Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Indiana PPAN and Indiana ACLU Chapters Oppose Informed Consent

The Hysterectomy Educational Resources and Services (HERS) Foundation, a non-profit international women’s health education organization, held its 28th annual conference in New York City on Saturday, April 24, 2010. The focus of the conference—hysterectomy informed consent legislation—recently drew opposing comments from representatives of two non-profit groups.

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), an ardent women’s rights advocate, delivered the Keynote Address at the conference. State Representative Bruce Borders (R-IN), who recently proposed hysterectomy informed consent legislation in the form of House Bill 1366, addressed what voters can do to help bring about meaningful legislation to counteract the more than 621,000 hysterectomies performed each year on women in the U.S. who are not provided with information that is required for informed consent.

For nearly three decades, the HERS Foundation has been asking the question, who would deny women the anatomical facts that are requisite to hysterectomy informed consent? When this question was posed in an Indiana House of Representatives hearing, the Indiana Hospital Association and a gynecologist who claimed to represent the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) voiced opposition to HB1366. As did Planned Parenthood Action Network (PPAN) of Indiana and Indiana ACLU.



Planned Parenthood has long opposed video consent legislation, such as the one currently in place in Utah.[1] And in a missive PPAN of Indiana recently sent to its followers, they said of HB1366, “Thank you to all of our supporters who spoke out against this incredibly unjust and unnecessary bill.”[2] The HERS Foundation and other supporters of the bill welcome a public dialogue with representatives of PPAN to discuss their perception of how educating women about the anatomical facts of a life-altering surgery is “unjust and unnecessary” and the HERS position that informed consent is both just and necessary.

Indiana ACLU board member Joan Laskowski claimed that HB1366 “compromises dignity and autonomy protected by reproductive liberty.”[3] HERS also seeks a public dialogue with Indiana ACLU representatives who support Laskowski’s position that informed consent “compromises” rather than ensures dignity, autonomy, and liberty. In his book Patient Autonomy and the Ethics of Responsibility (MIT Press, 2005), Alfred I. Tauber unwaveringly states that informed consent supports autonomy and preserves dignity. I attempted to speak with Laskowski regarding her stance on a woman’s right to information required for informed consent. She restated her opinion and then ended the phone call, denying me the opportunity to speak.

HERS Foundation supporters include women and men from all political parties and from both sides of the abortion debate. Hysterectomy and abortion are about very different issues that should not be confused. Hysterectomy limits “reproductive liberty” in women who would choose to have children. Informed consent guarantees liberty and autonomy.

Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, a hormone-responsive reproductive sex organ. Removal of the uterus impacts every cell in a woman’s body. Information about the consequences of the surgery is every woman’s right to know, prior to being told to sign a hysterectomy consent form.

Women scheduled for hysterectomies who watch HERS’ 12-minute video Female Anatomy: the Functions of the Female Organs report to HERS that they canceled their surgeries. Approximately 29% of medical expenditures are surgery-related, and hysterectomy is the most commonly performed non-obstetric surgery performed in the U.S.[4]

Hysterectomy represents more than $17B a year to the medical industry. If hysterectomies that are not life saving cease to be performed, hospitals and gynecologists will no longer benefit from more than half a million medically unwarranted hysterectomies performed each year. But the question remains unanswered why the Indiana representatives of two venerated non-profit organizations have mounted opposition to informed consent.

At issue here is medical ethics. Just as well-informed voters are at the heart of the American political system, no woman can be said to have provided consent without full, accurate information about the alternatives to and consequences of removal of her female organs prior to hysterectomy.

Politicians from both sides of the aisle have stepped forward in support of the HERS Foundation’s mandate to put information about the consequences of hysterectomy into informed consent. Borders, whose talk at the HERS conference was titled "Your Vote is Mightier than the Lobbyist's Dollar,” expressed surprise that two organizations one would expect to be natural allies of his bill not only did not support it but voiced opposition to it.



