Pap Smears Considered ‘Animal Cruelty’

A woman was arrested for performing pap smears on her dog.  She was charged with animal cruelty and sent to jail. 

Yet women are expected to tolerate the same exam.  Women are expected to lay down and take it, often without being told anything about the exam’s purpose or the potential for harm. And doctors often don’t tell women about their right to refuse the exam.

gynoSome might argue that, logically,  pap smears on women are not likewise considered cruelty because this procedure has the potential to extend lifespan.  But the people who make this argument likely have not been shown all the facts about pap smears.  For instance, many of the “abnormalities” that pap smears hope to find could instead be found through  less invasive tests.  And pap smears rampantly show false positives, which often leads to more harm than good; women’s healthy cervix’s have been damaged from unnecessary surgeries and/or biopsies to the point where these women cannot bear children.  Not to mention the psychologically damaging effects of the test.

So in fact, there is just as much potential for harm when women undergo pap tests as there would be for dogs, except women often live with the consequences for many decades, whereas at least any dogs traumatized by the experience would see an end to their misery in a few short years.

Pap smears are considered animal cruelty in a court of law, but women are expected to think of them as “no big deal”.

Pap smears performed on dogs are a criminal offense, but when done to women they are considered “health care”.

wCaptureLink to news article about woman’s arrest: http://archive.digtriad.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=26676
Informed consent for cervical cancer screening: http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/10/28/women-informed-consent-and-cervical-screening
Why female doctor does not have pap smears: http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/2234123-why-i-don-t-have-smears
What doctors don’t want you to know: https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2012/11/13/what-doctors-dont-want-you-to-know-about-pap-tests-and-pelvic-exams/

Thank you to Ozphoenix and Ro, whose comments were the inspiration for this post, and thank you also to Elizabeth (Aust), who provided the link to the article about informed consent.

About forwomenseyesonly

Hi. My name is Sue and I am interested in promoting holistic and respectful health care.
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15 Responses to Pap Smears Considered ‘Animal Cruelty’

  1. Diane says:

    Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that a pap does extend life, exactly as they say (we know it doesn’t, but follow me here). It doesn’t change the fact that, as per the Patient’s Bill of Rights, a lucid patient always has the right to refuse any screening test or treatment, regardless if the refusal will shorten her life. And a non-lucid patient, in most jurisdictions, can only be forced to take treatment if he or she is a direct public health threat to others (for instance, a Department of Health can quarantine a TB patient); and then, only treatment that will mitigate that risk. Even then, the patient usually has the right to accept quarantine and refuse treatment. So whatever the excuse, women always, ALWAYS have a legal right to decide for themselves to refuse a pap or any other procedure.

    • Alex says:

      Well, keep in mind that anything at all can be sanctioned & you’re ultimately only dealing with actions. They might have all kinds of laws & rules, but figure “Well, I’ll interpret this to mean whatever I decide to do.”

      Maybe it has to do with this Thought-Action Fusion that I’ve read about. Supposedly, people with OCD have this as a frequent thing & they figure that if they think of something, it’ll come true. Now, OCPD is the one where someone is a control freak (OCD is more “implosive” & OCPD is the more “explosive” one). It strikes me that one is more like a person that drives in a constant pattern whether it wears down their breaks or burns their gas or makes them late for something. The other is like a car-jacker.

      Now, if someone is that second way, they seem to think that their thoughts are like some kind of unstoppable boudler rolling down a hill. That their thoughts are like an impetus of reality itself & is what makes things come true.

      Of course, someone can’t think that reality is what they say it is & notice when things don’t go their way, much less try to implement an alteration of that situation- so I think they feel “bullied by circumstance” as a baseline & are contradictive as a general state.

  2. Karen says:

    Dogs are bred to be obedient and submissive. Women, they need their lessons be to taught via social institutions like ob-gyn. So dogs don’t NEED pap smears, women do.
    (I have been absent from commenting for a while, but I check the blog almost every day, and try to keep up with the new comments.)

