Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gynecologists Target Teenagers With Video Game Hysterectomy

The news recently reported that high school teenagers across the country are being shown a hysterectomy performed by a gynecologist-controlled robot. The surgery is streamed from a computer into the classroom. The gynecologist sits across the room from a woman who is strapped to an operating table, remotely controlling the robot performing a hysterectomy with the new expensive Da Vinci robot characterized as “a video game”. With the Da Vinci robotic hysterectomy video game, doctors don’t even touch women while they hysterectomize them.The doctor, hospital and school say they want to “educate everyone and draw more people into medicine,” but it is important to note that the students are not informed about female anatomy and the consequences when the uterus is removed. Instead of explaining the damaging effects of hysterectomy, students learn that it is more like a video game than major surgery, and they look forward to it as entertainment.

In high school auditoriums in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, gynecologist Marcia Bowling, shows the students how to amputate a uterus from a woman for hard to manage bleeding and abdominal pain that they think is caused by fibroids. Bowling, is sitting at a video game terminal using her fingers and a foot control. Even though the stated goal is supposedly to educate, Bowling makes no attempt to perform a myomectomy (surgical removal of fibroids leaving the uterus intact) nor does she inform the students that by amputating this woman’s uterus, it increases her risk for heart disease, lung cancer, and an Alzheimer’s like dementia. The surgery is compared to entertainment, “Students watched it live from Christ's auditorium, as engaged by the images as they would be watching a first-run movie.”

In the second article, gynecologist James Martin sits at a machine across the room from the operating table, remotely controlling the arms of the robot with a joy stick, while he amputates the uterus. No information is given in the article about why the woman’s uterus is being amputated, or the associated health risks and the damaging effects of of the surgery.

The Da Vinci robot system costs approximately $1.5 million. If the hospital makes approximately $5,000 for each hysterectomy, they will have to hysterectomize 3000 women to recoup the initial investment.  By streaming hysterectomy surgery into the classroom, large populations of students, teachers and staff are being subliminally programmed that hysterectomy has no negative effects. This is unabashed promotion of hysterectomy to unknowing children who lack the maturity and experience to understand the life altering nature of the surgery they are witnessing.

Teaching children sex education in school has been always been a controversial issue, so you might wonder why there is no controversy when a gynecologist is invited into a high school classroom to show teenagers a woman’s sex organs being removed and her vagina shortened, while making it sound like a fun video game. Would parents feel differently if they realized that 1 out of 3 of their daughters will be hysterectomized before they turn 60 years old?

As for what the students really learned, the following quotes show the impact this omission of critical information has on teenagers:

! “Keifer Eubank, a Ryle High senior from Union, said he recently dissected a sheep brain, but this was much better.”

! Antonett Fowler, a junior at Woodward High School said,  "I was more fascinated than I was disgusted," she said. "(Bowling) wasn't even sitting by the patient. I kept thinking, 'How is she doing that?"

! Kelcy Tobey said, "It's the real stuff; it's no soap opera...I could see myself being a part of that."

! “Burke High School senior Shanevia Minus…was one of the students in a health science technology class eager to watch a doctor perform a hysterectomy.  Her class was one of 15 in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester county high schools that streamed the surgery from a computer onto a screen in their classrooms.”

This is not only a disservice to education, but it teaches kids that removing female sex organs is inconsequential and fun, like playing a video game.

If a hysterectomy is ever recommended to Shanevia, or any of the students who watched the surgery and they were informed of only the mechanics of taking out the female organs and why, her frame of reference will be a cool robotic surgery that she saw in a high school class.  Would she be as eager to have her female organs removed as she was to watch a robotic hysterectomy if she had been taught that during a hysterectomy a hormone responsive reproductive sex organ is removed, the vagina is shortened and sutured shut at the top, the support to the bladder, bowel and pelvic floor is compromised, and hysterectomized women have a 3X greater incidence of heart disease? If the intent was to educate students, the key words would be “increased incidence of heart disease, hormone-responsive, sex organ, loss of uterine orgasm, shortened vagina, damaged pelvic floor”, and not “robot, eager, just go for it, Da Vinci, soap opera, and real stuff”.

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23 Comments:

At March 29, 2010 at 12:10 AM , Blogger ViolenceAgainstWomen said...

This is a perfect example of wolves in sheep's clothing. While the teachers and students think they are being done a service, they have no idea that they are really being primed for future unnecessary hysterectomy surgery with a robot. Since gynecologists have hysterectomized nearly half the population of women in the United States, they must be running low so they are looking for a new crop. Teenage girls are very impressionable and they will think this surgery is no big deal, and worse, they will think it's cool. It's really criminal.