[1] Utah Criminal Code, Title 76, Offenses Against the Family, Section 305.5 Requirements for printed materials and informational video, http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE76/htm/76_07_030505.htm
[2] Planned Parenthood Indiana, “IGA Update,” email, February 9, 2010.
[3] Joan Laskowski, VP Legislation, ACLU - IN Board Member, “Legislation Update At Mid-Session,” http://www.aclu-in.org/2010_general_assembly_at_midsession.
[4] Muñoz, Eric; Muñoz, William III; Wise, Leslie, “National and Surgical Health Care Expenditures, 2005-2025,” Annals of Surgery, February 2010, pp 195-200.


Nora W. Coffey, President
610-667-7757
888-750-HERS

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47 Comments:

At May 5, 2010 at 11:56 PM , Anonymous Zoe said...

Teaching and performing HUMAN SEXUAL MUTILATION under the guise of Hysterectomy is a self serving trick and the greatest breach of the oath "DO NO HARM".
Doctors betray women, the families of the women, and their very selves by teaching and promoting the damaging surgery of Hysterectomy or vivisection of women. It is an affront to human dignity and human spirit everywhere. It is an affront to the right to be healthy and intact. This corrupt action and devisive thinking can only be stopped by actual LAW.

 
At May 6, 2010 at 8:18 AM , Anonymous Gracie said...

I am addressing the Planned Parenthood Action Network and ACLU/Ms. Laskowski. Why do you so strongly oppose women being informed about this damaging and barbaric surgery? Why is it so wrong to watch a video, then decide if this is the surgery you want? Why is it so wrong to know when they take out the ovaries, you are being castrated? Why is it so wrong to know hormones control your health and well-being? Why is it so wrong to know there are alternative surgeries to remove fibroids, cysts and polyps?

Please read the blog what women across the country are saying about their life after. I know if I would have watched the video, I would not have had this surgery. Your life after is not a very good life. I had to give up the career of owning my own styling center because after 5 years I wasn't able to keep up the pace as before my surgery. I have been sick everyday for 22 years. The side-effects are numerous. I was castrated for a pea sized fibroid when I could have had a myomectomy which I didn't know until I found HERS. I would like anyone of you who are opposing this bill to walk in a hysterectomized and castrated woman's shoes for just one day. You would not be opposing the informed consent bill.

All of you opposing this law is just as guilty as all the doctors who have made a fortune castrating women. There are more laws on the books to protect animals than women. This is really sad. SHAME ON YOU!

 
At May 6, 2010 at 5:23 PM , Anonymous Bibi said...

Oh, I so adamantly agree w/Zoe's and Gracie's comments here. I can't fathom why people involved in an org. of Planned Parenthood be opposing HB1366. Well, by they promoting Hysterectomies; it is a guaranteed way to stop women from having children. Talk about "Planned Parenthood"! Let doctors have at it to 'hack' out uteruses, and this organization will not even need to really exist any longer. I am amazed that anyone in this org. would be opposed to this bill. OUTRAGEOUS - SERIOUSLY. What harm would it be to have females more informed, be educated on alternatives to save their VITAL ORGANS, know the horrific complications from having this surgery done; which are life altering in every aspect; i.e., physically, mentally, financially, and with relationships with spouses, significant others, family, and friends?

To Joan Laskowski: (I hope you read this blog) - You are so gravely obtuse. I wish you could (as Gracie was conveying) live one day in my body. You would be converted immediately. Yes too, as Gracie said also, "SHAME ON YOU"!!! For all who oppose this, you are naive of all of this. People can just read the blog area at the Hers Foundation site of "Name That Doctor", and read what women have posted with the devastation done to them. I am one of them. Why was I not told of alternatives for two small fibroids. I was tricked and scared into having a Hyst.. I was told I would feel so much better after having a Hyst., and now my life has completely changed to the negative, physically. I thank God that my husband is supportive, but there are so many ruined afterwards with their sexual relationships with partners, and this just one element doctors don't tell women about. How dare they get away with this aspect alone. I'm angry, and have every right to be. I want a law in effect to ensure doctors don't do this to ONE MORE FEMALE; i.e., what was done to me. I can speak with 'First Hand' experience. Can you, Ms. Laskowski?

 
At May 6, 2010 at 6:58 PM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

Will post more later but I wish we could make the "Name that Doctor" blog more visible. It's buried in the archives.