  3. Moo says:

    Yes apparently giving a dog a gynological exam is a criminal offence but promoting pelvic exams for women and girls with developmental or physical disabilities is all the rage. Just google and find the studies that encourage these patients to be sedated or restrained for exams. The studies focus on how this population is under papped. Every suggestion made to get these women pap tested whether they are virgins or not . How it might be so difficult for the patient to understand what is going on and how it might get be difficult for them to be undressed easily, some positions might cause a patient to have a bowel movement on the exam table or whether they are most likely to be abused (in many ways) than other people.

    What is ignored is there have to be some statistics about rates or cervical cancer among different disabilities. I could guess it is much lower than the able bodied population.

    • Alex says:

      Or just to not have this be going on- I remember so post or another where this woman thought some guys had taken advantage of her mentally handicapped daughter & the doctor was saying about how she could stop things at any point, but apparently this didn’t include decommisioning the action altogether.

      The mother’s curious about whether something was done to her daughter (whose disability might be considered a vitiation of consent), so she imposes this on her daughter through the doctor. Was she, perhaps, worried that they were “playing doctor” on her? If she was THAT sure it had happened, why doesn’t she just kill them herself- instead of putting her daughter through all that?

    • Diane says:

      That has to be one of the elephants in the room – how often mentally or developmentally challenged women, with a reduced or absent ability to consent, are sent for gynecological exams. From what I understand there IS a higher rate of sexual abuse and rape in that population – but sending these women and girls for paps can’t help that. We tell all our girls, disabled or not, that they have a right to their bodily autonomy and have a right to stop someone from touching their private parts or making them uncomfortable – but then we tell them that they HAVE to go for these exams where the doctors touch their private parts and make them uncomfortable. I would imagine that confuses many mentally disabled girls and women and helps make them even more susceptible to sexual abuse. They might have the idea that anyone who is a doctor (or claims they are a doctor) has the right to touch them that way at any time. And if they’re restrained or forced into a pelvic exam, when they’ve told that they have the right to say NO to someone touching them, they learn that their NO means nothing – because their “caretakers” are showing them that horrible truth.

      • Here’s some more news related to the medical establishments tendency to ‘treat women with less empathy than dogs’ theme (especially disabled women, that is deeply disturbing). A woman was refused admission to a hospital because she would not agree to have a C-section. They wouldn’t admit her so there she was, lying on her back on the sidewalk, having her baby while everyone around was shouting and panicky. Her husband filmed the whole thing (video is embedded in the article) to use in a complaint. The good part is that the hospital director has already been fired: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/africa/14796-egyptian-woman-gives-birth-on-hospital-doorstep-after-being-refused-treatment
        You have to love the power of social media.

      • Diane says:

        Social media and the ability to record and photograph these incidents just might be the key to accountability for these doctors and medical professionals!

        That incident was absolutely horrible. I have to say that I applaud those nurses who ran out of the building, and in the process perhaps defied their own hospital’s policies, to help that woman on the sidewalk. They’re the ones who tried to uphold the “do no harm” part of the oath medical professionals all take..

      • Moo says:

        Do no harm.

        Does not equate to

        Heal who you can
        Refer when you do not have the ability or knowledge
        Ease suffering

      • Alex says:

        Couldn’t get the link to work (my computer’s been giving me shit lately, though- might be that).

        Anyway, I think that they have a tendancy to try to redirect someone else’s agency/initiative back to themselves. You might notice how they more or less act like consent is somehow outsourced to them- that it hinges on their approval of someone’s decision? That’s a major factor & if someone is mentally handicapped or something, they have even less regard for their output.

        As it is, they tend to disregard everyone else as beneath them & view what they say as drivel. Ultimately, they figure everyone else is garbage so that they there is a congruency to their story of being a superior & then they can get that “high” from feeling superior. Smoking other people as a drug, metaphorically speaking.

