free to make their own decisions.” Except for all the deception, coercion, and other tactics to shoulder someone into things. I guess they “only want what’s best for them” & these people have no right to decide what that is or override the doctor in any way.

    • mary says:

      Misty, you could always point him to the book on Amazon “America’s Dumbest Doctors” written by someone who worked in health care for 30 years and saw it all first hand. But the best bit you could show this male doctor is from a review of the book on Amazon

      “The book is a collection of stories, jokes, statistics and other tidbits relating to the medical profession. Interestingly, the bad or questionable behaviors that see the light of day through this book are overwhelmingly committed by male doctors. The author says, “Every attempt to uncover female physician gaffes has been made…..Sadly, we just couldn’t find very many.” (Note to self: use female doctors whenever possible to greatly increase the chances of avoiding a bad apple.) “

  3. Karen says:

    What a revolting sense of entitlement. No need to REASON, to quote statistics, debate methodologies, a patient-doctor interatcion is not about publishing some academic paper! No means no, no ifs, no buts, and by the way, his argument is skewed, sexual harrassement is notoriously underreported, no one knows how many pap smears are exactly done, etc, I guess he just wants you to feel like a dumb little patient.

    • Alex says:

      That hits a bull’s-eye, Karen! They DO feel entitled to review someone’s decisions & to disregard them at their discretion. They also act like someone’s pushing them around to counter theirs- like it’s bullying them for someone to comport their own medical situation.

      Medical quality is determined by patient satisfaction, not academic value. That is exactly what “beneift to the patient” is referencing: the positive or negative effects that a situation has on the patient. The only one that can know this for sure is the patient, themselves.

      “No means no” only applies to bathrooms & stairwells, as far as they’re concerned. This only applies to someone forcing things that would typically take place in a relationship of some kind. Although, if someone were to forcibly “play doctor” on someone, that would absolutely be assualt- regardless of gender, occupation, or designation.

  4. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Statistics would be unreliable anyway, sexual misconduct usually goes unreported, of the women who believe they were assaulted in the exam room, how many make an official complaint? Reading through forums, I get the impression most women don’t report these things. (and doctors know that) After a bad experience with a doctor, women might avoid that doctor or all doctors, might insist on a female doctor in future, and may carry trauma for years. I think many cope by pushing the experience out of their mind or telling themselves they were mistaken.
    I agree also, that coercing and misleading women into pap testing, pelvic or breast exams is an assault. The system exposes women to risk by ignoring informed consent and consent itself.

    • Elizabeth (Aust),.

      I agree with you. Most women never bother to report sexual abuse. One of my friends is in her 40s now and she is still traumatized by how she was sexually abused by a male gynecologist when she was 14 or 15. She has some lasting emotional damage which is very sad.

      Misty

  5. Mary says:

    Yep Misty that’s the one. Not only does the book show that male doctors are more likely to sexually assault their patients, but they are also more likely to commit all sorts of other crimes as well. I think it’s about time the medical profession stops pretending that there is no difference between male and female doctors because clearly there is.

  6. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Why should medicine be any different? Most sexual assaults are committed by men, full stop. Doctors also, have more opportunity to assault and take advantage…and shape it as thorough medical care. Every time I hear of a young woman being pressured to have an opportunistic pap test, you have to wonder, I certainly do…a pap test provides Intimate access, places the woman in a vulnerable position, provides the opportunity to view up close and to touch. The bonus…they get target payments as well. When the system ignores informed consent and ofen consent itself,, that gives predators free reign.

    • Alex says:

      Exactly right on everything, Elizabeth! It’s not going to change just because the situation moves into a different arena. It’s like “it’s not an insult if someone has an accent.” It’s the same thing at a different angle.

      I’d add in that it IS possible for a woman to be a lesbian or bisexual (or just hate someone for being prettier, younger, whatever race, etc…). It also seems that women that are too old to have children of their own don’t really worry about any risks to that ability for other women that can. Not 100%, but there is that aspect as a potential.

      “Free reign” is exactly the right term. It’s sometimes seen as something different than an attack in that environment, I guess because of an association with doctors, nurses, and medicine. The definition is different than the situation.

      You know what’s odd? All these same things, if it happens in another country, is seen as a problem. If someone were to go to Mexico, for instance & all these same things were aimed at them, they’d see it as an issue. They’d also see it as an issue if these were the things that were done in that country (like the different things about Muslim countries that people talk about). Now it’s oppressive & it’s an attack regardless of the designation & they’d start wondering how other things go in that country (“If this is what flies in that situation, what happens in any other one?”).

  7. Karen says:

    straightforward female genital mutilation advocated by doctors in the usa until the 1960s:

    “Female circumcision in the USA

    Clitoridectomy and other circumcision-like operation on girls and women had a longer career in United States, where doctors deplored Baker Brown’s disgrace and The Medical Record defended him with the question “What now will be the chance for recovery for the poor epileptic female with a clitoris?” [11] There was also a vigorous attempt to apply the theories of Lewis Sayre – that many nervous diseases were caused by a tight or non-retractable foreskin – to women, and a number of doctors urged that girls also should have their clitoral hoods excised if there was any suspicion of adhesions of the accumulation of “secretions”. In 1892 another defender of Brown (he was “almost on the right track”), Dr Robert Morris, went so far as to suggest that, since 80 per cent of American women suffered from preputial adhesions, all schoolgirls should be inspected to ensure that proper separation between prepuce and clitoris had occurred. He was apparently confident that most of the girls would require surgery, and added: “The separation of adhesive prepuces in young unmarried women should be done by female physicians anyway, and such physicians can be abundantly occupied with this sort of work”. [12] It was a valiant effort to expand the market for medical services, and he must have been disappointed that his suggestions were not more widely taken up.

    Even so, articles on the virtues of female circumcision continued to appear sporadically in American medical journals until the 1960s, and there are regular reports of girls or women being subjected to various procedures, particularly the shortening of their labia or clitoris when parents or a husband judged them “too long”. As with circumcision of boys, the medical case for female circumcision has always contained a strong element of cultural or aesthetic preference.”

    http://www.historyofcircumcision.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=category&sectionid=13&id=76&Itemid=6

  8. Karen says:

    “Nearly all obstetrician-gynecologists would conduct bimanual pelvic examinations in routine visits with asymptomatic women across the lifespan for the vignettes presented (Figure 1). Nearly all respondents indicated that they would perform the examination in the 55-year-old despite the absence of her ovaries, uterus, and cervix, and over half believed it to be very important for this woman. ”

    http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(12)02070-4/fulltext

    I purposefully have posted this in the sexual abuse thread. What else would this be?

  9. Karen says:

    From the same source: ACOG recommends annual pelvic examinations in all women aged ≥21 years, stating that “no evidence supports or refutes” performance of the examination in asymptomatic, low-risk women; the reasoning behind performance of the examination is not defined.3

    What a joke.

    • Alex says:

      “Reasoning undefined” sounds an awful lot like “no comment” at a press conference. I guess they don’t define their reasons (not that they matter) because the reasons are malignant. Ulterior motives aren’t very marketable & I don’t think too many women would see it as medically valuable. Also, have you ever noticed how things are always at whatever age is more or less considered to be adulthood? A lot of things aren’t safe for someone UNDER 18 (and 21 has somewhat replaced 18 as the “adulthood line”). I guess because someone could be charged with harming a child/minor, which is seen as worse than harming an adult. Maybe there’s also the angle of defense that “they’re adults, they make their own decisions”- even when the doctor is imposing their own. I guess coercion & deception is impossible when someone reaches the age of adulthood?

      Interesting side-note: The age of consent is somehow pertinent but consent, itself, is not.

      The also can’t say “I know it’s a problem, but I like problems.” Not without revealing themselves to be an enemy. So what happens? The situation gets made out to not be a problem & maybe someone else is being cruel for acting like they are the “bad guy.” Which would pretty much require reality to take a coffee break to be true- again, not something that’s going to be openly stated.

      It’s a pretty sneaky tactic & I guess you’d call that “implicit reasoning.” That “this” or “that” would have to be the case for something to be true (and like I’ve said before: there tends to be a bit of a knee-jerk presumption of honesty & accuracy that gets used on people). It always amazes me how sneaky these people are & yet other people act like it’s not a deliberate thing. Yeah, everything’s an accident so there’s nothing to feel bothered by on that level (no sense of someone being “after you”).

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      If there is no evidence to support performing pelvic exams then why are they still performing them. A medical test, especially such an intimate one, shouldn’t be performed if there isn’t clear scientific evidence supporting its validity. It’s also interesting in your above link to the research study that some of the Dr’s responded that they perform pelvic exams for reassurance of the women. The reason that any woman would request a pelvic exam and need that reassurance is because Dr’s have stated for years that it is an important screening exam that is fundamental in women’s health care. Now am I to conclude based on those Dr’s responses that they aren’t performing pelvic exams because it is an important medical exam but they don’t really know why they’re performing them beyond it being rote and to reassure women. Further evidence against the presumption that the medical system is based on and practices from sound scientific research and methods.

  10. Karen says:

    Exactly, it is so arbitrary in this context, 18 and 21. No-one who is not a dimwit can believe girls at 18 will suddenly get cancer unless a good doctor jams their fingers up their vaginas. It is not only about the “rights”, ie consenting to the abuse of the scumbags, but about the “duties” of adult, they must maintain good adult bodies, ie object them to surveillance and the weird grooming.

    • Alex says:

      Yeah, “duties” doesn’t imply a decision. It’s like an approval rating & the girl/woman will get smacked in the face emotionally if she doesn’t do as directed. Oddly enough- if she doesn’t leave an overbearing husband or one that hits her, she’s being stupid.

      Like I said in a different post, that’s called “mental vitiation.” It’s really shocking that women do it to other women (and on the doctor’s behalf, no less). They get pissed if they’re not given equal pay or if someone says they can’t do something a man can do, but someone can make their own decisions with her body (or her kids’, relatives’, friends’, etc…). I really don’t mean to act like these are good things, but they’re considerably less severe.

  11. Moo says:

    The bimanual exam apparently is supposed to determine if the uterus is retroverted or whatever. This information really is not that important. The position of the uterus can change in pregnancy and even from some yoga exercises. So why would a woman need that every year?

    Sticking fingers up vagina and a us are supposed to detect restocele or whatever is bulging, however if that is bad enough to need surgery or treatment a woman would complaining about it. Just ask a woman if she has trouble with constipation or sees blood in feces or dark stools instead of jamming fingers up those orfices.

    Why do the genitals need to be inspected under a bright light? Ask a woman if she has warts or anything bothers her. If it is bad enough she would come in to see about it.

    As much as I find Pap tests useless, self paps just make more sense to me. Some women do want them they should have them. But I think that a male doctor should consider that HE might be the problem and a female to do Pap tests or take swabs for bacteria should be offered as an option. Just a greedy doctor wants to be his quota for incentive payment, nothing about a woman’s health.

    • Alex says:

      Yeah, I guess the doctor’s not convinced that someone isn’t lying to them. They figure they’ll investigate as they please & determine whether or not the dynamics are a problem (and, of course, something of that nature being imposed is only an issue in a stairwell or a crackhouse).

      Speaking of which: When one of my cousins was little, she fell & cut her face at the store. She goes to the hosptial to get stitches & they make her take all her clothes off! Supposedly they were wondering if she had brusies from getting hit at home. I wonder what kind of tests they do if they suspect my uncle was “playing doctor” on her? This also happened with one of the boys (my mother’s cousins, so I guess second cousins?).

    • Alex says:

      Just saw a book called “For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts Advice to Women.” Might be very interesting & it certainly seems to mention a lot medical things (along with the other things going on in the background that swayed these situations).

      It’s by Barbara Ehrenreich & Deirdre English and it really does look good.

  12. Moo says:

    There seems to be the trend towards useless testing and record keeping, useless to the patient anyway. So ask about constipation and that justifies “consent” to a rectal exam that the patient is not really asked about, told why the test is being done or given any advice to remedy the condition. Would this take up too much time? It enables the abuse to take place and also “justify” the exam in the medical records. It is not the health care is want.

    Naturopaths will interview a patient for 60 to 90 minutes intially but assess all the problems a person might have. Then after the most urgent issues are addressed then they usually have about 3-4 45-30 minutes per year to prevent health issues. Medical doctors will set up opportunities to abuse later and they only spent 15-20 minutes doing a physical, no counselling, just record keeping. They do not seem to have time, just only “come back in two weeks” so I can abuse and bill you later.

    I suppose naturopaths could abuse patients as much sexually as any medical doctor. Just seems that more of them go into that profession to heal rather than to make money or abuse. Some chiropractors seems abusive and greedy to me though. I wonder if there is less abuse by doctors in countries where medical education is free or greatly subsidized?

  13. Karen says:

    Alex- the “For Her Own Good” book is really good. It specifically mentions pelvic exams in the context of “the crisis of the feminin” so that they are about assessing the patients reaction to penetration, because healthy women able to function in a nuclear family need vaginal orgasms and need to enjoy penetration. Finally one discourse in which the pelvic exam makes sense!

    • Moo says:

      What? Sex is not all about penis-in-vagina stuff. Lesbians have been complaining about this in regards to healthcare prejudge forever. There are asexual women who just want healthcare for their reproductive parts and have no intention of using those organs for procreation or even recreation. Yet they are treated the same. There is too much of assuming that heterosexual sex is normal and homosexuality or a sexuality is a disease. It is not!

      What I am protesting is the bimanual exam is rather useless, not informed and results not reported to the patient. So it is misused and done as a matter of routine rather than helpful as a diagnostic. How many doctors have told you why they are doing a bimanual exam and I your uterus position.