 
At May 6, 2010 at 7:24 PM , Anonymous LuLu said...

(sigh)...I am afraid that I believe that to understand this hideous betrayal of women's rights by Indiana PPAN and Indiana ACLU, we must not look for ignorance, nor, even misguidance... but rather simply instead "follow the money".
Hmm...I can't help but wonder just what the financial ties that bind are between these organizations and the profiteering gyns, hospitals, big pharmas, etc.?
Personal opnion here, but, I suspect that the two organizations are somehow being rewarded to mount an effort against the hysterectomy informed consent legislation.
And if you think me an overly suspicious person, I can only then answer that I am what a gyn left.

 
At May 6, 2010 at 11:03 PM , Anonymous diane said...

Regarding informed consent, WORDS HAVE POWER...but then devious GYN surgeons do not want to empower women. This would deter surgery for profit thereby compromising their income. Gynecologicol surgeons prefer to keep the power for themselves. Does GOLDMINE ring a bell?

 
At May 7, 2010 at 12:39 AM , Blogger Deb Knutson said...

Without full disclosure regarding the consequences of hysterectomy, I have lost my dignity, autonomy and certainly my freedom and liberty to "choose". We as women are currently being "dictated" to undergo a surgery fraught with health ramifications. I cannot fathom any pro-humanity organization seeing this situation in any other manner!!
Deb Knutson
Disabled in Minnesota

 
At May 7, 2010 at 2:46 PM , Anonymous TQ said...

I did find the statute that was mentioned at the hearing: 13-18-12-3 - please note that because of the vagueness of the statue, what and how much, or how little information provided is left up to each individual doctor.

The HERS video provides the specific information necessary for information consent.

http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title34/ar18/ch12.html

IC 34-18-12-3
Informed written consent; explanation of proposed treatment, outcome, and risks
Sec. 3. The explanation given in accordance with section 2(3) of this chapter must include the following information:
(1) The general nature of the patient's condition.
(2) The proposed treatment, procedure, examination, or test.
(3) The expected outcome of the treatment, procedure, examination, or test.
(4) The material risks of the treatment, procedure, examination, or test.
(5) The reasonable alternatives to the treatment, procedure, examination, or test.
As added by P.L.1-1998, SEC.13.

 
At May 7, 2010 at 2:57 PM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

LuLu,

You said that all we have to do to understand why PPAN and the ACLU oppose this law is to "follow the money."

When I first read this HERS blog post, I was perplexed but then it dawned on me last night that it's all about money. (I should have realized that immediately - what was I thinking?!?) I planned to post my thoughts last night but ran out of time.

And, yes, I too am a very suspicious person since being castrated by Dr. Richard C. Muckerman and two residents for a benign cyst. The removal of my healthy organs was all about money - money for the doctors, the nurses, the hospital, the pharm industry and to further the hysterectomy and castration industry through Graduate Medical Education.

And the insurance companies "aid and abet" this fraud through their reimbursement rates and approval process. They reimburse based on whatever the doctor decides to remove regardless of whether or not that removal is warranted. And most, if not all, make it more profitable to remove the uterus than to use organ-sparing treatments.

Aid and abet - To order, encourage, facilitate, or to actively, knowingly, intentionally, or purposefully assist, or otherwise promote or attempt to promote...

 
At May 8, 2010 at 1:25 AM , Anonymous Cathy said...

I wonder how much ACOG donates to Planned Parenthood?

 
At May 8, 2010 at 10:47 AM , Anonymous Gutted said...

From 1988 - Charges against doctor after 22 years of performing crude experimentation surgery on hundreds of women without their consent:
http://www.nytimes.com/1988/12/11/us/charges-against-doctor-bring-ire-and-questions.html?pagewanted=1

Quotes from that article:

"In all of the soul-searching and finger pointing, the state medical board is now looking into the role and responsibility of his colleagues who, board officials say, silently watched as many of Dr. Burt's patients suffered permanent physical damage."

“Some doctors say they repeatedly told medical board investigators about Dr. Burt but say the board did not take action until Gov. Richard F. Celeste wrote it about the case.”