Gynecologist make sure that no one is ever informed about the extensive damage this causes to a woman's body, and they make sure the kids see it as something fun. In 5 or 10 years, these unsuspecting teenagers who will then be adult females will be primed to be hysterectomized and that's exactly where they want them. If these gynecologists had told these children the truth, their questions and comments would have been very different. I hope the parents find the HERS Foundation and teach their girls the truth about this surgery so that they won't be future victims.

 
At March 29, 2010 at 12:33 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hysterectomy causes serious body injury. This story mimics the behavior of psychopaths (criminal minds!)

 
At March 31, 2010 at 9:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was picking up all those prescriptions that I suddenly, and not in coincidentally, needed posted hysterectomy. You know, the natural hormones, the high blood pressure, and the high cholesterol meds, when my eye caught a "free-take one" brochure displayed ever so prominently. On the front cover were three male celebrities: Scott Slade, Neal Boortz, Clark Howard.
The brochure's title was, "Take Control of Prostate Cancer," and it is devoted to advocating for conservative medical treatment, in other words, not surgical treatment!, for prostate cancer. The brochure lists the many health benefits of conservative treatment while also detailing the impotence and incontinence that can follow men going under the knife. The booklet has a table showing a much higher 10 year cure rate for the conservative course versus the radical surgical treatment. It would seem that remaining intact has huge physical and mental health benefits for male and female alike.
By the way, this is not the first time that I have found such valuable information displayed in a grocery store. In this case, the grocery store, the celebrities, a local news station, and a conservative cancer treatment center all appeared to have partnered to produce the free pamphlet.
Holding it now, contrasting it to the gyn's new and hideous "video game", I can't help but to yet again feel the bitter sting of the gyn professional medical advocacy betrayal.
Why is it that men, even men facing cancer, are well and commonly warned, while women are not?
Why is it a woman's lot alone to be some real life human being avatar in a cruel, and, so often, unnecessary de sexing?
How can we, as a society, stomach such an exhibition to our young? Allow such a subliminally charged message to taint our young's minds and well being?
Why does the male gender have issues of informed consent given out freely at grocery stores, while the female gender is not told what she needs to be told even as she goes under anesthesia?
Sometimes, even one who has been studying this issue for more than a decade still gets shocked by not only the atrocity that unnecessary hysterectomy and castration are, but, also by the absolute brazen and heartlessness with which most gyns continue to portray hysterectomy and castration as benign procedures- and the very lengths that they will go to in their deceptive portrayals.
I cannot imagine a video game depicting the removal of the male sex organs, or, the male gonads... so, why are the critical female organs, the uterus and the ovaries, held out as disposable? Their amputation alone suitable for a carnival video game presentation to our youth?
Once again, The HERS Foundation remains correct in all that it maintains. We desperately need the HAVE law to bring some semblance of medical gender equality to this country!bc

 
At April 1, 2010 at 7:08 AM , Anonymous Jane said...

Case in point, there's a 16 year old girl on the city data message boards that wants a hysterectomy because she says her periods are inconvenient. This is exactly what gynecologists are looking to do. They really must be running low on women victims because now they are going after teenagers.

 
At April 1, 2010 at 4:45 PM , Anonymous Sarah said...

I am sure Leonardo da Vinci never imagined that his name would be used for a machine that mutilates women.

 
At April 3, 2010 at 10:51 PM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

I had never referred to the dictionary for the definition of "castrate." I expected it to say something to the effect of "to remove the testes or ovaries." It essentially says that but the second definition in Websters says "to deprive of vitality or effect." We know how devastatingly true this is!

This is from a dictionary dated 1971.

 
At April 4, 2010 at 2:27 PM , Anonymous Lori said...

That's right, gynecologists like to torture women.

 
At April 6, 2010 at 9:30 AM , Anonymous bc said...

Recently, I heard that the South has the lowest of National optional vaccination rates, ranging from as low as 20%. Strange that you would have such low compliance- despite the CDC being headquartered in Atlanta...
Or, is it strange? Hmm, the South has the highest of hysterectomy rates...It makes me wonder, if those having been deceived by the gyns, are left forever, justifiably, more wary of all things medical...Just a thot thrown out.....bc

 
At April 7, 2010 at 10:12 PM , Anonymous Wendy said...

I had an opportunity yesterday to educate a 1st year med student who was making rounds with my primary care doctor. I gave him an earful on the effects of hysterectomy and castration. I was very matter of fact and he seemed very receptive. I also mentioned the deceit that was used to get my "consent." I told him regardless of what specialty he chooses, he can make an impact on this industry. Most of our conversation took place without my primary care doctor in the room. However, I did mention some additional information after she joined us and some of it was new to her (hysterectomy increases risk of lung cancer). Her response was “that’s not good.” She did state that the rates are going down and I told her that I don’t think they are, at least not in my city.