      Having a retroverted or otherwise mail positioned uterus does cause menstrual pain, endometriosis and other problems yet these issues are rarely related. Certain yoga positions, Mayan pelvic massage, belly dancing, better posture can help reposition the uterus.

      Uterine prolapse is a great problem to older women and restocele and other conditions a concern to many. Yet how many women have preventative measures discussed with them at doctor’s consults other than “do Kegel’s” . I think that too many surgeries are beng done on women just to make money. Not enough prevention is done in healthcare and I do not consider cancer screening as prevention at all.

      Pelvic exams are mostly an opportunity for doctors to abuse not to educate about health or even sometimes diagnose unless some expensive therapy could be prescribed.

      No faith in healthcare. I do not trust my doctor either. I have trusted very few doctors.

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      Moo, it isn’t just most gynecological surgeries that are often unnecessary. It is estimated that every year that millions of surgeries performed are unnecessary. The reasons are Dr incompetence or lack of training in less invasive alternatives, their personal bias of surgery is the only option, personal profit, and in some cases it is malpractice criminal behavior. I don’t mistrust Dr’s but I am certainly aware of their bias and that their knowledge is often limited especially when it comes to newer research findings and alternative/integrative health.

    • Alex says:

      Well, the conditions of that penetration doesn’t cease to exist. That is a HUGE factor & the idea that the husband & wife will have a good sex life after prior trauma is somewhat doubtful. Never mind any role-playing scenarios.

      I was going to say that doctors think by adjucation & try to “edit context” because they’re of the mind that reality is what they say it is (that it’s this personality trait presenting itself in their behavior). I was also going to say they figure they can edit their mistakes out of the situation & now they’re not wrong and that applies to wronging someone as well- because what happened didn’t occur.

      I don’t think either of these things is really true, though. They definitely see when the situation isn’t going their way. They deliberately formulate tactics to generate this effect in counteraction of someone else. They deliberately figure out ways to lie & otherwise manipulate people to cover their tracks. It’s not accidentally presenting things as a fixed situation, using false claims, attempting to induce fear or guilt, or simply doing things to someone in their sleep. Mental vitiation is more subtle than physcially fighting someone, but it’s still an outside orchestration of whatever situation (and there can be a variety of them).

      So I figure outright malice is the baseline reason. Altruism doesn’t produce ownership, but pretending to be charitably inclined might make someone feel guilty about treating the assailant like an enemy.

      One other thing: look at the background for all these different things in history- torture, slavery, general arrogance, self-serving deceptions, unrelated deductions that may or may not have been false to begin with. Not really a lot of reason to presume that there will be a lot to gain from them, anyway. I guess sometimes the prospect of a missed opportunity for something that may have been useful can really get to people, but it can also chain someone to a bad situation. Someone keeps thinking that there will be something there for them at some point or that someone will one day tell the truth, but it doesn’t happen. It’s like a compulsive gambler, but with different subjects.

  14. ColeyX says:

    Hey ladies,

    Thought I would give you an update on my situation. After I sent my complaint, I got an email the next day just letting me know that the hospital had received it. Then at the beginning of the following week, I got a letter from the hospital’s chief executive, basically reassuring me that they were taking the case extremely seriously and that they would do a full investigation. He said that they would be taking a full statement from the doctor and they would contact me as soon as possible.

    On Monday the complaints manager at the hospital sent me an email saying that they had spoken to the doctor and taken a formal statement. She said that they would like me to attend a formal meeting where I’ll be able to expand on my points and have to answer questions regarding my statement. She said I’ll be shown a copy of the doctor’s statement so that I can comment on it.

    Initially they wanted to do this meeting tomorrow but I’m shooting all day tomorrow, so I asked them to have it next Monday. Earlier today I spoke on the phone to the complaints manager just to make sure that the doctor wouldn’t be attending the same meeting. She said he wouldn’t, which is what I presumed anyway, but I wanted to check, because I was concerned I’d lose control of my emotions if he was there. I’d probably slap him lol. The complaints manager sounded like a very nice woman and she said she was going to be at the meeting. I asked if they’d got a copy of the medical report the doctor made for my physical and she said they had.

    The significant development so far is that the doctor put on the report that he DID perform a breast exam on me. I’m guessing that he wrote in his statement that he just offered the exam and I accepted it or that I actually asked him to do one. Just the thought of him blatantly lying like that makes me angry! Anyway, I’m going to attend this meeting on Monday and just tell them exactly what happened and answer whatever questions they have.

    I really should be going to sleep now lol

    Hope you all had a great Christmas and lovely New Year! xx

    • Alex says:

      That’s great, ColeyX! Hope it goes well.

      I figure your story speaks for itself, but keep in mind that they might try to retroactively alter the story (“Well, is it possible that you asked for him to perform this exam?” or something similar). Things that throw you for a loop mentally are bread & butter tactic with that kind of “person.” It’s confusing BECAUSE it doesn’t make sense- that’s the point (I guess the overall idea would be called “mental vitiation”- like a mental version of what a fight is physically).

      Anyway, thanks for the holiday wishes. Merry Christmas & happy New Year to you, too.

  15. Mary says:

    Great news ColeyX. I wonder if he added the breast exam to the report after he heard about the complaint. I have had doctors “doctor” my records in the past.

  16. Moo says:

    I doubt much will come of the investigation because no one died, they are not being sued, the police are not involved etc. that doctor might be wiser or just continue abusing. The abuse survivor, I am sorry to you but now we all know more about exams, that we have the right to with hold consent at any point in treatment or examinations.

    • Regardless of the outcome of the investigation itself, I am sure the process will make the doctor extremely uncomfortable and less likely to abuse in the future. Not many women lodge formal complaints and as Elizabeth has said, doctors know that. So whenever a woman takes the necessary steps to file a formal complaint, it decreases the risk of abuse and helps to protect future patients.

  17. Chrissy (UK) says:

    Coley X, I would be interested in his medical justification for performing a breast exam on an asymptomatic young woman. I would also be interested in his reasons for checking your heart and lungs without your bra on. He is skating on very thin ice. Well done for filing a complaint as it certainly re-addresses the power balance – I hope at the very least it gives him one hell of a fright.

    • Alex says:

      Not to criticize, but even if there WAS some potential utility in doing that it doesn’t “justify” them applying this action of their own accord. If someone was at work & the boss coerced them into being topless & letting them grab her chest is sexual harrassment (or coercive attack, either term works). They frequently seem to think that their “attaching riders” to something makes it medically important.

      I really do think that the doctor feels that the patient does not determine what does & does not happen to them. They feel that they, themselves, are independant & do as they choose- the patient comporting the situation in a different manner is now “bullying” them. I’ve found there’s no way to argue with someone like that, they can only be counteracted.

    • Alex says:

      Jsut thought of something: You know when doctors or different publications say things like “women AVOID getting ____”? Well, I remember someone saying that it sounds like they’re doing something wrong by doing so & it does seem to be the intention.

      I was thinking if maybe it was phrased (by other people, of course) that they are “ESCAPING” something (whatever things happen to be referenced, because there’s a few) that would depict things a bit more accurately. I figure the problematic nature of the situation would ring true for a lot of women. I guess it doesn’t get outright stated as an issue, since there’s various views that it’s immature to think compositionally or to have bodily autonomy or self-protectiveness.

    • Moo says:

      Stethoscopes work perfectly well over light clothing. There is no reason to ask for a bra to be removed either. I had previously put up some reference to a study on that matter. This doctor might want to invest in a better stethoscope and learn to use it properly. Saying that the breast exam was compulsory is the huge issue here.

      I hope he fries.

  18. Mary says:

    Exactly Chrissy. Do male models get testicular exams when they go on modelling assignments?
    I searched all over the web the other day trying to find UK guidelines for breast exams for asymptomatic women and I could not find any mention of them. This obviously means that are not meant to be done at all so I can’t wait to hear how he is going to justify this.

  19. Chrissy (UK) says:

    Alex,
    I agree that even if the breast exam was medically indicated, he should still not have imposed it as mandatory. My point was that if he is unable to clinically justify the exam, then the board looking at the complaint are more likely see it as an abuse of his position and a serious breach of trust.

  20. ColeyX says:

    Hi everyone,

    I went to that meeting this afternoon that I was talking about. All in all, there was pretty encouraging news.

    The hospital review panel said that they would finish their investigation and let me know on Thursday whether they thought this case was serious enough to refer to an independent panel – put together by NHS England. They said that after their investigation so far and everything I said today, that they were LIKELY to take this next step and refer the incident.

    They said that I was right to have made a complaint and that my concerns were legitimate. Apparently this independent panel will determine the extent of any wrongdoing and whether any disciplinary action should be taken. But it’s not guaranteed to get that far yet. I’ll have to wait till Thursday.

    About the actual meeting, the whole thing was relatively pleasant. There were three other people, the hospital CEO, the complaints manager and a legal representative. The general vibe from all of them was quite positive and understanding – the complaints manager (a woman) complimented my boots lol.

    They gave me a copy of the doctor’s version of events to read through. There were two main points here.

    Firstly, he said that he initially listened to my heart with me having my bra on, heard some noises that could have indicated turbulent blood flow, THEN asked me to take it off to check more thoroughly in case of a murmur. He lied. I explained what actually happened, that he told me to take my bra off BEFORE listening at all. They actually seemed more concerned about this than the breast exam. I distinctly remember the CEO saying that it would be extremely unnecessary to listen for heart noises so carefully at a routine physical since I had no relevant history, and that usually you can do so without removal of the bra anyway.

    Then we spoke about the circumstances leading to the breast exam. The doctor wrote that he offered to perform a breast exam in order to be thorough and that I accepted the offer. Another blatant lie. I told them how I initially refused the exam but that he said it was ‘compulsory’ for the physical and that he ‘needed to do it’ to finish the medical report. The legal rep (also a woman) asked, if I felt that uncomfortable, why I didn’t just leave? I told them that in hindsight that’s exactly what I should have done but, at the time, I knew I needed to pass the physical to go on the trip for my shoot, and that I felt too intimidated to really do anything. They all said that if this was true then it would be a serious breach of trust and that even if what he said was true, it was still inappropriate to even offer the exam – since the NHS doesn’t recommend clinical breast exams for young women.

    So that’s basically what happened today. I hope you’re all enjoying the New Year. xx

    • Alice (Australia) says:

      Coley, thank you for the update.
      I am very glad that the panel was treating you with respect; and that even if that sleazy doctor manages to wiggle out and convince the investigators that he wasn’t lying and you consented to the exam, he will be in trouble anyway — this exam should not be offered to young women, full stop.

      Great effort Coley! Thanks to people like you we have a some chance of getting rid or reduce medical misconduct. :-)

  21. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    ColeyX
    Thanks for keeping us posted, I’m so pleased it went well.
    I think this doctor is in big trouble – also, you now know you were assaulted in the exam room, your instincts were 100% correct – you know he’s “doctored” his statement. He can’t tell the truth, it would incriminate him, but his version of the events is hardly believable, if you’d agreed to an elective breast exam, you wouldn’t be complaining now. (doctors need to understand even making the offer is unacceptable. Doctors don’t offer men a quick routine check of the testicles, do they?) He can’t get away from the fact that routine breast exams are not recommended, and saying the exam was “compulsory” amounts to coercion. Personally, I feel the matter should be referred to the Police and not just a disciplinary board, this man assaulted you and that’s more than misconduct, it’s a criminal offence. I’ve never understood why abuse by doctors can be dealt with by the profession and treated as something less than assault.
    Anyway, this man did not get away with it, he’ll have to be very careful in the future. I wonder whether there have been other complaints about this man. Your actions have probably spared other young women from the same abuse.

    • Alex says:

      Another interesting point: If someone, patient or not, comes into the doctor’s office & starts touching them, much less self-electively probing them, that WOULD be handled by the police. If they reported it, that is.

      I’d be very cautious of the police, though. A lot of the stuff they do runs a very close parallel with the types of things doctors pull- sometimes they’re getting doctors to do it for them, in fact. They might not like the idea of someone going against that sort of thing. They also seem to be the ones advising women not to fight back if someone tries to rape them, as well. Just keep in mind that it might be a bit of a coin-flip with them.

      I know I’ve mentioned this type of thing before, but if you read about what happened to that diplomat from India you might get a bit more of an impression of what you’re dealing with. This woman was a DIPLOMAT & still they decided to strip search her (and, apparently, probe her repeatedly). If that’s how they’ll act in spite of the fact that the law seems to forbid it, how are they going to be when the law DOESN’T forbid it?

      This was considered “standard arrestee intake procedures” & getting arrested doesn’t depend on having done something- an arrest is part of “sorting things out,” yet this would be worse than what it proportionate to most crimes if they DID occur.

  22. Moo says:

    Why didn’t you leave? another blame the victim excuse.

  23. I wanted to share a link to statement of a former patient of Dr. LaFuria, a male gynecologist who abused numerous women at http://www.kplctv.com/story/24400629/statement-from-former-lafuria-patient-released.

    • Alex says:

      I can’t believe he only gets 8 years for that. I bet if he kidnapped the judge & didn’t do anything else, strange or not, it’d be a lot worse.

      For whatever “abusing a juvenile” means in this case, he should get death. I’m usually the type to distrust varius charges from law enforcement (a major part of that is because they do these sorts of things, themselves- officially & unofficially), but given all the surrounding circumstances I’d say pulling the trigger is pretty sinless.

  24. ColeyX says:

    Hey everyone,

    I was told today that the hospital review panel WERE going to refer my incident to the independent NHS panel.