Comment from Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe, then (as well as now) director of the Public Citizens' Health Research Group - "It's a disgrace to all of medicine."

This is just as true for hysterectomy; it’s crude, permanently damaging and a disgrace to all of medicine. Yet these surgeries have continued for over a century. There are plenty of enablers as well as perpetrators in the fraud of hysterectomy including the states’ medical boards. Here’s a link to the ranking of the rate of State Medical Boards’ Serious Disciplinary Actions for 2006-2008 - http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=594

Another article on this site:
Patients’ fates (as measured by the drugs they were prescribed) were actually determined by the roll of a golf ball - http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=2869. I wonder if hormone replacement Rx “kickbacks”/agreements (along with my doctor’s greed and possibly Graduate Medical Education quotas) also played into my being gutted. I highly suspect so.

 
At May 8, 2010 at 7:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Cofey,
So, is the fight to get this into law over because of what happened?

Mary

 
At May 8, 2010 at 8:19 PM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

Everyone! HB 1366 Hysterectomy Informed Consent is dead, but the fight to change the law is alive and well!

House Resolution 0037, introduced by Rep. Bruce Borders, is pending a vote in the 2nd Regular Session this month.

You can read the Resolution at http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2010/PDF/HRESF/HR0037.pdf.

Email HERS at hersfdn@earthlink.net for the names and email addresses of the member of the committee that will decide if the Resolution will be passed.

 
At May 9, 2010 at 2:41 PM , Anonymous Cathy said...

It really is shocking that the ACLU and Planned Parenthood would oppose this bill. Why would they want to promote having gynecologists amputate women's sex organs without their informed consent? Do they think that all women should be sterilized and mutilated without their informed consent?

 
At May 15, 2010 at 1:04 PM , Blogger cck said...

I've just had the most informative, infuriating, horrifying weekend in New York City since moving here from Kentucky a year-and-a-half ago. (I currently live in Queens with my girlfriend, Alex.) My mother was visiting from Cincinnati in order to attend the Twenty-Eighth Hysterectomy Conference sponsored by the HERS Foundation.

Since 2007 the necessity of seeking the truth about the hysterectomy procedure has been a primary goal for my mother, who was given a total hysterectomy without her consent in September of 2007. The horrifying truth of this fact is that it is not uncommon.

Though I'm all-too-painfully-aware of my mother's experience with this horrendous operation, I never fully understood exactly how to propagate this admittedly important truth. Throughout the ten-hour conference on Saturday, Alex and I received an alarming education about the female anatomy and what specifically occurs after a woman undergoes a hysterectomy.

Dr. Mitchell Levine from the Tufts and Harvard Schools of Medicine explained what happens to the pelvis when the uterus and/or ovaries are removed, severing the blood supply, nerves, and ligaments. Genevieve Carminati, professor of English and Women's Studies at Montgomery College, drew attention to the mythology of hysterectomies by borrowing from Roland Barthes' observation that the myth, among other things, ignores history and seeks to manipulate. We had the privilege to listen to the testimonies of five astonishingly courageous women -- Jen Bandes, Nicole Choate RN, Sylvia Gill, Melanie Miller, Tawanda Queen -- who underwent this irreversible operation that led to the utter dismantlement of their own mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.

There was also Representative Bruce Borders who spoke of the opposition and support he has received from authoring Indiana House Bill 1366, the Hysterectomy Video Informed Consent Law. Again and again during his speech, he reminded us that as long as he has breath in his body he will fight against this massive injustice. Bruce Borders is the kind of dynamic personality that reminds one of the brilliantly eccentric but genuinely honorable Abe Lincoln.

Coffey, who co-authored the book "The H Word" with Schweikert, states the matter rather clearly in a small pamphlet designed by HERS to educate women about their own bodies and the consequences of this surgery: "During the operation called hysterectomy the uterus is removed from a woman's body and its functions are permanently lost. During a hysterectomy it is a common and unjustified practice for surgeons to remove normal ovaries and fallopian tubes in surgery called bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Neither hysterectomy or oophorectomy is constructive or restorative surgery. Both hysterectomy and oophorectomy are, by medical definition, destructive procedures. There is no treatment which is able to restore, replace, or compensate for the functions of the missing organs. The immediate and life-long complications induced by these operations have been widely documented in the scientific and medical literature since their introduction into the surgical armamentarium, and are well known in medical circles."

