HCPs also objectify female bodies

(85 Posts)
BlackSwan7 Sun 12-May-13 13:01:23

www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/time-to-end-pelvic-exams-done-without-consent/article4325965/

Some of you might have heard that medical students are brought in to practice pelvic exams on women who have been put under for a surgery without the woman's knowledge or consent.

How do you feel about this? I am personally horrified and absolutely disgusted. I know that our culture objectifies women and their bodies, but we rarely refer to doctors while talking about objectification. I think it's time we did.

Viewing a female body as something to "practice" a pelvic exam on without even seeking the lady's permission is the worst form of objectification. I do understand that medical students need to learn, and I am sure that many women would be happy to volunteer to help them out. But taking advantage of a vulnerable woman like that is just so unethical!

They are just looking at her as a vagina, uterus and set of ovaries they need to "learn" instead of a living breathing person with feelings, modesty and rights.

This IMO is just another aspect of the obstetric set up as it is which is aimed at disempowering women. It's shocking how little the rights of women are taken into account when it comes to things like childbirth and abortion, and this mindset is a part of that.

Would I be unreasonable to say this is comparable with date drug rape? I mean, rape is rarely about sex. It's usually about power and misogyny. Isn't this a way by which medical professionals are abusing their power by taking advantage of vulnerable women?

BlackSwan7 Sun 12-May-13 13:04:16

It isn't just unconscious women who are abused.

I remember when my BFF had her baby. She had written explicitly in her birth plan "No forceps, no students". Unsurprisingly, they used forceps and they allowed ten students in to observe despite her express refusal to consent to either. She had specifically said she did not want a mid-high forceps delivery and would like to proceed straight to a c-section should the need arise. They completely ignored her and said they had to do a forceps because they wasn't enough time for a c-section. This would have almost been reasonable however, they prepped her for a c-section anyway and then the consultant spent double the normal time to perform the forceps delivery because he was explaining things to ten students at the same time. Even a nurse commented later that a c-section would have been much faster and that this consultant had been keen on his students observing a forceps delivery. So essentially he used her a guinea pig because he wanted his students to observe a forceps delivery. yes, this actually happens and the thing is we are not being able to do fuck all about it. angry

BlackSwan7 Sun 12-May-13 14:01:44

Anyone had a similar experience? Do you think the medical community contributes to rape culture?

scaevola Sun 12-May-13 14:09:43

The first link is to operations in Canada and explicitly states the situation in other countries (including UK) is different. It might be better to seek views on a Canadian parenting site as there'll be many more women there affected (or seeing effects on wider medical attitudes) than here on a mainly UK site.

The student example would not happen in UK either.

BlackSwan7 Sun 12-May-13 14:13:19

The student example is from the UK. It was a teaching hospital in England which subjected my friend to this treatment.

I am aware that unconscious women are not subjected to practice pelvic exams in the UK (at least I hope not), but is this forum only for what happens to women in the UK hmm.

Haven't there been discussion on the condition of Afghan women or the misogyny of the Republican party?

Feminism isn't specific to countries. Women's rights are a global issue.

scaevola Sun 12-May-13 14:19:30

Then she should complain to PCT and onwards - this is a major breach and simply shouldn't be happening. No patient should suffer low quality care which breaches normal standards.

I suggested a Canadian site because you were asking for views on how the first example fitted "our culture" and I took that to mean the culture in which that type of abuse was happening.

kickassangel Sun 12-May-13 14:29:01

I once consented to a student helping with an internal exam. When going through fertility treatment.

I was fine with it until the doctor said the words "push as hard as you like, the patient won't be hurt" shock

Now, the patient had a name, was conscious and right there, and although no damage was done, could very much feel pain.

I realized right then that the doctor was seeing me just as a practice dummy, not a person.

BlackSwan7 Sun 12-May-13 14:30:05

She did complain to the PCT. Unfortunately taking action against the NHS isn't as easy as one would hope. However, I used that example as an illustration and I don't want to digress with a discussion on how we can take on the NHS for their multiple cock-ups.

"Our culture" is a broad reference to the global culture of misogyny which exists in every country (albeit at different levels). Rape culture may be more prevalent in say India, but it is still relevant in the UK as well.
Women's rights are being abused in every culture and every country, even if it manifests itself in a different way. I don't like to be nationalist when discussing feminism.

Anyway, I was asking for opinions and you don't have to be Canadian to offer one.

RiotsNotDiets Sun 12-May-13 14:32:31

Yes, I was assaulted by a doctor and his student, I was in stirrups, an hour into pushing and exhausted, so unable to move or defend myself.
The head was crowning when the doctor walked in, didn't introduce himself, explain what he wanted to do or ask my permission, in fact he didn't even acknowledge me just went straight ahead and forced his hand into my vagina.

It was excruciating, far more painful than actually giving birth.