    The hospital’s complaints manger called me to tell me this earlier today. She said that their review decided that, at best, this doctor had behaved inappropriately and unprofessionally.

    I asked her what happens next and she said that the NHS panel will decide whether or not to impose a sanction – usually an official warning or a period of supervision. They could also decide to take this to a GMC (General Medical Council) disciplinary hearing or even refer it to the police. The independent panel are going to meet on January 28th and she said I should hear what they decided on the 29th.

    She was quite honest and said that it was unlikely the independent panel would get the police involved, given that there is little evidence regarding the opposing statements – at one point she actually used the phrase, ‘Your word against his’. I forgot to mention this last time, but they told me on Monday that there haven’t been any serious complaints made against this doctor before. She was really nice about the whole thing though.

    I’m actually quite happy about how this is turning out. My aim was just to get an official complaint on record against him – firstly to discourage him from doing something like this again, and secondly, to scare him lol. Now it looks like he might actually get some sort of punishment – even if it’s just a minor one, it’s still something and he’ll be terrified of the consequences if he does anything like this again. I’m hoping this whole thing is making him lose some sleep lol.

    Thanks again everyone for your words of support. xx

    • Alice says:

      That’s still good news Coley.
      The doctor will get a complaint record, and if he ever does anything of the sort again and the victim acts like you did – he will not get away with it next time, for sure!

      I wish more women behaved like you did. That would mean the doctors would not only think twice before doing anything nasty, but it would also make it much easier for the next victim, it it comes to it at all.

      I hope it also helped you feel better: you took actions, and you won. You punished the wrongdoer, and that made you a winner who will keep the victory in her memory, rather than a victim who would have to live with bitter memories of being violated (most women end up being the latter, unfortunately).

      My sincere congratulations! ;-)

  25. I was very disturbed about what happened to this lady who went to ER for stomach pains at http://www.mysexualabuse.com/threads/uncomfortable-pap-smear-exam.664/. It is so ridiculous that a male doctor in ER told this lady she needed a pap smear when she came in for stomach pains. Pap smear is a test for cervical cancer and not for stomach problems. I wish that this male doctor had been charged with sexual abuse. It is easy for patients to be taken advantage of in ER. There are also some other comments that you all may be interested in reading.

    Misty

    • Alex says:

      Yeah, the E.R. can be a very dangerous place. They decide to comport a situation according to their discretion (which can mean anything) & then act like they are being attacked if someone tries to alter the course of that situation. If someone is wounded it puts them even more at a disadvantage, just like if they trust these employees & find out suddenly that they are now a threat.

      “We don’t have time, we have to save lives” type of arguments abound. They “don’t have time” for what, exactly? To NOT molest the patient? Or to NOT waste other people’s crucial time with things that would be superfluous even if it had been consensual?

  26. Moo says:

    Some people tend to confuse or misuse the term Pap test for pelvic exam. A pelvic exam might be indicated for a women with abdominal pain because the cause could be etopic pregnancy, PID, miscarriage but many other questions would be asked as well. It could be appendix but even just a bad case of gas.

    A Pap test itself would be ridiculous and just opportunistic. It a tumour in the uterus, vagina or cervix was large enough to cause pain it would be felt or seen during a pelvic exam either feeling or seen with a speculum exam. Then an ultrasound would ordered. Pap test which is cytology (looking at cells under a microscope) would not be too help in a critical situation.

  27. I wanted to let you all know that Dr. LaFuria, the male gynecologist who took pictures of women’s genitals was sentenced to 8 years in prison according to http://www.wwl.com/Louisiana-Doctor-sentenced-for-photographing-patie/18145731.

    Misty

    • Moo says:

      Sickening enough. This doctor got caught taking photos and videos of his unsuspecting patients.

      There are probably thousands of doctors and medical staff or others doing this and not getting caught. The penalties are high enough – not being able to practice medicine (or do they just move to another jurisdiction).

      How many doctor’s office, mammogram and ultrasound clinics, change rooms and washrooms have secret cameras in them?

      Colposcopies are video recorded. I find this disturbing.

  28. Si says:

    Another gynaecologist sex offender grooms his vulnerable patient into an unhealthy relationship. Once again he was a known sex offender inside the walls of the medical patriarchy yet still allowed to practice. Unfortunately Jezebel blames the perils of cyber space and not the institution that has worked to create these creeps in the first place.

    http://jezebel.com/the-terrible-tale-of-the-sexting-gyno-1501445820

  29. I encourage you all to look at my comments about sexual abuse in medical settings at http://bioethicsdiscussion.blogspot.com/2014/01/patient-modesty-volume-62.html#c5689772697975267576. Look at how Dr. Bernstein responded. I encourage you all to consider posting comments to support me.

    Misty

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      I read over on Dr Bernstein’s blog and I think his intentions are good and I like that he is teaching his students about modesty. Unfortunately at other times I don’t think he gets that violations of modesty and of bodily autonomy in the medical world are not uncommon. It begins with informed consent. Recently I was at the Dr and again I was presented with the word “have to” and it was only after I refused that I was informed that I could. Ethically any medical test or procedure has to be presented with the option of refusal. To not present the option of refusal and to go ahead is a violation of bodily autonomy and could have psychological implications for the patient. Modesty and sexual assault are also not two separate issues. Sexual assault or assault is not always exhibited with overt behavior but is about power and control over someone. That power and control can be not providing informed consent, exposure when it’s not required, exposure beyond what is required, or not providing adequate coverage or proper draping. A medical professional who has the mind set of being in control is not going to be concerned with a patients modesty.

      • Alex says:

        It’s a self-defense concern, not a modesty issue. I can emphasize enough how it comes off like it’s other than an attack. It’s never called a “modesty concern” if someone fights off an attacker in the bathroom & that’s the correct category for this kind of thing.

        Take a different situation, for instance: If there were a bunch of patients getting poisoned by doctors & nurses, the article would probably be titled “Patient Safety” or “Dangers of a Hospital Stay,” right?

        An article titled “No Means No, Doctor!” would be a good one. I would vey much like to see a flood of articles that flat-out say things that are argued against all the time: Properties DON’T change by designation, that medical risks ARE still risks, that medical personnel imposing things of this nature is an IATROGENIC ATTACK.

    • ADM (Canada) says:

      I have to ask that my comments here not be posted on other forums without my permission. It was never my intention that my post here be posted on Dr Bernsteins blog.

    • S.D. says:

      Hi Misty,
      I used to go to Dr. Bernstein’s blog and I commented there a few times. I came to regret both actions.

      In my opinion, whatever good intentions he may espouse, he JUST DOESN’T GET IT. He is much more an apologist for his colleagues than an advocate for his patients. How else does one account for his frequent assertion that systematically oppressed patients need to “speak up”?

      I appreciate your excellent efforts at being an assertive advocate on his blog. You have raised excellent points, and I admire your courage in doing so. I also really like your blog. I wonder if you would consider having a “comments” or “discussion” section on Medical Patient Modesty? It would be good to have somewhere in addition to the Bioethics blog to go to discuss these issues.

  30. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    I don’t post on Dr Bernstein’s forum either, I do recommend Dr Joel Sherman’s blog though, he does listen and he’s taken some brave action on our behalf. (“Informed consent is missing from pap testing” which was published on Kevin MD and the WSJ) He also, tackled the female doctor who closed a thread on her blog when women started questioning the need for pap tests. (can’t stand her, she’s deleted a few of my posts too)
    I haven’t posted over there in a while…but I shouldn’t forget his site and BlogCritics were the first forums that didn’t delete or make changes to my posts. We all know what happened at BlogCritics, I suspected they would come under pressure to get rid of the thread and silence so many informed posters. I simply don’t believe it’s taken this long to reload the comments. Too many powerful people would have wanted that thread gone.
    I doubt that will happen at Dr Sherman’s site.

    • Alex says:

      That thing with Blogcritics was both suprising & not suprising. There was so much in the way of information that someone might just benefit from it! I hope more people start putting up sites that include these subjects. I’d think pregnancy sites & really anything that mentions different medical things would have them. I’d strongly suggest for this to come up in conversation enough for it to be commonplace & remembered (not ALL the time, but frequently).

      It doesn’t even have to be strictly dedicated to this topic- it could just be “peppered” with different things. I do this all the time in conversation, actually. Saying “it’s your body, your rules” is pretty multi-use & it comes up at a few different angles. Same with “properties don’t change because of designation/a situation is what it consist of.” Can apply to pretty much anything.

      If someone just so happens to mention that “a lot of things that are “suggested” to women don’t work as advertised” while talking about various conditions that someone might think they have. That these tests have low utility & high risk just rolls right off that starting point. One can very simply say that “even if something is a means to an end the dynamics of that method might be an issue in itself.” “It’s not immature or defective to have bodily autonomy & self-protectiveness or to think compositionally,” runs right off of that.

    • Alice says:

      Luckily, the lost comments from BlogCritics have been saved and re-posted in the new Unnecessary Pap Smears blog by the hostess of this web site!

      Big thanks to Sue for dedicating hours of her time to help other women to find the vital information!

      Google will index the new location and the other women will be able to find the comments.

  31. I wanted to let you all know about this sad story: Cop ruptures 16-year-old’s testicles during frisk at http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/cop-ruptures/#axzz2rX0YPojQ . A female police officer ruptured this teenage boy’s testicles. This boy had to undergo surgery. This should have never happened. It is not just the medical profession that you have to worry about.

    Misty

  32. Karen says:

    From 2012, a point in time when pretty much every major news outlet has published the growing research that pelvic exams are not evidence based, and never have been. What excuse does Jezebel have to blatantly perpetuate what essentially is medical rape, by giving the victims patronising survival tips? “The key to a good pelvic exam is communication. “…? Oh excuse me, just shut up!

    http://jezebel.com/5878551/how-to-prepare-for-a-pelvic-exam-if-youre-a-sexual-assault-survivor

  33. Karen says:

    A quote from among the comments: “You can request pediatric instruments, to have a friend present, or valium.” It beggars belief. Benzos are super addictive, and going cold turkey can actually kill. Messing with something powerful like valium to go through this disgusting, dangerous, humiliating exam based on no whatsoever scientific evidence, and not done in most of the western world….

    • Karen says:

      An other comment: LdfzjtletatxUbeth441L
      I have a friend who had skin cancer on the inside of her labia minora, which was identified during a pap smear / pelvic exam. 1/23/12 7:20pm
      How many men worry about skin cancer under their testicles…? I would like to know what drives this utter irrationality when it comes to women who allow these revolting exams.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Yes, the focus is firmly on our reproductive organs and breasts, while heart disease remains the top killer of men and women. (lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer)
        Women are conditioned to fear their own bodies, view them with suspicion so they readily hand control over to the medical profession. I think medicalizing the asymptomatic female body occurred when the medical profession was made up almost entirely of men, so menstruation, childbirth etc. were all viewed as medical issues (rather than natural and normal) and things to be controlled by doctors for our “own good”.

        Also, the skin cancer found during a pelvic exam, did this really help the woman? It might not have changed a thing, the same outcome achieved if she’d eventually found it herself. Also, some cancers never progress and are not worth finding – many thyroid, kidney, breast and prostate cancers fall into that category. Almost all “abnormal” cells removed form the cervix would not progress to invasive cancer. No other part of the body is subjected to such close and regular scrutiny right through life with every “abnormal” result monitored and most women eventually biopsied and many end up “treated”. This insane focus on the cervix means an in-tact cervix is now an endangered body part.
        Also, I don’t do anything that exposes me to risk to screen for a rare event and skin cancer on your labia would be a rare event.
        I’ll stick with the sensible approach, cover the basics and focus on the real threats to my life. I also, enjoy life and don’t want to waste time (and nervous energy) having unnecessary exams/tests/biopsies/treatments. Life is far too short. I cannot imagine how horrible it must be to have a medical life, regularly climbing into stirrups, having biopsies and “treatments” etc.

      • Alex says:

        There’s actually a book called “For Her Own Good.” Don’t know if you guys know about it, but it covers a lot of history.

        It really is shocking that people that do these kinds of things are considered trustable. The focus on how doctors treat women is a bit of an indicator of how things might go, in general. “Iatrogenic harm” is not a commonly known term (at least in America- I know I’ve always had to explain what that meant), but it does kind of slip a general theme into joint.

        Women, I think, are more self-critical than men & that gets used against you in a couple of ways. The simple theme of “your body is trash” is one & Elizabeth just referenced it. Another one is that she’s immature, stupid, or otherwise defective for self-protectiveness & thinking compositionally. Same goes for not outsourcing her decisions to others.

        Another one is guilt- that’s a button that gets hit quite a bit, particularly in medical settings. Ever hear of the concept of “purchasing?” What it means, in this case, is getting someone to feel increasingly guilty & figure they deserve scorn/detriment/etc… . This isn’t to say that nobody should ever feel guilty about anything or that nobody ever has it coming, but it’s possible to just act like that’s the case without a groundwork of honesty being there.

        Speaking of purchases, there’s also the sense of actual consumer satisfaction. Someone feels like they made a good purchase & didn’t get scammed. Of course, in this case, it’s a bit more than a scam- considering dynamics.

  34. Karen says:

    Doctors giving healthy women dangerous and addictive DRUGS (valium is rather sought after in the black market) so women allow them to penetrate their vagina… excuse, me are they not afraid of litigation? They seem to fear it so much when someone wants the pill without a pap smear.

    • Alex says:

      So they give someone something that is very addictive, in combination with probing them? Sounds an awful lot like the pattern of getting someone hooked on heroin & “playing doctor” as the fee when they try to get some more. Might not be too easy to get their hands on an arbitrary prescription.