The complications reported to HERS as a direct result of these surgeries are too numerous to list here but are listed on the HERS site.

The bottom line being that the fallopian tubes, cervix, uterus, and ovaries (female gonads) are not merely "reproductive organs," which is the term we've been instructed to use in place of sex organs. The necessity of keeping the vagina intact cannot be understated. The notion that when a woman has decided she's "finished having children" she is, subsequently, in need of having the most important aspect of her biological make-up distorted and/or removed altogether is, finally, a false one.

 
At May 16, 2010 at 6:01 PM , Anonymous Jane said...

It is truly horrifying what these doctors and hospitals are doing to women and Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, just added their names to the slaughter.

 
At May 20, 2010 at 10:36 AM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

This is just a reminder that if you haven't posted the name of the doctor and hospital that hysterectomized and/or castrated you - please do so.

The Name that Doctor and Hospital blog is in the Jan 7, 2009 archive at http://hysterectomyinformation.blog spot.com/2009_01_07_archive.html.

I wish it was more prominent on the blog webpage.

Also, be sure to rate your mutilator on doctor rating websites and business listing websites to warn others.

 
At May 20, 2010 at 1:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Mad as Hell-
What is behind the ACLU and Planned Parenthood objecting to information being given to women? What is this agenda?
Also, could we be harassed by lawyers for the doctors if their names appear in the blog? I think fear keeps more women from listing these doctors.
Isabella

 
At May 20, 2010 at 3:12 PM , Anonymous Jane said...

Isabella- just list their names anonymously and don't include any identifiers. Choose "anonymous" as your identity when you post, or choose an alias, like I did.

 
At May 20, 2010 at 4:50 PM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

To Isabella,

You asked "What is behind the ACLU and Planned Parenthood objecting to information being given to women? What is this agenda?"

At first, I too was puzzled about this but then the answer came to me. It must be about $$$; follow the $$$. It would make sense that ob/gyns' $$$ are behind Planned Parenthood but I didn't expect them to be big funders of the ACLU but there must be a money trail there somewhere.

Regarding "could we be harassed by lawyers for the doctors if their names appear in the blog? I think fear keeps more women from listing these doctors."

If you state the facts, I don't think there should be any concern. It's important that we speak out against these perpetrators.

 
At May 20, 2010 at 5:44 PM , Blogger ViolenceAgainstWomen said...

I don't think the doctors and hospitals would bother you because that would mean that they would bring more attention to this blog and this issue, which is absolutely what they don't want. ACOG and the medical community are silent to all these allegations because that's what works best for them while they continue to deceive and mutilate millions of women.

 
At May 20, 2010 at 11:27 PM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

It is important to realize that it is only one chapter of Indiana ACLU that has opposed Hysterectomy Informed Consent Legislation, not the entire state, and NOT National ACLU. In fairness to Indiana ACLU, thus far it is only Joan Laskowski who has voiced vitriolic opposition to Rep. Borders legislation. Her opposition seems to be based on her misconception that hysterectomy is the same as abortion. I would welcome an opportunity to meet with anyone from Indiana ACLU or any other organization to discuss their opposition to Hysterectomy Informed Consent. Unfortunately, that was not possible with Joan Laskowski. I wasn't able to get a word in when I called her. She yelled into the phone for 10 minutes, then hung up.

National ACLU and ACLU chapters all across America supported HERS during our yearlong nationwide Protest that took place in every state, every week, for a year. ACLU is a critically important organization that protects everyone's right to free speech. They have been, and continue to be, supportive of HERS civil rights.

 
At June 9, 2010 at 2:00 PM , Anonymous TQ said...

Isn't this ironic, that in the face of an epidemic of female organ removal any chapter of the ACLU or PPAN would side with keeping information from women, however it's delivered. In this society, we frequently come up with various strategies in order to ensure that certain previously unreachable or uninformed populations receive information to ensure their rights and health. Without these kinds of efforts, access and every persons right to choose what's in their best interest is denied. Which is the current practice in reference to informed consent and hysterectomy today.