 
At April 7, 2010 at 10:17 PM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

Your cooperation in not posting anonymous comments would be appreciated.

Anonymous comments are deleted and reposted with an alia assigned by HERS. This is time consuming and unnecessary.

Thank you!

 
At April 8, 2010 at 1:15 PM , Anonymous electra said...

I would love to see the reaction to removing prostates via 'video game' type robotic assisted surgery, or testicles for that matter. Women are still treated so shabily it's disgusting and this blog post confirms it.

I'm shocked.

 
At April 9, 2010 at 5:42 PM , Anonymous CT said...

Imagine the parents reaction when their teenager came home and said they watched a man being castrated and his penis shortened?

 
At April 10, 2010 at 8:12 AM , Anonymous Mary said...

Wow, where are the parents while they are showing their kids how to mutilate a woman (showing how they shorten and suture the woman's vagina)? What is this class, Female Mutilation 101? Parents, where are you?

 
At April 20, 2010 at 3:15 AM , Anonymous Jane said...

I wonder if their parents let them watch porn too?

 
At May 16, 2010 at 9:57 PM , Blogger Leenchen said...

Hi everyone, I am a high school student who attended this presentation.

I can attest that the seminar was handled in a very professional manner by the personnel at Christ Hospital. The process is nothing at all like a video game. Rather, I believe that the doctors at the hospital merely made the connection to engage the attention of our "teenage minds."

As for the "fun" aspect that you mention, the word "fun" is very much inappropriate. The surgeon has found a profession she enjoys, but does not enter the scrub room with a giddy smile on her face, as you are making it sound.

A hysterectomy, like any surgery, involves risk. The DaVinci mechanism is intended to minimize the threat of infection by significantly minimizing the impact on the woman's body. (This is done with three punctures into the skin, rather than large incisions).

The hospital does not pay $1.5 million for the DaVinci machine. It is rented out on contract. They do this is avoid the high up-front initial cost of the device and so that they have flexibility when newer and better technology comes out.

I'm quite surprised at Jane's question, "I wonder if their parents let them watch porn, too?" This surgery was the antithesis of porn. The cameras were limited to showing the operating room (with the patient fully covered) and inside her body. We were never shown her outer genitalia. And if you criticize how hospitals physically degrade women's bodies, it is absolutely far-fetched to socially degrade the female genitalia by assuming they are pornographic in nature. As a woman, I am offended.

 
At May 18, 2010 at 1:16 AM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

Leenchen,

Your response is welcome, particularly as a student who was an observer of robotic hysterectomy in your classroom.

When talking about robotic hysterectomy doctor’s often describe it as “using a joy stick playing a video game”. You probably agree that video games are generally thought of as “fun”.

Some of your comments make the case that streaming robotic hysterectomy into high school classrooms gives students and teachers the subliminal message that hysterectomy is benign. For example, you said “A hysterectomy, like any surgery, involves risk. The DaVinci mechanism is intended to minimize the threat of infection by significantly minimizing the impact on the woman's body. (This is done with three punctures into the skin, rather than large incisions).”

It’s true that there are risks of all surgery. What was not taught during your viewing of robotic hysterectomy was the consequences of the surgery that are predictable, universal consequences of removal of the female sex organs, whether the surgery is performed hands-on or by a gynecologist controlled robot.

By omission of the important life long functions of the uterus and ovaries one can easily conclude that the uterus is not an important organ. In fact, the uterus is a hormone responsive reproductive sex organ that supports the bladder and the bowel.

When the uteru is removed women have a 3X greater incidence of heart disease, and when the ovaries are removed the incidence is 7X greater.

Women who experience orgasm will, after hysterectomy, never again experience the pleasurable uterine contractions with orgasm. And during hysterectomy the vagina is shortened, made into a closed pocket, sutured shut at the top of the vagina.

Your offense at Jane’s question is understood since this has nothing to do with porn. Are you similarly offended that you and your classmates were not taught the consequences of removing the female sex organs?

I hope that you will continue this dialogue. The consequences of hysterectomy have been documented in medical literature for over a century. If you are interested, HERS will email medical journal articles that document the life long functions of the female organs. Please email HERS at hersfdn@earthlink.net to request medical journal articles.

I encourage you to continue this dialogue, it’s very important that your opinions and that of your classmates be understood and respected.

 
At May 25, 2010 at 11:28 AM , Anonymous Gracie said...

This is really sick! There is just no end to the extremes doctors will go too to get women to be hysterectomized and castrated. Lets have a video removing the gonads from men. Can you imagine the outrage from parents if students were shown a video of male castration? We need to found out what schools are showing this video and write to their board of education. Please let me know if anyone founds out. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!