      When they mention legal problems if they give someone the pill without probing them, here’s a good response: “No, you won’t get into any trouble for that. You WILL have trouble for coercive iatrogenic assault & reproductive endangerment, though.”

      For a coup de grace, you could add: “Properties don’t change because of designation- just like if a doctor poisons someone with a needle, it’s still murder.” I think that would sound like a courtroom argument that they wouldn’t have any room to bullshit people (and thus, couldn’t win)- they can’t very well say “A situation is NOT what it consists of & what happens ISN’T what occurs.”

      • Karen says:

        “reproductive endangerment” hahaha, thanks for this concept!

      • Alex says:

        You’re welcome & it’s my pleasure! It’s one of the major reasons I post on this site.

        I very much love to put holes in their bullshit & chop down their efforts at “assaultive interfaces.” That’s a good term for anything that goes against you, really. I notice a lot of people seem to not know what to say when this sort of thing comes up & usually the term “humiliating” is what’s used. That doesn’t seem to quite cover it, though (especially becaue it sounds, at least to me, like someone sees themselves as lower because of other people’s actions).

        I hope this doesn’t come off as condescending, but if you want a few more:
        (1) Something being “antagonistic to your alignment” is when something is against the grain. Hard to phrase the problem of it clashing with you, but not being pain-related.
        (2) Someone being “sexually confrontational” is a good way to describe someone being an antagonist on that level.
        (3) The “constituents” are what something consists of, just like ingredients (don’t know why it’s not called “constitutents”).

        A lot of this is just simply putting words to the situation by describing it, but a lot of these aren’t really common terms- so it doesn’t pop into someone’s head to use them.

  35. Jamie says:

    This is why I’ll never go back to the obgyn. I’d rather die before being bullied, harassed, & lied to.

  36. Jamie says:

    The number 1 killer in women is heart disease, yet doctors don’t scream for women to go to the cardiologist every year. Cervical cancer is rare. Why all the hysteria over a rare cancer? I’ll tell you why, MONEY! I’d rather die then subject myself to that bullshit test.

    • Alex says:

      Keep in mind that heart disease is facilitated by hysterectomies, so there’s yet another situation of biological undermining right there. “Oh, this isn’t a problem- but lets cut things out of you, anyway. This, in itself, causes other problems? Oh. Well, is your insurance going to be paying for all this, or… .”

      Outright malice can be another reason, as well as general pervyness. Don’t forget assorted issues with women. Or with life, in general. That, of course, would aim quite a bit at women- particularly toward certain areas.

      It’s very respectable that you’d sooner die than lose your life in the form of other people hi-jacking it. Things along these lines tend to stick with people, it doesn’t matter what the variation is.

  37. Karen says:

    http://www.babycenter.com/400_my-best-friend-is-33-and-never-had-a-pap-smear-and-refuses-w_13072678_95.bc

    Again utter idiots commenting:
    “How did she ever avoid it all this time anyway? She must have a very detached and unattentive family doc! If my family doctor noticed I had never had a paptest or pelvic exam, I can assure you I’d be in the stirrups that day, even if I had just went in to get antibiotics for a cold! This poor woman slipped through the cracks of our healthcare system and never had any follow through or comphrensive care in her life I guess. Either that or has avoided doctors her whole life, but I highly doubt that. ”

    Does it not occur to these people that it is none of their business? I bet the best friend of the poster has presented EVICENDE (there is plenty) about how damaging and useless these fishing expeditions are- why can’t she just accept it? How dare these people police and bully someone they call their best friend? Why does it hurt them this much someone choses to live differently? I do not buy it that she worries for her- then she would respect her autonomy! Sounds like a frenemy not a true friend. (Mines bitch together with me when it comes to such oppressive, costly and dubious practices and the NHS cervical screening programme. Actually one of them has sent me the crying boy poster in an email accompanied by very, very crude swearing. My boyfriend has gotten very angry about that poster too, and he agrees with me about the futility of such “healthcare”. What a lucky, very lucky girl I am!)

    • Alex says:

      That woman is outright stating that the doctor makes their own move & the patient doesn’t decide what happens to them. And she’s acting like it’s a deprival for someone to NOT be in this situation, themselves. What a bitch!

      Did your “friend” actually sent you that poster & curse at you?! That’s unbelievable (well, not really)! Try asking if she wants to do the honors herself- I bet that causes a bit of jam. It’s really only as vulgar as the situation is, because they’re trying to orchestrate all these things going on.

      Try accusations, too. If you were to bring it up like this: “Do you want me to have something happen to me that’s against my alignment?” or “Do you want me to get a disease/injury/miscarriage?” Someone’s got to pretty directly clash with you at that point & can’t say “I just care about you.” As you said: they’d respect your autonomy & also they’d actually take into account the composition of the situation. If they really cared they’d be able to drop the previous esteem they held something in.

      Not to tell you how to do things in your relationship, but have you ever told him how lucky you are to be with him? Things like that really can make the guy’s day in a big way.

      • Karen says:

        Alex- just to clarify, my Friend has cursed because the poster made her so angry. She knows much better than to ever have these revolting tests (or to try to bully me)…

    • Ro says:

      There was also another very disturbing comment which said something to the extent of: “How can you be okay with a 33 year old women never having a pap? She’s never really gone through a rite of passage to womanhood. This is something a mother goes through with her daughter. I didn’t want my first exam but what woman does? None of us but our mothers made us go, went with us, and got us on birth control ‘just in case’. Everyone has sex and I am sure this woman has and will. She could have cancer or STDs who knows. She should be on birth control, even if just to lower risk of cancer. It’s an essential part of women’s healthcare. I don’t think women should be able to refuse these exams and they should be mandatory. It’s going to end up costing society more in the end.” Some of that was taken directly from the comment, some of it was paraphrased. It truly is disturbing that women think this way. As for birth control being used to lower cancer risk, it lowers the risk for some cancers but increases the risk for others. Not to mention it can cause blood clots and any time you put any sort of chemical or medication into your body, there are some sort of side effects. Some aren’t severe or even noticeable, but it always alters the body in some way. Furthermore, birth control should be a personal decision. What about those who don’t believe in using it because of their spirituality or religion? That should definitely be respected. Not everyone has sex. There are people who never have and there are people who never will. Some are asexual and some choose to be celibate. That’s life. Lastly, I don’t understand how a woman refusing gyno exams costs society. Also, I’m very concerned with the comment that these exams should be made mandatory. If you want them for yourself and have made an informed decision – then more power to you! That being said, everyone should be able to choose how they take care of their bodies. Some people are very medical and rely on science. Others take a more holistic approach and think of things from a more spiritual and natural perspective. All should be respected. Not taunted, bullied, or harrassed for making an informed decision.

      • ladyprotips says:

        Ro,

        I’ve always found it so strange that mothers force their daughters to get pelvic exams. I know I started seeing an OB/GYN when I was 11 simply because everyone in my family is in medicine and I knew her personally from social things, so I asked if she’d be my doctor. I didn’t know what gynecologists actually did, just that she was a doctor for women and she delivered babies. She tried to make me get a Pap smear then, but my mom told her she was full of it. I’ve never really been delusional about Pap smears. My dad is a pathologist and he was always very open with me about HPV’s role in cervical cancer, and I always knew a fair bit about it simply because my mother was one of the very very very few who had cervical cancer at 25 (we know this because my dad was the one who diagnosed it). It was caught completely by accident, she had been seeing a gynecologist every month since she was 14 (she had a deformed reproductive system and her period had no way out, so they had to deal with it every month until she was able to get vaginal reconstructive surgery). Because if all of this, I was very confused when I suddenly couldn’t get my birth control anymore when I was 18. I remember being in the nail shop and talking about it, and my nail lady said with horror, “You haven’t had a Pap smear yet?! You’re 18!” I told her that no, and I definitely wouldn’t be getting one until at least 21, probably later since I knew I wouldn’t be sexually active at that point. Her response? “But honey you HAVE to get one. Your parents are going to miss you so much!” My mom told people like that (and there were a lot who tried to tell her that her cancer was hereditary) that they could fuck right off.

        I was talking to a friend about this (she wants to do ER med, I want to do OB/GYN), and she said she could never do GYN because she could never deal with mothers trying to force their daughters to get checked out. She said she’d get too angry. I know I fully plan to threaten to call CPS with every mother who tries it with my future patients. It’s so unethical to allow someone to give consent for a procedure of any kind to happen to someone else’s body.

      • Ro says:

        ladyprotips – I’m sorry to hear your mother got diagnosed with such a terrible disease (as well as the deformed reproductive system), especially so early on in life, but I’m glad to know she ended up being okay! I’m glad to know your mother always stood up for you! Mine always has as well. Recently (as in the last 20 or so years) it’s become the norm for girls to go to the gyno as soon as they get their first period, even if they’ve never been sexually active and are asymptomatic. It’s wonderful that you’ll be standing up for the rights of your patients (and it sounds like your friend will be too)! If only there were more doctors out there like that; willing to stand up for people. I’m not saying there aren’t doctors out there who do, it’s just that you rarely hear of it.

      • Karen says:

        Ladyprotips- I just imagine the nail shop lady and the other nosy strangers shouting at a 18yrs old girl “you haven’t been sexually assaulted yet?!” “You haven’t had your vagina penetrated against your consent yet, haven’t been coerced into allowing strangers to violate you.. but that’s the rite of womanhood!” Would she have reacted in such a manner, if she had caught you, say, eating trans-fats mixed with sugar from a bucket? I bet no… but not having these exams, this downright outrages these mob of responsible women, and they react so out of concern for the life and well-being of a total stranger, for whose boundaries and bodily autonomy they show no whatsoever respect.. aha, sure…

      • Alex says:

        Ro- You’re totally right about everything. Whoever posted that is a complete piece of shit! Look how she (?) talks: Especially about the part that these tests should be forced & woman shouldn’t be able to refuse being probed! If a guy says something to the effect of: “The only choice the woman should have is whether the lights are on or off,” that sets off some warning bells, doesn’t it? Willing to bet it was the FATHER pushing this on the girl, that would be considered everything that it actually is.

        And “How can you be OKAY with…?” Seems like someone presumes being a combined person. One more thing: who cares about what the costs are to a society that would do these sorts of things? That’s like worrying about an enemy losing their paycheck!

      • Alex says:

        Karen- I got a good laugh out of your post (because of how stupid those people would look). It’s interesting that people criticize the middle east about virginity testing & such, but the same sort of thing in another country is not only acceptable conduct- it’s applaudable!

        They’ve got a strange concept of womanhood. It fits in with that whole liberated/independant/strong theme to be commandeered by doctors or whoever else that acts this way? Very impressive. Not at all something to ridicule or, more accurately, ridicule BACK.

        Why don’t women hate the other women that are trying to bully and, indeed, molest them? It seems like women tend to start directing that hate inward & then sabotaging themselves as if they deserve these things to happen. I’m not trying be scathing or anything, but never understood that. It’s like the concept of honor in all those Japanese movies: where someone treats someone else badly & that is somehow reflects badly on the person they did that to. That someone is dishonorable BY treating somoene badly that doesn’t deserve it.

      • Alex says:

        Ladyprotips- That’s good that you’d block the situation & report them for doing things like that. It’s child abuse to do something like that- just like if they were to do that themselves.

        It’s pretty shocking that more women don’t just ahndle things themselves. Plenty of women cut their own hair & wax their own legs- I’d think a situation like this it’d be even more of a pertinent thing. Never mind that cutting your hair wrong doesn’t cause miscarriages!

  38. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    Alex
    It makes you realize how successful these programs have been, many women fear even mentioning they don’t have/want pap tests or mammograms, why?
    I don’t see the same level of fear, intimidation and concern if we choose not to have bowel screening.
    It’s the control thing that changes the dynamic, the medical profession makes decisions for women, they control us and our bodies, we’re expected to do as we’re told. These attitudes have been normalized in women’s healthcare, so many women see it as appropriate, they’ll side with the medical profession and attack and judge the non-compliant or questioning woman. The release of real information is regarded as reckless and dangerous, why? Because “they” have decided all women will screen, it’s just a Q of “capturing” us, and anything that empowers us to fight back is a huge threat.

    Amazingly, even in 2014, most agree real information is a threat to these programs and so, inappropriate. Even in the UK with more discussion about informed consent, women are still being treated like farm animals at the surgery level. “Screen or you can’t be my patient” etc.
    This is not screening, it’s a misuse of power, to deny us our rights; they accept risk on our behalf…resulting in lots of worry, distress and harm.
    It shows you just how powerful these groups are…that so few women even today take the time to check the evidence or even view screening as an option, something we can reasonably decline. I recently read an article on falling screening rates and it was disappointing to see so many women say, “I know we have to screen, but why can’t they develop something less invasive”…etc.
    There is that word “must”…we’re been told that for decades so most accept screening is something we MUST do. (of course, there is a non-invasive option, but it’s not being offered to women)
    Some of the most intelligent women I know are passionate screeners, (quite a few have been “saved”…of course) they spout the screening “story” and lecture women from their moral high ground, IMO, they’ve been completely conned. I think it takes a certain type of mind to look at this subject with an open mind…despite the never ending propaganda, pressure and lack of real information.
    That’s why I’m sure the people on this forum share a few valuable traits…and one of them is probably: I think for myself, I do not blindly follow the herd.

    • Alex says:

      Yes, it certainly does. The whole MUST thing always shocks me. After all, what happens is what occurs. I’m pretty sure if any of these women were told you MUST forgive your husband if he cheats on you or punches you in the face, they’d take issue with it. Certainly, there are no “MUSTS” in the bedroom (there’s plenty of things this could apply to- including “playing doctor”). That weird “reverse down-trodden” mentality that a lot of people have is always startling. It’s like it’s not being self-controlled to not be controlled by someone else.