 
At June 18, 2010 at 10:56 AM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

A June 15 news article addresses the overtreatment of early stage cancers. If you do a web search on "Early Stage Cancers Are Being Overtreated" you'll get a lot of results.

As we all know, very few women have a hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy for confirmed cancer. It is the most unwarranted surgery with devastating permanent consequences and far-reaching societal implications.

Please post comments on some of these websites about the fraud of hysterectomy and the damages it causes.

Another big news story this week is about the "lackluster" results of "female viagra." All study participants had either gone through menopause or had a hysterectomy. These lackluster results make sense since no pill can restore libido or sexual function caused by the anatomical mutilation done by hysterectomy. This is another article that warrants our comments.

Some of the sites containing these articles are:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health
http://www.msnbc.msn.com
http://www.foxnews.com
http://news.yahoo.com
http://www.sfexaminer.com
http://www.aolhealth.com
http://www.azcentral.com
http://townhall.com

Let's keep up the fight to warn other women of the horror of hysterectomy.

 
At June 26, 2010 at 11:47 PM , Anonymous Jane said...

If unconsented and unnecessary hysterectomy/castration surgeries were rare, the authorities would immediately get involved when a woman's sex organs are amputated without her consent, informed or uninformed. The sad fact is that this is an every day occurrence and the citizens have no power to protect themselves. The Indiana PPAN and ACLU should ashamed of themselves for helping to enable gynecologists to mutilate more women. Gynecologists have done this to so many women it's like they are on some kind of twisted feeding frenzy. It's disturbing and those who enable it are even more disgusting.

 
At June 27, 2010 at 10:16 AM , Anonymous Gutted said...

The history of lobotomies is very brief (early 1940's to mid-1950's in the U.S.) in comparison to that of hysterectomies (over a century). Only 40,000 lobotomies were done in the U.S. in that decade+ timespan. There are 620,000 hysterectomies EVERY YEAR in the U.S. and 2.2 MILLION women alive today have had one.

Where is the OUTRAGE???

Where are the attorney generals, legislators, and health care professionals with a conscience?

 
At June 27, 2010 at 10:50 AM , Anonymous Kat said...

If hysterectomies are so damaging, then why aren't there more women speaking out about it? Supposedly, 22 million American women have had a hysterectomy, and it seems like only a handful seem to be saying that it has profoundly changed them for the worse. I don't understand this huge disparity.

 
At June 27, 2010 at 11:49 AM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

Kat,

You can read what a thousand women report about the damaging effects of hysterectomy at www.hersfoundation.org. Then click on "Adverse Effects Data".

After you read what women report, click the navigation button "Female Anatomy Video" and watch the short video that explains why every hysterectomy is damaging.

 
At June 27, 2010 at 1:54 PM , Anonymous CT said...

My experience has been that many women are embarrassed to speak out about it. After all, a gynecologist has amputated their female sex organs and usually castrated them at the same time. Most women do not want the whole world to know they are less than whole and that their sexuality and health has been taken away from them. Why did it take the rape victims of Priests or child abuse victims decades to speak out?

 
At June 27, 2010 at 2:08 PM , Anonymous Cindy said...

Kat, when I went back to my doctor after he hysterectomized and castrated me and told him about all the problems I was having, he told me I was just a big baby and none of my problems were caused from the surgery. If it wasn't for the HERS Foundation telling the truth about the damage this surgery does, all women would still be in the dark.

 
At June 27, 2010 at 3:04 PM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

Yes, women are embarrassed and ashamed to admit what was done to them. This is a big part of why these perpetrators are able to continue to hysterectomize and/or castrate women to the tune of 620,000 per year.

There were a few co-workers who could have warned me but chose to remain silent. One actually hugged me and told me I'd be fine as long as I worked 1/2 days the first week back from disability. I spoke with another one several months post-op and mentioned some of my problems which are typical post-hyst. She basically acknowledged these problems. I asked her why she hadn't warned me and she said she didn't know what kind of surgery I was having but I'm 99% sure she knew.