        A specific thing is that they act in the manner of someone that a sale is being made to. Someone is saying one thing or another, but they act like it’s them asking & making their case. This is similar to phrasing things as a fixed situation (saying what they “will” be doing & what someone is “going” to be having). Same with talking about “needs” (saying “need/must/have to”). Both hinge on that presumption of honesty & accuracy that I’ve mentioned before. Someone is acting a certain way, so there must be a groundwork of truth to this presentation- unless it’s a lie.

  4. Melanie says:

    Let me just say that I believe that a Woman should have every right to refuse a Pap smear. I’ve made a personal decision that I’ll never have one. That is my right. If a doctor tries to coercion me or bully me I to getting one, then it changes nothing. I will refuse. This article, however…I did not like the comparison to a dog vs a human being getting a Pap smear. For one, a dogs body and reproductive organs are completely different from that of a human woman. For a person to preform such an act on a dog is awful and cruel, and extremely unnecessary. However, a Pap smear performed on a human being does has some sense and logic to it, and at times, it is necessary. That dog comparison was just plan awful.

    • Kate says:

      Actually Melanie, the reproductive cycle of dogs may be different but their organs are remarkably similar. Dogs, too, have a cervix and can also develop cancer there – why not perform pap tests on Fido? After all, the inventor of the Pap test was experimenting on rodents and believed women were similar…
      The main difference here is that this dog was tested by her very owner who probably believed it was beneficial for her pooch.
      Whereas women are assaulted on a daily basis in the name of ‘healthcare’ by medics who enjoy the power and money these procedures bring.
      If you beat your dog, that would be abuse. When a woman gets beaten up, is that not abuse?
      So, if an invasive procedure performed on a dog is considered an act of cruelty, then why are such invasive procedures considered acceptable when performed on a woman?

      You can blather on about choice and consent as much as you like, but when healthcare providers have such enormous power and can pretty much demand that women submit to these practices or else, we are stripped of our autonomy. We might as well be defenceless animals. Don’t forget, Gynaecology began when women were seen as inferior in every way to men. And good ol’ Dr. Pap was a product of that era.
      Plus, screening tests are never ‘necessary’. You may believe it’s a sensible precaution, but necessary? No. Food, water and shelter are necessary. Pap smears are an option, not a necessity. For you to think that there is sense and logic in scraping the most changeable part of a woman’s body in search of *changes* just shows how little you truly know about the test.
      Rant over.

      • Elizabeth (Aust) says:

        “Gynaecology began when women were seen as inferior in every way to men. And good ol’ Dr. Pap was a product of that era.”
        Very good point.
        I hoped that things would change when more female doctors appeared, but no, not much has happened as far as consent and informed consent are concerned, but at least now women have a choice, male or female doctor. (or should have)
        It seems in medical school these unhealthy attitudes are passed onto the next generation of doctors, the female students (or it seems many of them) view women in this way, as doctor/dictator – woman. Instead of feeling outrage at the treatment of women, they identify with the role of doctor. All very disappointing…
        Never ceases to amaze me the number of women prepared to TELL women what to do, just go and test! They haven’t a clue about the evidence, have accepted the official discourse without Q, and the system USES them to round up, scare, mislead and judge reluctant or unscreened women.

      • Karen says:

        He actually was a doctor of zoology, he had a phd in the discipline.

      • Alex says:

        Well, there isn’t really a way to counter something by accommodation. Just like arguing by agreeing- it’s antithetical.

        These women are cut from the same cloth & it seems they are tailored the same way. You have to have, basically, a deformation of their “cultural traits.” They do one thing as a status quo, something else would be an issue.

        I don’t figure it makes any more sense to presume that they’ll change because they feel like doing the opposite of what they are aligned to do anymore than it makes sense to believe a pyromanic would just stop setting things on fire to work against what THEY’RE aligned to do.

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