      I imagine a lot of women do make arguments, particularly when they’re young. Even when people make an argument & really hit the nail on the head, what happens? What happens is people start grasping at straws & saying things like “Well, why MUST someone not do this?” or “Why does someone HAVE TO protect their kids?” or whatever uses the same wording the other person used to present their argument as wrong. Usually, it’s making their argument out to be something that undermines self-defense, oddly enough.

      It suprises the hell out of me how many people don’t really get that there’s no way to say soemthing so that someone else can’t lie or twist your words!

  39. ColeyX says:

    Hi everyone,

    Yesterday I was told the verdict of the independent panel that reviewed my complaint. They ruled that the doctor had committed a wrongdoing and issued him an official warning.

    I’m happy that this is over and that it ended on a positive note. Like I said last time, I’m sure he’ll now be scared of doing anything like this again.

    Thanks for all the help. I’m sure I’ll post here again. x

  40. Chrissy (UK) says:

    Coley X, that’s a really good result. He will certainly think twice before he does anything like this again. You are to be applauded for having the courage to make an official complaint, as most don’t and I have no doubt that you have saved other women from having to endure this type of abuse in the future. Well done!

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      I agree, but it frustrates me that a man who basically uses his position to take advantage is treated differently to others. I wonder if he’s had other official warnings.
      I also, wonder whether this is a clever way of the hospital “dealing” with these matters, keeping them from the heavies, the Police or Medical Council.
      Call me suspicious, but that’s what many organizations will attempt to do, the Church did it for decades, “dealing” with these matters in-house.
      Not to take anything away from you, ColeyX, you’ve done an amazing thing for women, you stood up to your abuser.
      Also, from an evidentiary point of view, it was his word against yours, (I offered the exam, she agreed, I was being thorough v your version (the truth)…I know who I and most people would believe…)
      He could argue his only crime was not knowing routine breast exams are inappropriate and no longer recommended, so he was out-of-date and needs a refresher. (I wonder how many routine breast exams he offers to 60 year old women) Also, I imagine many UK doctors are still tacking routine breast exams onto consults for the Pill etc. So when there is medical “casualness” with the female body, it facilitates predators.
      Thank you for keeping us posted and yes, it will remind him that it’s never safe to take advantage, the woman might just be another ColeyX. Good luck with your career.

  41. Moo says:

    Probably he will not stop. He will only get better at picking victims who will not complain so he will not get caught, I hope someone else on staff at that hospital knows about what he did and checks up. Apparently if a doctor knows about another doctor abusing a patient, they are obliged to report them. However in reality how often will this happen.

    I applaud the young women who went thorough with the complaint. I do not think that the punishment was harsh enough. However maybe he will have this on record and hopefully next time he gets caught something will happen.

    • Alex says:

      Congratulations to ColeyX!

      Either one is possible. I think he should have gotten into the same trouble that anyone else would get into if they were to be groping a woman on a train or something, at least. It’s not right that when they do something the reaction to it is diluted. It’s like this: “Oh, you’ve proven yourself a threat & can’t be trusted. Well, here’s a response that impedes nothing & carry on.”

      Maybe he’ll be driving & worrying about how he had a complaint filed against him & he’ll crash into a tree. Problem solved.

      • Nicely put Alex: “Maybe he’ll be driving & worrying about how he had a complaint filed against him & he’ll crash into a tree. Problem solved.” :)

        ColeyX good for you! It sounds like it was a lot of hard work and I appreciate being able to share in feeling empowered and vindicated thanks to your efforts. Thank you for sharing your story and for letting us know the good news.

      • Alex says:

        Glad you liked it! I DO hope for these things, but my luck is rarely that good.

        I’m curious about something: When you discuss these things with people, what are their reactions like? I know it can vary widely from person to person, but do you generally catch a lot of bullshit in response? If so, what do you hear?

        I’ve noticed frequently that when I’d discuss these things it was like I was saying something they always wanted to say, themselves. I guess calling something for what it is or simply bolstering autonomy (particularly with this type of subject) is something women tend to like. I’ve also noticed that the women that are closer to my generation (mid-20s to early 30s) are much less down-trodden in that way.

        Oddly enough- so are some of the older women (70s to 80s)! Whenever a discussion came up that was about things of this nature (newspaper articles, plots of T.V. shows, mentioning one thing to explain another, etc…) they seemed to be more real about things. They didn’t think a layer of bullshit changed anything, basically.

  42. A male gynecologist in Pennsylvania has been charged with indecent assault (http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/NW-Pa-gynecologist-charged-with-indecent-assault-5210506.php). This is exactly why it is wise for women to avoid male gynecologists.

    Misty

  43. ColeyX says:

    Hey,

    Just a couple of things I wanted to share. First is this revolting story of a podiatrist that made women unnecessarily strip and filmed them.

    http://metro.co.uk/2012/12/20/foot-doctor-asked-more-than-100-patients-to-strip-3326052/

    The shocking thing is, the police found 137 tapes that he had hidden but still didn’t prosecute.

    The second is something that a good friend of mine told me about recently that actually relates to my case. She sent me this link. It’s a video of a model called Leilani Dowding having a live breast exam on TV.

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/269977/lelani_dowding_breast_examination/

    She was relatively famous here in the UK a while ago, mainly for being a Page 3 model in The Sun. Initially I didn’t want to watch it, but curiosity made me. It was done on a daytime show called This Morning a long time ago, to raise breast cancer awareness.

    I praise her courage for being brave enough to do something like this on national television but the whole thing is super creepy. One thing I noticed was how the doctor kept his hand on her back almost the entire time. She looks uncomfortable. For all I know he’s a complete professional and didn’t have any inappropriate thoughts but isn’t it possible he was enjoying the opportunity to touch a topless model? Maybe joke with his friends about it after?

    Leilani deserves loads of praise for subjecting herself to such a humiliating process to help raise awareness but it seems like the show just wanted a ratings boost. What do you guys think?

    • Alex says:

      Story #1:
      The foot doctor thing is appaling on a lot of levels. Sure, someone shouldn’t just go along with something just because the doctor says it or tries to do it- but that doesn’t excuse someone for making the attempt. Someone’s not off the hook if they strangle someone & say “Well, I’m innocent because they didn’t get out of it,” either. No big suprise that the cops didn’t go after him for that, but that’s me. Maybe they were paid off?

      Interjecting arbitrary comportment into a medical situation so as to permit visual access to, or any kind of contact with, sexual areas is still an instance of iatrogenic attack. They are steering the situation to go this way, that’s exactly what “comportment” means. They’re not being coercive, deceptive, threatening, or anything subtle- they’re just being direct in their methods. [Which is somewhat of a subtle tactic on it’s own, isn’t it? This is a little bit like someone getting punched in the face in the hosptial, instead of being chemically sedated, as an attack to render someone unconscious.]

      I guess it doesn’t strictly have to be using medical techniques to do something like that. If someone were to go to a doctor or hospital to ask them questions about allergies or something & the doctor told them to get naked so they could have this conversation, that is definitely acting inappropriately. They are steering the medical situation in a pervy way.

      Story #2:
      I think that model was just trying to score publicity points. Over here in the states, it’s suprisingly common for a celebrity to do a porno in a subtle way (they’ll make a sex tape that just so happens to get “lost” & then they’re super famous- if they were at all before).

      If she were to do something to raise awareness about iatrogenic attack or things not working as advertised (could have sworn there was something about breast exams along those lines, too), then I’d give her credit. Why didn’t she whip them out & show women how to do this for herself? That’s, at least, a trustable situation (since a woman isn’t going to sabotage herself). She still could have been topless.

      What about the potential for misdiagnosis, overtreatment, and complications? Any & all of these things can happen deliberately or accidently. Probably deliberately considering:
      (1) That there’s repeat costs from additional procedures & follow-ups (possibly with incentive payments).
      (2) There’s plenty of potential for ulterior motives for men as well as women & that might just include getting a thrill out of lying to someone or screwing up their life
      (3) The simple fact that the medical curriculum that these people are trained in might very well be be garbage to begin with- “Blue Ribbon Bullshit,” as I call it.

      Also, I don’t figure that this would be all that difficult to demonstrate on some kind of doll. She definitely seems reluctant & one would presume this isn’t something she’d want to do- maybe that’s supposed to ba an attention-grabber? Like the idea of: “If someone does something counter-intuitively, it must be a good thing.”

  44. Moo says:

    On the topic of hidden cameras in doctor’s clinics.

    If there is camera in the reception area fine but it should be obvious because it is supposed to deter crime. There many even be notice CCTV in use. However cameras are not supposed to be used in areas where there is an expectation of privacy such as washrooms, change rooms, examination and treatment areas. It is illegal unless consent is given. A patient might request that an exam by a doctor be videoed for insurance purposes but the video will be the property of the patients lawyer. Also if a doctor has child patients and videos them undressed it is making child pornography. These are serious crimes.

    Look up nannycam and you will see that wireless cameras are available that are hidden in clocks, smoke detectors, plants, toys, books etc. how would anyone know if they were being videoed at all?

    • Alex says:

      You know what’s weird? Kids get into all kinds of trouble for sending pictures of themselves or someone their own age over the phone (that whole “sexting” thing) and that’s considered child pornography. Yet, when someone has hidden cameras in their office where they do all kinds of inappropriate things, that’s not considered wrong OR evidence.

      Apparently there’s some risk, at least in some places, where people getting pictures developed that have nudity (even if it’s their own) can get arrested for it! One wouldn’t presume that though. One also wouldn’t presume that the cops/doctors would put them through all kinds of things that actually ARE assaultive in that way. What they did hurts no one & didn’t even involve the surrounding community.

      I’d say forced naked posturing, much less imposed probing, are much more threatening to the person & society in general than people taking naked pictures of themselves. This is especially true if this is done to kids.

      • Moo says:

        I am quite sure that using a hidden camera to record images or video of a medical procedure where someone is naked or partially without consent IS A CRIME in my country. How often doctors are prosecuted, what investigations are done, what evidence needs to be collected, how the crime is detected and how many complaints filed – —- all a huge mystery.

        But now I am going to be aware of what nannycams are on the market. I am going to refuse some exams from certain practitioners and not remove clothing. However who is to know that even a woman practitioner could be unaware her employer or landlord has installed spy cams? Is there some way?

  45. It is so sad about how this doctor: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/toronto-doctors-aggressive-exams-unprofessional-but-not-sex-abuse-committee-rules/article16793993/ did 18 breast and pelvic exams on a woman in two years and the committee did not see this as sexual abuse. This is exactly why it is hard for doctors to get in trouble.

    Misty

    • Alex says:

      I honestly think it’s more that they see sexual abuse as a good thing, rather than not seeing it when it occurs.

      If he decided to “go rogue” or be a “renegade doctor” with pretty much anything else (especially if it was something like giving a patient something that actually worked to kill cancer) he’d be gone. This sort of thing, it’s up to him to customize things as he sees fit- if that happens to fly in the face of what is set down as medical guidelines, so be it. Isn’t it interesting that they “suggest” things to the doctors, but the doctors “require” things from the patient. Or maybe they just “mandate/order/demand/command/dictate” things?

      The doctors basically think that they can act at their own discretion, damn the composition of the situation & the results. They figure it’s someone pushing them around to comport their own medical situation. A warped psychology, to say the least. Imagine pointing that out to them? They’d just accuse you of being that way- since there’s no way to say something so that they can’t lie or twist your words on their own.

      Also, a lot of their ego rests on having expertise in something that’s NOT bullshit- if it IS bullshit, however, that’ll kick the chair out from under their arrogance. Their addiction is cut off at the source. They figure that this schooling makes them superior to the patient & that this means that their decisioons outmatch the patient’s. So it would also kick the chair out from under what they see as a means of countering the patient.

  46. Look at how a male doctor who was addicted to pornography took pictures of patients and children in surgery at http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/11026189.Dirty_Swanley_doctor_Barend_Delport_struck_off_for_taking_indecent_photographs/. This is exactly why all surgery patients should have maximum amount of modesty. There are so many surgeries such as knee, tonsillectomy, etc that should not require patients to take their underwear off.

    Misty

    • Thanks Misty for this interesting link. I agree all surgery patients should have maximum amount of modesty, and also think they need to be aware of the potential for misconduct. At least in the case of Dr. George Doodnaught some justice was served:
      “Dr. George Doodnaught, the Toronto anesthesiologist found guilty of sexually assaulting 21 women while they were under conscious sedation in hospital, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday.

      In delivering the sentence, Judge David McCombs called the crimes “shocking and abhorrent.” He said “a very substantial sentence” was necessary to send a clear message about the abhorrence of the crimes, which he called “reprehensible in the extreme.” http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/dr-george-doodnaught-gets-10-years-for-sex-assaults-1.2550308

      It was encouraging to see the hefty penalty handed down by Judge David McCombs. Too often these cases are dismissed/excused/covered up and all too often the implicit message is that it is acceptable to “mistreat” women in healthcare settings.

    • Moo says:

      Myou can refuse to take off clothing if it will not interfere with the day surgery. I was told that if something happened and I had to be taken into the operating room then they would cut it off or blood could get on it. Fine. I can replace clothing but not my dignity when my modesty is denied me.

  47. Check out this article: Let’s Stop Denying That Doctors Can Be Sexual Predators (http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/beverly-akerman/george-doodnaught-rape_b_4873644.html).

    Misty

  48. Check out the story of a woman who was sexually abused by Dr. Doodnaught, the anesthesiologist in Toronto at http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/02/28/why-victim-of-toronto-anesthesiologists-sex-assault-wants-you-to-know-her-name/.