My motto is "friends don't let friends have hysterectomies" (although I speak out about it to all, not just friends).

However, at the crux of this issue are the misinformation, lies, and deceit (e.g., cancer fear tactics) by the perpetrators. It doesn't help that they are oftentimes the same doctor we trusted for all or most of our adult lives and the one who saw us through pregnancies and childbirth. This is the perfect setting to be victimized.

 
At June 27, 2010 at 3:35 PM , Anonymous Cathy said...

And you have to ask, why would 22 million U.S. Citizens want their sex organs amputated? Of course, no one would if they knew the truth. I searched the ACOG website for the word "castration" or "castrate" and although they've castrated millions upon millions of American women, there are no hits. How much more obvious can it be that they are trying to hide the truth from women?

 
At June 27, 2010 at 4:18 PM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

My doctor, Richard Muckerman, made sure he didn't have to listen to and see (rapid aging) what he did to me. When I called several months post-op desperate for help, his nurse told me that they'd never heard of those problems before and hung up.

His office called my house the following year probably thinking that I'd missed my "well woman" exam. They must have realized that he had already done a "pelvic clean-out" after they called because they immediately said "never mind" and hung up.

Muckerman had referred me to an oncologist and then instead of removing the one ovary per the oncologist's recommendation, he removed all my sex organs.

 
At June 29, 2010 at 2:45 PM , Anonymous CT said...

There is an article on MSNBC entitled: 'Bad surgeon' guilty of killing three patients

An American doctor accused of botching a string of operations at an Australian hospital was found guilty of killing three of his patients and grievously harming another.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37991487/

Gynecologists do this every day, and they should all be found guilty too.

 
At June 30, 2010 at 12:48 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Coffey,
I fortunately escaped from a hysterectomy and appear to now be going through menopause. Do my chances after I get through menopause lessen for being faced with having a hysterectomy? When my periods were irregular, it was posed to me. However, I found a good doctor that fixed my problem without surgery. Now, I wonder if I am on the "downhill" for this issue? Thank you.

 
At June 30, 2010 at 2:38 AM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

That's great, there's nothing we like to hear more on this blog than I "escaped from a hysterectomy"!

Since the issue you were coping with was menstrual bleeding, and you are now post-menopausal and no longer menstruating, you should never be threatened by a doctor wanting to remove your female organs. Just remember if it is ever suggested, give HERS a call to discuss what's going on and how to manage it without going into an operating room.

 
At June 30, 2010 at 11:28 AM , Anonymous Gutted said...

Anonymous,

I'm SO glad you "escaped hysterectomy!" I've been busy on several forums posting the truth about hysterectomy and warning women about gyns' greedy and deceptive tactics yet many women never post back so I never know if I helped to save them.

Please spread the word about unwarranted hysterectomies and the HERS Foundation. Sign the Petition by clicking on the Take Action link at the top of the HERS webpage. Ask your friends and family members to do the same.

 
At June 30, 2010 at 11:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms Coffey,
Thank you and I will do that. Would it be possible to post names of doctors that are ethical on this website so women know who to call? I traveled out of town to find my doctor and it was the best thing I ever did. He treats women with gynelogical problems like I had and does not even perform hysterectomies. I learned I was lied to twice before by two other doctors and even had a hysterectomy scheduled, but fortunately, I had a bad feeling inside that told me not to do it. I am glad I followed my instincts and sought out another doctor. There are good doctors out there and women should not trust a doctor just because he appears kind or think "they would never lie to me". I would have paid out of pocket to get my problem resolved if that would have been required and it would have been worth it.

 
At July 1, 2010 at 6:31 AM , Blogger HERS Foundation said...

HERS refers women to doctors all over the world. Some are particularly good at evaluating symptoms and diagnosis, others are good at ordering the appropriate diagnostic testing, some are good at prescribing the best medication for a specific problem, and a few are excellent surgeons.