I have come to the conclusion that women are being downgraded as a human being and gynecologist have no regards for the health and welfare of the female population.

Leenchen, why would they ever show this surgery to high school students if not to encourage them to have this barbaric surgery that destroys your life, your marriage, health, zest for life and career?

Were you surprised to read the HERS Foundation comment about a hysterectomy and the consequences of having one? The women that are writing on this site have all been multilated, destroyed and is not having a good life after their surgeries. We are trying to get through one day at a time. I believe one lady stated that students, teachers and administrators that watched this video have no idea they are being primed for future unnecessary hysterectomies.

A hysterectomy is a hysterectomy no matter how they are done. This surgery is being glorified by using the word robotic. The damages will be the same-life long!

 
At May 28, 2010 at 11:02 AM , Anonymous Jane said...

I'm offended that a gynecologist would show teenagers how to amputate a woman's sex organs while not even informing them that the uterus and ovaries are sex organs. Talk about keeping them in the dark!

Someone else posted on another blog discussing an article in the "Wall Street Journal about the robotic machine causing lacerations to women's bladders and other serious injuries. They also state that due to the expense of the machine it requires many more operations to be performed to justify the expense. It takes over 500 operations before the doctor is skilled in its use."

Did the gynecologist tell these kids how often injuries are caused while these doctors are practicing on patients to operate the video game hysterectomy machine? Would they like to be one of the guinea pigs?

You have to ask, what are these gynecologists really trying to teach kids?

 
At June 16, 2010 at 10:50 PM , Anonymous ViolenceAgainstWomen said...

I was hysterectomized and castrated without my consent, and even at my refusal to consent. If you say "no" to sex with a man and he rapes you, he will be arrested. If you say "no" to a hysterectomy, and the doctor hysterectomizes you anyway, the doctor is rewarded. What kind of sick country is this? I've learned the hard lesson that doctors have immunity when it comes to hacking up and mutilating women and they know it. I also filed a fraud complaint with my insurance company and they said they don't investigate that type of fraud, but they are sure there waiting for their money if you recover in a lawsuit. My attorney told me the same thing you were told, that the police wouldn't help me. I surpassed the police and contacted the county prosecutor, who also blew me off. Why are doctors criminally immune to medical abuse? I read your blog post about your experience...it's sickening that they will investigate if the doctor fondles your breasts, but if he does bodily harm against your will then that's okay. These cases are criminal not civil. I don't know what country I live in anymore either. I'm ashamed to be an American.

 
At October 25, 2012 at 10:18 AM , Anonymous Vicki said...

We must do more for women to allow GYN's to perform Jack the Ripper style surgery. I had a hysterectormy for a nonthreatening life situation (endometriosis) because my Doctor didn't inform me of other less evasive alternatives. In my medical records, he indicated that he presented a biopsy as an option to determine if my situation was cancerous. However, during the office visit, he never mentioned to me of a biopsy. I even question if there were less evasive measures for my situation and was adamant about not wanting body parts removed. He indicated that a hysterectomy was my only hope. I consented to having a hysterectomy without all the facts presented in writing and now after 4 months, I realized I consented to a fraudulent contract and I am now facing, at 43 years old, overwhelming health problems.

 
At November 13, 2013 at 9:14 AM , Anonymous Tami said...

I am teaching my children now! This procedure most likely led to the early demise of most of the women in my family. I almost fell for it. Why? Mommy had it done so that means I may need it too. After all, I am done bearing children. Thats all its good for. I dont have cancer. I do have a fibroid.

 
At August 9, 2014 at 9:13 AM , Anonymous Sabrinna said...

This makes me sick. I was reading it with my hand over my mouth, absolutely horrified.

I want to run an education of this type for women in New Zealand and Australia.

We need to rage against this cavalier attitude and lack of informed consent. I need to do something about it!

 
At August 9, 2014 at 12:10 PM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

Sabrinna,

There is an enormous need for more women to become involved in educating women, girls, men and boys about the lifelong importance of the female organs. Programs that make it enticing and fun by making the engineering feat fun to remove a woman's uterus and ovaries can be overcome by information about the damaging and often devastating effects of hysterectomy.

By educating the public we can change the perception that hysterectomy and female castration is a simple benign surgery.

HERS video Female Anatomy: the Functions of the Female Organs at www.hersfoundation.org/anatomy is a terrific educational tool. Women who watch the video understand that their female organs are not merely reproductive organs, they hormone responsive sex organs that provide structural support to their bladder, bowel and other pelvic organs. The video can be watched and downloaded free from HERS website. Tell every woman you know to watch the video so that she will understand how critically important the female organs are, all of a woman's life. There is no age or time when the female organs are not needed for a woman's health, wellbeing, sex, sexuality and quality of life.

 

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