    Misty

    • Moo says:

      The Doodnaught’ crime. He was denied bail during the trial. I cheer that. Two victims challenged the automatic victim naming ban and came forward. They were not afraid. All victims of sexual assault in Canada can have a name ban and some will never testify in court especially if they are children or have disability.

      I heard a few women had complained that something happened to them but the hospital said it was just the effects of the anaesthetics. It was only when one women went to the police with evidence (semen on her face) that the investigation started.

  49. ColeyX says:

    Hey,

    The Sun Newspaper here in the UK did a campaign two days ago called ‘Check ‘Em Tuesday’ to raise breast cancer awareness. They formed a partnership with a charity called ‘Coppafeel’.

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/check-em-tuesday/5489308/90-survive-if-diagnosed-early-on-so-remember-to-Check-em-Tuesday.html

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/check-em-tuesday/5483734/how-to-check-your-breasts.html

    There was a mixed response but mostly positive overall. Even some anti-Page 3 campaigners have praised The Sun for backing a good cause. But lots of people, inc other charities, have criticised the campaign for trivialising, sexualising the issue etc.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/breast-cancer-charities-criticise-the-suns-new-page-three-check-em-tuesday-for-trivialising-the-disease-9168517.html

    Personally I’ve got mixed views. I think it’s great that a popular media outlet is promoting a great cause and if even one girl checks herself after seeing this and catches it early, then it’s worth it. I know all the girls in that header photo personally from shoots I’ve done and they’re all lovely. They’re obviously doing it with the best intentions, as is the paper.

    But I do think it’s a bit awkward using a young model like Rosie (even though she’s actually almost 24, not 22 like it says on the cover) when the condition generally affects middle aged/older women. Using pictures of a model in her pants weirdly sexualises & fetishises breast exams in my opinion. It seems like the way they presented it is aimed more at men.

    What do you guys think?

    • Alex says:

      I don’t have anything against women checking themselves for lumps & such, but if they make normal stuff out to be a “warning sign” it puts things “back in the doctor’s hands”. Sorry for the pun, but it’s literally true.

      Using the hot models might be geared directly at women (like using good-looking people in any advertisment). Also, it might be geared at women through men (like when they did that guilt-trip campaign with the crying child- except with a different subject). Now it’s about linking this to the quality of attractiveness. Just like when letting someone else make their own decisions with your own body is inaptly linked to “empowerment.”

      Also, it would be potentially likely that the guy might not argue with the hot girl in the magazine, so he wouldn’t be as likely to be a source of support. You can bet that some guy looks at that magazine as something to take in the bathroom with him (even if it’s not as revealing as others, it’s just different from the typical magazines). Kind of like how someone can see all kinds of stuff in Playboy or Hustler, but a celebrity nip-slip might still draw a lot of attention.

      I think it was a real “sex sells” approach. They definitely didn’t go with the three chicks at the middle of the page!

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Actually clinical breast exams and breast self-examination have not been recommended in the UK, Australia and in many other countries for many years, neither is of any proven benefit, but they lead to anxiety and excess biopsies.
      Breast awareness is being promoted now, just taking note of the look of your breasts in the mirror every morning after showering and seeing a doctor if you notice any changes.

      They often use images of young women having mammograms as well, why?
      It certainly has the potential to mislead and confuse: should young women get mammograms? Also, I agree with you it does combine sexuality with medicine and that’s never a good thing. Papscreen used a sexy campaign to promote pap testing here, I thought it was inappropriate, but then IMO, everything they do is inappropriate and disrespectful.

      • Alex says:

        I hesitate to ask , but how did they use a “sex sells” angle with that?

        You know what else is annoying? How it comes off like a woman’s a prude if you aren’t on board with that kind of stuff. Also, it’s like a guy is supposed to be so mindless that a good-looking woman in (or out of) a bikini can get him to approve of anything. And then the guy being that stupid is a gripe on it’s own!

        I don’t think it’s really appropriate for them to try to sell anything. In this case, it’s a high-risk, low-utility way of dedecting something that’s massively rare. All this would be a problem no matter what dynamics were involved. Invasiveness is it’s own problem, and I’d think even as a means to an end- that would be a problematic methodology. If imposed, however, that is a pretty serious attack.

        Regardless of however “low-key” the manner of doing it is (since there’s GENERALLY no wrestling or screaming involved), the situation still consists of an imposed interface with a sexual area (specifically a penetrative one). If someone said “Let me play doctor on you, or you get evicted” that would be a coercive attack if accomplished.

  50. Look at an article about how a former policeman who became a nurse sexually abused a number of patients at http://koin.com/2014/03/19/ex-er-nurse-jeffrey-mcallister-faces-another-new-sex-charge/.

    Misty

    • Moo says:

      The crime background check system apparently does not work in some places. If he had so many charges against him the there is no way he should have been working in a hospital at all.

      The criminal background check is just a huge hassle and barrier to those of us who are not offenders.

  51. Look at how 1,200 pictures of women’s private parts that were found in Dr. Levy’s case at http://www.wtop.com/41/3590613/Hopkins-gynecologist-case-yields-1200-naked-patient-pics. This is exactly why women should always avoid male gynecologists. I am sure that many male gynecologists have taken pictures of women’s private parts without ever being caught.

    Misty

    • ladyprotips says:

      Misty, the idea that all, or even most, male gynecologists get a sexual thrill is both false and extremely offensive. I’ve worked with many, many, many male OB/GYNs and am even related to a few. You want to know how many I’ve ever suspected got anything sexual from it? One. You’re MUCH more likely to run into an abusive female OB/GYN (and no, not because she’s a lesbian).

      • Chrissy (UK) says:

        Whether or not all or most male gynaecologists get a sexual thrill from their patients is unquantifiable. We have no way of knowing for sure. Certainly though, SOME of them cross the line and end up in the courts for sexual assault. What I believe Misty is saying is that there is an element of risk in seeing a male gyn and the only way to eliminate the risk is to see a female.
        I certainly don’t find her comment offensive and she is entitled to her opinion as you are yours.

      • Well said Chrissy. I agree Misty is not saying all male doctors are poised to sexually assault female patients. Misty is moderate in what she says, especially given the huge numbers of complaints she receives from female patients who have been victims of sexual abuse at the hands of male doctors and other health care providers. She also hears complaints from men who have been abused, and from patients who have been abused by male and female medical providers (not always doctors). However, the vast majority of sexual abuse cases are attributable to male health care providers. Misty is a wonderful advocate for female and male patients. Misty helps to raise awareness and works to prevent sexual abuse in medical settings.

      • Alex says:

        I would figure that they wouldn’t advertise it if they did- particularly to a woman. Kind of hard to have a “bros before hos” type of angle from women (and mark my words- it happens). They don’t make an obvious point about risks & inaccuracies, either. Same with extra financial incentives.

        I’ve got to ask why you figure you’d be more likely to run into an abusive woman in that profession? Also, I’d presume aggressive lesbianism is definitely a possibility, but why would that not be the reason?

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Ladyprotips,
        How could you possibly know what’s going on in the mind of another person?
        I also, doubt a doctor would alert you to the fact he’s enjoying the view or touching.
        I view with suspicion any male doctor who claims he “doesn’t notice” a beautiful woman, it doesn’t ring true. I’d have more respect if he admitted he noticed and even enjoyed in some cases, but always acted as a professional, never stepping over the line.
        It’s up to individual women, we have a right to choose. I’ve never needed the services of a gyn, but if I did, I’d see an older female doctor who comes recommended by several of my friends, simply because I would feel more comfortable with a woman, my choice.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        Well said guys, also, a quick look at the Medical Board shows all of the cases, as far back as I could go, involve male doctors. (for inappropriate conduct) There are also, a few complaints involving male nurses, when you consider females greatly outnumber males in that profession, it’s concerning.
        If there are cases involving female doctors, they must be few and far between.

        Female doctors might be rude, male doctors might be rude, but the stats show men are FAR more likely to end up at the Medical Board for inappropriate conduct. Also, we have to remember MOST suspect conduct is never reported.
        Predators are also, very cunning and know how to control and manipulate their victims.
        There are also, so many subtle ways to take advantage now, as we’ve seen with the recent cases of male doctors using pens and phones to take photos of women during intimate exams.

        There is no doubt in my mind it’s safer for women to see male doctors, especially young women. Even if a woman feels comfortable with a male gyn/urologist etc. the “risk” of a problem is higher. If a woman is content to take the chance, that’s her decision, but abuse in the consult room can cause lifelong psychological damage, and can mean depression, avoiding all medical care into the future, PTSD etc. Why take the risk?

        As a young woman I was pressured (like all women) to have pap tests and routine breast & pelvic exams with a male doctor, NONE of it was necessary. (and pap tests should be our choice) These things were NEVER clinical requirements for the Pill, but women were trapped, submit or no Pill. IMO, these women were set up for assault by the mostly male medical profession. So the Pill was out for me, the price was far too high.

        I saw the distress and damage caused to so many of my friends, I KNEW these male doctors were taking advantage, these things were not clinical requirements AND I (and others) noticed the attractive women got the works while overweight and unattractive women (in the eyes of the doctor anyway) got the Pill with a blood pressure check.

        So IMO, it’s up to individual women to decide…I noticed one of our top models had a baby recently and used a male obstetrician. Of course, it would be nonsense to suggest this man did not “notice” her attractiveness, but this woman either doesn’t mind or has convinced herself he doesn’t really “see” her, that medical training changes the way a man views a beautiful woman. Some women also, feel it’s more normal for a male to view them so intimately.
        Regardless, that’s their business and their choice.

        Misty is doing some great work, for too long we’ve avoided the elephant in the room, women were ridiculed if they wanted a female doctor and male doctors got away with shocking abuse, sometimes for decades, thankfully, that’s changing…and women are now more likely to stand their ground, challenge and report suspect conduct. (to the Medical Board AND to the Police)

      • Mary says:

        Yes Elizabeth, I just read of a male nurse who has been accused of sexually abusing an elderly female patient.Apparently another female patient complained about this before but the complaint was dismissed by the internal board. They assumed she was a little confused. How utterly patronising.The second woman’s complaint is taken more seriously becuase the women could give the exact time of the assault and it coincides with the video of him entering her room. How many male nurses are there and why does sexual assault always seem to be committed by male nurses- it must be a pretty high percentage.

  52. Kleigh says:

    My boyfriend has told me when we have kids he only wants me to have female doctors for labor if I even choise a hospital birth. I whould feel terrible having another man touching me that’s not my husband I don’t care if he is a doctor. I really belive males doctors do get pleaser out of gyn exams and breat exams. my aunt said her doctor got seemed excited when he was doing a breat exam on her and he got an erection. she was so grosed out.

  53. Elizabeth (Aust) says:

    “There is no doubt in my mind it’s safer for women to see male doctors, especially young women”
    Obviously that should read, “it’s safer to see FEMALE doctors” etc.

  54. Leah says:

    I had breast aug and was under anasthetic and 2 days later when bruising stated to come out on my Breast and ribs also my genitals inner outer lips and clitoris were severely bruised then 2 days after that I had a urinary tract infection.my doctor said bruising can travel anywhere but I’m worried something happened when I was under anasthetic.

    • Alex says:

      That’s horrifying! I’ve got to say it: It does sound like something happened. The doctor is full of shit. The discoloration might spread out to a surrounding area due to gravity, but you have bruising in two separate areas not a trail down the whole front of your body. Plus, that doesn’t cover a urinary tract infection.

      I hate to be so blatant about it & I’m not trying to rub it in your face, but any interface with sexual areas as a product of someone else’s decision-making is an attack. That just so happens to be the areas you’re having issues with after being unconscious around these people? Chest & ribs might be from surgery (but that might be different depending on the kind of surgery), but that’s not going to just pick up & move to the area between your legs & give you a urinary infection.

      There might be home testing kits for this sort of thing, I don’t know. Blood & urine testing works for STDs & there are pills that go beyond the morning-after pill if you’re worried about pregnancy (as well as various herbal things to generate that effect). Just thought I should add that in, because even as a means to an end some things might be a problematic methodology & they do try to work all kinds of angles (to include steering things in their own direction around the woman).

    • ChasUK says:

      I Can’t even imagine how you must be feeling and I am very sorry for you. Was it a teaching hospital as they will let students practice on you whilst out for the count. Absolutely shocking if you did not consent to this. I would certainly be making a complaint as it would continue on and on. They must be held accountable for their actions. Don’t delay the complaint.

    • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

      Leah, you can end up badly bruised after breast surgery, I had a breast reduction many years ago and was bruised and sore for 10 days or so.
      I think surgeons can be quite rough when we’re out to it. I had 4 impacted wisdom teeth out under GA and woke up with a badly swollen face, sore ribs and black eyes. I assume the sore ribs resulted from the oral surgeon resting on my chest to get some leverage.

      Also, I wonder whether they used a foley catheter, if you’re out for more than 2-3 hours they use a catheter, that “might” explain the genital soreness and the UTI.
      I can understand your concerns, I dread the thought of needing surgery in the future, I just don’t trust the system to act in my best interests when I’m not conscious to keep an eye on them.
      I’ve heard an expression, “what happens in surgery, stays in surgery”…
      I’d ask my surgeon/doctor whether a catheter was used during the procedure. Bruising can travel anywhere, what? That makes no sense.

    • ladyprotips says:

      Ouch, I’m really sorry :/

      Elizabeth is absolutely right, doctors are extremely rough during surgery. After I watched a c-section for the first time I fully understood why so many people feel beat up after surgery. They flop you around and are pretty rough when they’re tugging and pulling. I’d bet that’s the bruising on your breast and ribs, honestly.