A gynecologist who says all the right things about being conservative in their treatment and not performing hysterectomies may not necessarily practice what they preach. A good diagnostician may not order the least invasive diagnostic tests, or prescribe the best medication. And a skilled surgeon may not be a conservative surgeon, she or he may prefer to do hysterectomies, but you can get them to do what you want, once you know what to say to them, and how to get them to agree to do only what you want.

To get a referral to a doctor contact HERS at 610.667.7757, and we will help you with how to get the evaluation and treatment you need and want from doctors.

 
At July 1, 2010 at 9:21 AM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

If only I had listened to that little voice in my head.

Trust caused me to dismiss that voice - 20 years of trust and respect.

Trust is a dangerous thing especially trust for a gynecologist, in my case one named Richard C Muckerman.

 
At July 2, 2010 at 1:19 PM , Anonymous Cathy said...

Mad as Hell, it's hard to even imagine beforehand that gynecologists could legally be doing such cruelty and getting away with it.

 
At July 4, 2010 at 9:19 PM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

Anonymous,

You said "I learned I was lied to twice before by two other doctors and even had a hysterectomy scheduled, but fortunately, I had a bad feeling inside that told me not to do it."

Be sure to go to all the doctor rating websites and business listing websites (e.g. yellowpages, etc.) and rate these doctors so other women will be forewarned.

Be sure to also rate (and sing the praises of) the one who saved you from a hysterectomy.

 
At July 8, 2010 at 11:30 PM , Anonymous Kris said...

The squeezing of every thing for dollars has extended to human flesh.
Dollars can be wrung from it. By cutting it up.

 
At July 12, 2010 at 11:08 AM , Anonymous Mad as Hell said...

Here's a new forum where you can post your hyst story - what you were and were not told:
http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Hysterectomy/
forum/9754390-wish-id-known/lastpage

 
At July 16, 2010 at 1:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If your 'doctor' tells you a hysterectomy is THE way to go, make an appointment for a discussion in his office. Ask him to go to the hers web site on his computer so that you can watch the female anatomy video. Together. If he will not and refuses your questions about the film, RUN.

Run because he will take your self from you.

 
At July 18, 2010 at 8:54 PM , Anonymous TQ said...

Kat,

In addition to what you find in the "Adverse Effects Data" on the HERS website, women enmass complain to their doctors, family, friends, and partners. Doctors routinely dismiss women's complaints and/or pass them to other specialities. Doctors provide women a dazzingly array of explanations for their new found conditions. For me, when I complained of a few of the initial effect, I was told:
- never heard of anyone having these issue
- maybe my center of gravity had changed
- if I keep complaining, I would need to have back surgery

Women's complaints to their doctors are lodged into the same deep hole as the many women generations of women before now as doctor's continue to report that their are no untold effects from hysterectomy.

Families, friends, and partners, have a wide range of responses, and while they are witness to a women's decline - isolation, understanding of the women's condition, assurances from the medical community - all work against this group of witnesses from speaking out.

HERS efforts have been in uncovering the facts concerning the female anatomy, so that women can begin to put together the true effects of hysterectomy and provide an organized vehicle for women to voice these effects.

Please help get the word out.

 
At January 17, 2011 at 10:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for all your efforts to speak out against hysterectomy. I just had UFE, after receiving 3 recommendations to have a hysterectomy, including from Women to Women, which purports to offer holistic treatment. Since I don't want children, none offered the option of myomectomy. The C word was bandied about as a scare tactic (I have no cancer symptoms and my mother had fibroids).

I was shocked to learn of the incidence of hysterectomy, and how the medical profession and women themselves continue to accept this barbaric practice.

Already opposed to hysterectomy, thanks to your website I learned about the adverse effects, especially depression, fatigue, and incontinence. Why would I want more of what I already have??

I was also shocked to learn of the death rate from hysterectomy (1:1000) -- with the number of hysterecomies performed, that means that the death toll from hysterectomy (4800 est.) is higher than the death toll from the Iraq war (4500 est.) over the same time period. Why doesn't anyone care about these deaths?1?? We have a medical system that is killing women and no one is taking responsibility.

At this point I don't even know if the UFE will work. I pray it does but if not, I will go the myomectomy route. Hysterectomy is a last, last resort.

 

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