      As for the genital bruising, it sounds like they put a catheter in, to be honest.

      • Kate (UK) says:

        If the bruising was indeed caused by a catheter, why didn’t her doctor explain this? Why did he lie to her?
        If nothing untoward happened, it’s unacceptable to brush off a patient’s concerns by telling them a fairy story. Smacks of arrogance or incompetence.

  55. Look at how a well-respected male gynecologist was accused of taking nude pictures of a female patient at http://arkansasnews.com/news/arkansas/paragould-doctor-accused-secretly-photographing-patient-nude. Look at how active this doctor is in his community at http://www.bectonclinic.com/doctor.htm. This is exactly why it is prudent to avoid male gynecologists.

    Misty

    • ladyprotips says:

      I agree with your mission, but the way you demonize men is ridiculous and needs to stay on radical, 2nd-wave feminist blogs. You’re perpetuating rape culture. Stop it.

      • Si says:

        Ladyprotips, I wasn’t aware that some categories of feminism are not acceptable on this blog.
        Just look at the stats – most sex offenders are cis men, though I don’t believe men are wired to be sexual predators; doing gender is a cultural construct and unfortunately parts of masculine culture are demeaning towards women.
        It would be great if we could access gynaecological care where the sex of the physician didn’t make a difference, but sadly it does, and just because we’d like to believe in a better world it doesn’t make it a reality.

      • ladyprotips, Misty is attempting to raise awareness in order to protect women from harm. She is not, as you say, “perpetuating rape culture”, nor is she “demonizing” men. To make that claim is IMO akin to victim blaming. In case you haven’t noticed, the women who visit this blog are generally supportive of each other and don’t attempt to give one another orders.

      • Karen says:

        From priests to humanitarian aid workers to lawyers to politicians, members of a professor close in- profession is a matter of identity. If you really want to be better, do not be a doctor first and foremost. Sorry but saying Misty should stop raising awareness about sexual abuse in medical setting because it “demonises men” sounds like something straight out of a male rights manifesto

      • ADM (Canada) says:

        I wasn’t going to get involved in this discussion but in some ways I agree with ladyprotips about the way that male Dr’s are portrayed. I also agree with the work that Misty has done in raising awareness about this issue. I wonder if the stats are skewed because women are more likely to report a male Dr than a female Dr for assault. Would a woman dismiss an assault by a female Dr because it was a female thinking that a female would never do that. Are assaults by female Dr’s under-reported.
        In some cases women do not have a choice of seeing a male Dr for a gynecological issue and I would hate for a woman due to the fear of being assaulted to not see a top rated surgeon for example and receive the best of care and have a successful surgery because the Dr is male versus getting lesser care from a female Dr. Personally I have had worse experiences with female Dr’s than I have with male. That does create a personal bias but in every professional field there are good and bad of both genders.

      • Alex says:

        How is she perpetuating rape culture? Is it raping the doctor to display their medical attacks or someone else’s? If only the first one were true! Turnabout is fair play, after all.

        She DOES mention female personnel, but the story tends to involve males. The frequency of that is not her fault & her reporting that situation is not demonizing men. She even mentions thing perpetuated against men & gives advice on how to prevent these things (like them backing guys into hernia checks for school sports).

      • F.L. says:

        ladyprotips,

        I don’t comment often, and wasn’t originally going to enter this discussion, but have a concern about the potential impact of your most recent comments.

        I do appreciate that you bring your perspective and voice to this blog, and that you take the time and make the effort to contribute. Your experience with having relatives involved in the profession, and with being personally involved gives you a perspective that is not shared by everyone, and which can provide helpful additional information to that provided by others. However, I am concerned that the content and tone of your most recent comments have not been the most helpful way of advancing your ideas.

        In my opinion, your argument about this blog perpetuating rape culture was a specious one to begin with, but not worth getting too concerned about, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion. However, you are now using your unproven (and in my opinion, incorrect) assumption and are wielding it as if it were a fact and are using it as a weapon to try and silence those who don’t share your view. It is a clever rhetorical approach to accuse someone you disagree with of contributing to rape culture – what a great way to try and silence a predominantly female audience. Your experiences do give you a perspective that is not necessarily shared by all contributors to this blog, but they do not give you a corner on the truth, and they don’t give you the right to tell other contributors that they are unwelcome and should only be posting on other blogs that you describe in derisive terms. It is not helpful to issue orders to others who post their comments, and it detracts from the points you are trying to advance – at least it does so for me.

        I hope that all healthcare providers can work collectively to improve the situation for women who have experiences like those described by those who comment on this blog. Given your experiences and role in healthcare it is likely that you have had the opportunity to make such positive contributions, and your input on this blog seems to reflect a very positive commitment to this, and is appreciated. I respect your input even though I may disagree with some specifics, and I hope that you continue to post your comments. However, I hope that you are sensitive to the possibility that others have different experiences, and that their perspective on issues of trust in relation to the medical industry might correspondingly be different from yours.

      • ladyprotips says:

        Si, I would argue that some forms of feminism are extremely toxic and have no place in civilized society (2nd wave feminism). Some feminists say trans women are men who are trying to force their way into women’s spaces to rape them. Is that acceptable? Some say all PIV sex is rape. Is that acceptable? No, I would argue that it absolutely are not. As for most sex offenders being cis men, that is true overall, but not when broken down by demographic. When you start looking at assaults that have happened in children under 12, you start to see a huge rise in the number of female offenders. I think you’d be surprised how many attacks by GYNs are done by women. Pop over to myobsaidwhat.com and read how many attacks have happened by women, and how many male OBs have defended their patients from violent abuse.

        Sue, in claiming she is “trying to help women protect themselves,” she is putting part of the blame on women themselves, and are therefore perpetuating rape culture. Saying you should never have a male gynecologist because “he may rape you” is as stupid as saying you should never be alone with a man because “he may rape you.” You know, men like Warren Hern and Leroy Carhart risk their lives every single day bringing healthcare to women in America. They fight SO HARD for a woman’s right to choose and have had several attempts made on their lives. George Tiller literally died protecting choice. Knowing that men like this exist, I just can’t believe some people want to blow all men in the profession off as sexual predators until proven otherwise. I hope none of you ever need a late term abortion, because of the four providers in America, 2 are men and one is a lesbian.

        You know, Karen, I already get death and rape threats for having committed my life to providing comprehensive reproductive healthcare, so I don’t appreciate being told to not be a doctor by someone who is more concerned with painting the entire profession as rapists. Demonizing men is very much a feminist issue, as once we do that, we place the responsibility of not being raped on women’s shoulders.

        Well, F.L., everyone on this blog seems to wield opinions as if they were facts. My issue here is most women here openly admit to never having any experience with an OB/GYN. “I’ve never seen a gynecologist and never will!” is something I often see on this site. And honestly, that’s perfectly fine. That’s your right. I don’t question that part at all. What I DO question, then, is how you all seem to know that they’re OBVIOUSLY sexual predators if so many of you have never even met one? I have a marvelous male GYN I’ve seen since I was 18 when I switched from my dreadful female GYN. I really, really appreciate everything he does for me. Most women on this blog boast “I have a healthy uterus and cervix, I don’t need an OB/GYN!” Well, not all of us are so lucky. I don’t have a healthy uterus, and without my GYN’s help I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed for two weeks every month. It’s hard to go to class when you’re throwing up/in too much pain to walk. This may blow some of your minds, but I actually may have to beg for an exam, because my (male) OB actually won’t do one since I’m young/not sexually active! But when you”re hurting enough, you’ll do anything to stop it. Exercise, fancy diets, birth control pills, and prescription pain meds are not fixing my problem, so I’m at a point where I’m completely fine with getting surgery. Many of you would probably call me an awful person for being willing to do pelvic exams on currently asymptomatic women who have chronic ovarian cysts or endometriosis. I completely understand wanting surgery to avoid it ever becoming painful. I DREAD my pain. I cry in the weeks leading up to my period then ovulation because I can’t handle the thought of it. But women on this site don’t tend to have these experiences and can’t possibly understand why anyone would ever appreciate an OB/GYN, especially a male. And I’ve been threatened and verbally abused by a GYN, and am very, very sympathetic to the people who have also been through that, but some of us really, really do need our GYNs and don’t appreciate insults being hurled at them by people who frankly just don’t know what they’re talking about.

        Honestly, do y’all want to know how most people decide to be OB/GYNs? They get halfway through medical school and start their rotations. They see geriatrics, where you’re basically preparing people for death. They see pediatrics, and as my dad told me, the little kid getting over an ear infection and thinking you’re superman is cute, the little kid with a brain tumor who doesn’t know where they are is not. They see the ER and see that it’s scary as fuck. They see family medicine and think “wow, this is great! No one is dead and I’m not having to piece people back together after a car accident! Fantastic!” Now from here, people split into two camps: the people who see childbirth, think it’s disgusting, and never want to see it again, and the people who see childbirth and can’t get enough. They’re gong to be an OB/GYN and do this forever! Here’s where things start to go downhill. You’ve seen childbirth, and you think the female body is amazing and strong. “But no,” your professor tells you, “the only reason they both aren’t dead is because of these machines.” Then you spend time in GYN pit and see women in GYN emergencies, and you think that’s unfortunate. “But no,” your professor tells you, “that wouldn’t have happened if she’d just gotten her annual exam. This was her fault.” Then you do your GYN/ONC elective, and you see all these women dying of cancer, and you wonder why they didn’t just get an exam before this was a problem, all while forgetting that as a teaching hospital, you have better technology and providers and are seeing the worst of the worst. You think maybe this was just an unfortunate incident. “But no,” your professor tells you, “women are irresponsible. This is why we have to hold their birth control over their heads, or they’ll all be here like this.” And you find yourself agreeing, and you don’t see anything wrong with this reasoning. After all, you care about women and don’t want to see them all here like this! And you know, most of them really, really do. Before they know it, they find themselves thinking that frankly, women are pretty irresponsible and you have to deal with that. It’s a slow, honestly pretty clever manipulation. Being mad at individual doctors is sort of pointless. It makes much more sense to be angry at medical schools.

      • Alex says:

        I don’t get why you’re still saying that there’s a general demonizing of men on this site. It’s been made clear numerous times that this is not the case, only that it TENDS to be male (at least with females over 12, if what you’re saying is true).

        As far as facts go, I’ve noticed that medical personnel TEND to not see something as a fact unless it matches what they are pitching at the time.

        I’ve also noticed that they TEND to have the stance that they are not going to change how they have do things (“compromising their method of practice,” I believe is how it gets phrased). There also TENDS to be a very self-focused style of looking at things (THEIR methods, THEIR money, THEIR worries, THEIR problems- particularly the problems they have with other people ). Very much more typical of males than females, although some women seem to be dead-set on not being outmatched in that arena.

        The TENDANCY among medical personnel is to blame the mysterious pharmaceutical companies, the instructors/indoctrinators at the medical schools, and the big, bad EVERYONE ELSE. Someone else is the “bad guy” when they try to comport their own medical situations (whether that’s blocking something off or getting something they want). Someone else is “just trying to make money” when they sue them for iatrogenically attacking them. Someone else is physically defective, it’s not them screwing up that causes a problem or that gets them to see something as an issue when it’s not.

        I also don’t see how Sue is “supporting rape culture” by saying women should take strides to protect themselves. Even if someone WERE to say “All the male doctors are dangerous,” how exactly does that reinforce a cultural pattern of permissiveness toward violation? It only acts against a single part of it & it’s kind of insulting to men, but it doesn’t support anything assaultive that they or anyone else does. Acting like an unconventional variation is NOT an attack reinforces that kind of culture, which is something I notice from medical personnel- male & female.

      • Karen says:

        Ladyprotips- if you reply to me, please do not twist and contort what I have said. I said do not be a doctor first and foremost, do not close in and protect “your kind” if you want to be ethical. And that is what I think. Ps how the hell would you know who these people commenting on here are, and what their know, or what they do??? All these sob sob tales of the good doctors protecting their little patients, and they only ever think of how nice shoes they wear, or what the hell EVER- who cares???? Patriarchy- structural.

      • Karen says:

        “I am the defender of the defended” “http://imgur.com/2Nhebiz

    • Moo says:

      I would like to know how this woman suspected she was being photographed. There are many types of hidden video cameras available. Just google “nannycam”. I also suspect that many male doctors are doing this. They are also getting their female staff to help them or not say anything about it. Some of them might be victims themselves but most might notice something strange going on.

    • Moo says:

      Dear patient modesty

      Please put in you website how people can know if their doctor has a hidden camera. What to do? Then what to tell police?

  56. Sue,

    You are right that my goal is to help to raise awareness about how women can protect themselves.

    Misty

    • Misty all the work you’ve done, your research, writing, advocating, commenting, and support is much appreciated. All too often the victims of medical abuse are hushed up, told it didn’t happen, and the perpetrator is left free to abuse again. There is very little in the way of protection for women in medical settings, and when abuse does occur it can be devastating. Prevention is so important, but many women are completely trusting and unaware that sexual abuse is even a possibility. No one is saying ALL male medical personnel are poised to pounce on women, but unfortunately it does happen.

  57. Sue,

    Thank you for your encouragement! You are right that many people are too trusting of doctors. I had a great male pediatrician for a number of years. He never asked me to take any of my clothes off at all. He always welcomed my mom in the room with him. There are certainly some good male doctors.

    Medical Patient Modesty has received some heart breaking cases from women who were abused by doctors. I believe I mentioned this case, but we heard from a 18 year old virgin girl who was coerced by a male doctor at her college to have a pap smear and breast exam. She went in for swimmer’s ears.

    Misty

  58. Here’s another article about Dr. Becton at http://www.medicaldaily.com/arkansas-gynecologist-dr-paul-becton-took-nude-photos-patients-during-office-exams-without-consent. I tried replying to the nurse who believes that a female assistant or nurse always protect patients.

    My comments to her (I hope they will be approved) were:

    It is very likely that Dr. Becton had a nurse with him. Medical Patient Modesty has received numerous cases where nurses or female assistants were present with women who were abused by male doctors. I encourage you to check out this important article: Do Chaperones Really Protect Patients? at http://sexualmisconductbydoctors.com/chaperones.aspx.

    Many doctors especially male will have a nurse or assistant present for intimate exams such as breast, pelvic exams, and pap smears. The chaperone is the doctor’s employee so she looks out for him and she will often defend him even when he does something wrong. Keep in mind that the nurse or assistant is there to “protect” the doctor and is rarely on the patient’s side.

    There are times a nurse or assistant may know that the doctor is doing something wrong, but she may be afraid to expose his criminal activities for fear of being fired or facing discrimination in the workplace.

    The best thing a woman can do is to not go to a male doctor for intimate procedures.

    Misty

  59. Check out another article about how patients reacted to Dr. Becton’s article at http://www.wfla.com/story/25267758/patients-react-to-paragould-obgyns-arrest-warrant. Especially pay close attention to what Nicole Vance said.

    Misty

    • Karen says:

      Nice find… she is saying “It’s not something that you want to experience with your baby doctor,” Vance said. “You want that to be fun. You want that to be happy. Nobody wants to be around that.” Well if not DECADES of pervasive propaganda, all the little responsible women, the Nadia Kamils, the hard-working nudge units, the psychologists and PR gurus, no-one would just automatically think in terms like “fun” “”happy” related to an old man (now convicted for assault) penetrating the vagina of a pregnant girl. Rotten to the core, the whole thing.

  60. Moo says:

    Wow it would be my fault it I get any gyn cancer because I did not have an annual pelvic exam. Those gyno doctors are sooooooo judgemental.

    If I had pain then of course I am going to get help for it but I would like to be able to choose a female doctor and I probably would have Pap tests every so often if my greedy male doctor would refer me to a female colleague. But I would rather just have a self HPV test which is denied me because of the country I live in.

  61. Chrissy (UK) says:

    Ladyprotips,
    As someone who suffered endometriosis for 30 years I can sympathise with your current health problems. Please do not assume that the majority of the women on this site have had no problems with their reproductive organs. Some of us will talk about our experiences and some won’t. That does not mean we have no idea what we are talking about. We bring our own personal experiences and views to this site and from my perspective this and blogcritics (until it was shut down) have been the only two sites where I have felt safe to post my views. Some of us are still angry about how we have been treated.
    The overriding message from this blog is not the ‘demonizing’ of men, it is unequivocally the fight for informed consent and choice for women. Yes, I am sure a number of women here would not choose to see a male doctor, but would not wish to remove this choice from other women if that is what they want. The problem arises when there is no choice, which is something I can relate to.
    I am glad you have found a doctor that you can trust and who has helped you.
    For some of us that trust has gone and for me personally, I doubt it will ever return.

  62. Check out this interesting article: 8 Unbelievable Stories About Inappropriate Gynecologists at http://www.oddee.com/item_98893.aspx.

    Misty

  63. Pingback: The perversion of gynecology and vaginal exams….. | THE TRUTH SEEKER

  64. ColeyX says:

    Hey everyone,

    Some of you may have already heard about this, but I thought I’d link this story about how TV host Maria Menounos was molested by a doctor.

    http://theblemish.com/2012/06/maria-menounos-was-molested-by-a-doctor/#!MFKqf

    She doesn’t go into much detail, but if the fundamentals are true then it must have been awful.

    • Alex says:

      Yeah, I heard about that.

      This is why it gets me so cranked-up when people say “Oh, but it’s a doctor- it’s not like that.” It’s a horrible thing is someone’s relative “plays doctor” on them, why would it be any different with a real one imposing things? It could be the overt way of attacking someone or it could be using medical procedures with overlapping properties- either way it’s not a fictional situation. Reality doesn’t take a coffee break!

  65. Kleigh says:

    That is awfull. So many pple put there trust in doctors like they could never do any wrong. I wonder if this happen when the doctor was doing a gyn exam on maria? And were were her parents?

  66. Moo says:

    The case of Maria. Her parents apparently disowned her when she started seeing her boyfriend, I assume that she was just with her boyfriend at the time and he was taking her to the doctor. People commenting seem to think this is unusual. Sadly it happens all the time.

    The typical scenario: a young woman goes to the doctor. She is asked questions about her personal life. It is assumed she has started having sex so automatically, whether she asks, consents or is even asked about it, she is set up to get a “pelvic exam” with the pap, visual “inspection” and SDI tests. It does. It does not matter whether she has a sore throat, a sore toe, a skin rash, a heart murmur, Ebola or Anthrax.

    This is the abuse that no one talks about. The hush hush. Someone recently posted about the 1800’s secret government act to kidnap women and subject them to vaginal exams and accuse them of prostitution just for being in the street after dark. Was this the Taliban? This happened in the British Empire. Just the same that thirty years ago I was ambushed at age 20 when I went to get birth control pills. No one would tell me what would happen, even friends. I asked and was given a pamphlet at the clinic that said “the natural sweat of my vagina would be tested for cancer”. No how’s or why’s. I assumed I would just be asked to do a swab.

    The abuse has to stop but the experience of Maria is reported as if it was nothing, she was silly or that is does not happen to many young women.

  67. Kleigh says:

    I really think ppl like the Acog fulls this fier. They asume things about womans lifes and think they know whats best for us. Thin doctors are pressuerd to do all recomend screening or fear being sued. Any one man or woman can spreed diease so why arnt guys presuerd to be screend for stds? Another thing the push to treat all woman pre pregnant and keep there body fit and healthy for any baby they may or maynot have.

    • Alex says:

      Because malice is a major motivation for the things they do. This can apply at the leadership level & if it does, it’ll mostly likely multiply the situation. Of course there’s always the potential for the people that make up a group to be more or less the same way, so that’ll make for a broad situation of whatever conditions.

      Keeping in mind: Allopathic medicine was never all that life-bolstering. It’s not their way. That supportive, nurturing/nourishing trait that people expect because it would help instead of harm is not the style. It really doesn’t make much difference if the doctor really WANTS to help people or not- since the “dojo” of medicine is not conducive to that.

      It’s like a Master’s Degree in bullshit- it’s expertise in something that is sub-par. You’d never see someone brag about getting a black belt in a self-defeating martial art, but I guess that’s why there’s a lot of deception in medicine.

    • Moo says:

      No there really is not too much concern for future fertility. I asked if there were any “tests” for fertility before I got married. The doctor said no just try for 6 months and then come in. They do not want people to know how much fertility treatments cost. Delaying having children just seems what everyone is doing without knowing the costs. This is what is wrong with our society.

      Is telling a 20 year old student that she should have a baby before she is 30 years old make any sense when she is coming in for birth control?

      It is all about the money.

  68. Look at this disturbing article Dr. Bernstein has about a doctor doing clitoral exams on girls to test their sexual response, Bioethics Discussion Blog: Clitoral Sensitivity Study in Children: A Question of Ethics at http://bioethicsdiscussion.blogspot.com/2010/07/clitoral-sensitivity-study-in-children.html. I think this is horrible and it is definitely sexual abuse. Maybe some of you can comment on this article.

    • Moo says:

      This is not a porn site. Of course this abuse.

      Compassion and support for interesex people and their families.

      http://www.isna.org/

      Now do they feel about childhood gender assignment and surgeries.

    • Misty, thanks for linking this article. I agree with your sentiments, and with the ethicists’ comment “we were so stunned that we did not believe it until we looked up his publications ourselves”. Part of the horror for me was how the medical terminology served to misrepresent the truth of the situation. For instance, linking a large clitoris with “disorders of sexual development” is skewed. Are males born with large penises assumed to have sexual development “disorders”? What about males born with small penises? Or girls born with a smaller than average clitoris?

      If you consider the same procedure and followups in males it’s a bit easier to see how skewed the assumptions are. 51 girls with a large clitoris were put through operations to “shorten” their clitoris. Would males be put through the same type of surgery if their penis’ were larger than what is considered normal? Following the surgery, the girls were tested to determine clitoral sensitivity, which they called ” Postoperative evaluation for clitoral viability”. Basically this involved touching and using a vibrator on the young girls’ clitoris’, inner thighs, labia minora, and the introitus of their vaginas; and commanding the girls to report the level of sensation. Can you imagine the same “postoperative evaluation” used on a male’s “shortened” penis? Somehow the wrongness of it seems more apparent when considering surgically shortening a male’s penis, and then using a vibrator to test the penis’ sensitivity.

      Some of the girls were only six years old. Their parents would be watching. I’m having a hard time understanding how this could have been allowed to happen.

  69. Sophie says:

    I hurt my ankle on a night out recently and had to have a pain-killer injection the next day. They sent a male medical student to give it and when I asked for a real doctor or nurse to do it, the nurse on duty said I’d have to wait around 30 minutes. So I just let the student do it.

    The shot had to go in my bum. It was bad enough having to drop my trousers and expose my bottom to a stranger, but after he did the injection and put the plaster on, he patted my butt cheek and said ‘You’ve got a really nice bum’. I was mortified! I was too embarrassed to even say anything back.

    Don’t let med students practice on you, they might be immature prats like that one.

    • Alex says:

      Sophie- A few things on that for future reference:

      The shots don’t HAVE to go in your bum to work. That’s supposedly so that it hurts less & raises less of a bump, due to it being a thicker area than the arm. It seems like shots will WORK in the arm or other areas, but the absorption is different (it seems that you can swallow most of these things over a longer stretch of time, too). It would still work, but they don’t feel like doing extra work & make a big deal out of it.

      Actually, it can be dangerous to get a shot in the butt (there’s actually some pretty serious nerves & arteries in that area- getting shot in the butt wouldn’t be comical). Med students that don’t know what they’re doing shouldn’t be doing stuff like this. Same for someone that is distracted by the sight of whoever’s ass.

      Another potential reason is blindly following medical doctrine. That’s common with cops & the military, too (it’s called being “doctrine bound”). It’s not uncommon for that to be a sign of stupidity or, at least, that they don’t really know the workings of the situation.

      I figure I should mention that a common thing to hear about (at least in the U.S.) with car crashes & falls (or just coming into the E.R. for trauma reasons) is them giving people rectal exams- sometimes forcibly. There was a guy in New York that walked into the hospital for stitches on his head & five of these “people” held him down & probed him, then he went to jail for three days because one of the doctors got hit in the face during the struggle! It sounds like frequently, they just ambush someone when they’re log-rolling someone off the stretcher

      • Sophie says:

        Yeah I think shots in the bum hurt less but they seem to hurt more the next day in my experience. I was thinking of making a complaint but I didn’t because he was young and I think, in his own stupid way, he was trying to make me feel better after the injection.

        I tweeted about it and you should have seen some of the rubbish I got in response. ‘Take it as a compliment’, ‘Going by your profile pic, I don’t blame him’. One person told me to ‘grow up’.

        That story sounds horrible! Poor guy. Why did they even need to do a rectal exam? No matter the reason, no exam should be forced on anyone.

      • Alex says:

        Well, apparently this isn’t actually something viable for the things they say it is & this also wastes that time they’re always complaining about not having. They seem to be of the mind that their alignment toward doing something generates medical utility (notice “utility,” not “necessity”- not to be arrogant, but I think people tend to say one when they mean another). They were attacking the guy in an unconventional way & in an unconventional environment.

        You tweeted about this in America, I’m presuming? The sarcasm that just might be literal is something I’m getting sick of. I’ve noticed a general disregard for any problem that goes in a pervy direction, whether it’s a serious one or not. Poses a bit of a risk for anyone, of course- but if you’re hot, obviously that would add to things. Another thing is that Americans always act like things along these lines don’t have any arousal component. That’s a bit like saying murder is never fueled by anger or theft is never financially motivated.

        That “grow up” comment is pretty telling, since it’s generally seen as immature to think compositionally or have any bodily autonomy. Same goes for self-protectiveness (which is weird, considering all that talk about freedom & independant decision-making & strong women). I think that plays a big factor in there being an easy & safe environment for things like what happened to that guy in New York.

        Sorry if this came off like an anti-American rant, it’s just a major gripe about the area I’m still living in at the moment.

  70. Emily says:

    hey check out this blog….very interesting. http://momstinfoilhat.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/when-is-a-person-old-enough-to-refuse-treatment/ I wonder how many of these girls utterly refuse to see a doctor unless they’re an inch from death after going through something like that or how horribly triggering a pap must be :s also what does this teach our little girls about making decisions in regards to their bodies?? “No one is supposed to touch your privates or hurt you there but if it’s a doctor you forfeit all rights to decide what gets done to your body and you’d better just go along with it.” is essentially how it must come across. A six year old may not be able to fully understand the medical aspect of it but she knows that she has said no and someone ignored her and forced their way into her body!! It’s no wonder so many girls get raped/coerced into sex as young women or how many of them are easily brainwashed into the whole pap nonsense after sh*t like that.

  71. A Banterings says:

    check out http://madmanbanterings.blogspot.com/ to see how patients view medical procedures. it is amazing that for as intelligent as physicians are, they are so dumb that they don’t get it.

Speak your mind

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s