After what seemed like hours of me screaming and begging him to stop, and every fucker in the room completely ignoring me he turned to who I presume was his student and said, "do you want a go?" and the assault was repeated.

Eventually they had finished with me and the doctor told the student she could stay and watch if she wanted and left the room.

When they handed me my daughter I didn't feel the warm rush of love I had been waiting for, I felt cold and empty. It took me weeks to come out of the bleary daze the assault left me in and to feel love for her.

I still have nightmares reliving it more than 2 years later and will never have another child as I am not willing to leave myself vulnerable to this happening again.

BlackSwan7 Sun 12-May-13 14:32:42

kickassangel Exactly! They view us as practice dummies and not as people. How is that better than the man who views women as breasts and a vagina for his personal gratification? It isn't. Both cases are objectification and I don't see how one can be excused because the perpetrator in one case has a medical degree.

RiotsNotDiets Sun 12-May-13 14:33:17

oh, and I'm in the UK

BlackSwan7 Sun 12-May-13 14:34:59

RiotsnotDiets

I am so sorry to hear about what you went through. It is appalling and horrifying. There aren't enough words to express how sorry and angry I am on your behalf.

RiotsNotDiets Sun 12-May-13 14:39:30

thanks swan

another interesting(?) aspect to it is that people do not want to hear about it in RL. I tried talking about it in baby groups and just got "oh well, forget about it, you should just be glad you have a healthy baby"

BlackSwan7 Sun 12-May-13 14:47:32

^^ People don't want to hear about it because they still feel women are incubators. As long as the baby is fine, the physical and emotional impact on a woman is irrelevant.

That is partly why doctors feel they can get away with this. They think they're doing us a favour by "giving" us a healthy baby (I am doubtful of how many times it is actually something they should get credit for), and we should be willing to put up with anything in return. I suppose allowing a student to examine you was your "payment" for the healthy baby. angry

Primrose123 Sun 12-May-13 14:47:58

Riots, a similar thing happened to me, except it was a midwife. She waited for my DH to leave the room to telephone our family, and said, "Right, I'm going to examine you now." She had been unable to do an internal exam, for some reason it had all suddenly become terribly painful, so she waited until DH wasn't there. If he had been there, her would have stopped her. It was the most painful thing ever. She then laughed at me when I started to cry.

Just like you, I felt cold and empty, and didn't bond with my DD for weeks. I felt very depressed for months, and feel as if that incident might have caused it.

When I had my second baby, I asked my consultant for a C-section, and had it. It was wonderful, and I recovered very quickly from it. It took months to recover from the birth of my first baby.

BlackSwan7 Sun 12-May-13 14:50:14

Primrose

Sorry to hear about your first experience and I am glad the second one was better. smile

You are lucky you were allowed a c-section, this is a choice many women are battling for.

RiotsNotDiets Sun 12-May-13 14:58:12

What a cow primrose

Did you ever complain? I have started a letter a few times but each time it has reduced me to a gibbering wreck as I KNOW it won't come to anything and my obvious lack of power will make me feel worse. There was no mention of it in the notes so the hospital can easily deny it. Plus they have since become 'baby friendly' so would probably just say they've already improved their services.

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 15:00:01

What horrifying stories.

Is it possible to complain about this treatment, did you complain at the time?

I had a bloody awful midwife (nothing like your stories though) and I wouldn't have said anything so I know it is hard to pipe up, but these stories are so horrendous would it be possible to complain?

Is it not assault if a HCP does something like this? (genuine question)

RiotsNotDiets Sun 12-May-13 15:01:38

I think it's medical assault.

scaevola Sun 12-May-13 15:03:25

I suggested seeking Canadian views because women there are in a system which says it's OK. They would have a different take on it.

Here in UK the system doesn't say it's OK and doesn't permit this, and there are means of redress even if they are slow to work through. And of course there are individuals who through incompetence (and I consider poor attitude a form of incompetence) give truly dreadful care.

The laughing MW is appalling.

And I have received suboptimal nursing 'care' with a sneery sarcastic remark thrown in for good measure. But I attribute this to one inadequate person, and not representative of nurses or their culture.

Arseface Sun 12-May-13 15:05:27

Riots, Primrose I had the same with my DTs. Justification was that midwife panicked about me haemorrhaging when she saw blood in the amniotic fluid. It was after the DTs were born and DH had stepped into the side room to take them from the pads so he wasn't there to stop her. There were loads of people in the room and none of them would meet my eye as I asked, demanded then begged her to stop. Obstetrician finally looked up from the floor and told her there was no need for any further intervention. Was left horribly bruised and pooing blood for weeks after.
I had agreed to being prepped for surgery and delivering in theatre as a condition of being allowed to try and deliver the twins naturally. Didn't want to have my feet in stirrups but got railroaded into it at the last minute. Will never let myself be that vulnerable again.

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 15:05:57

riots I am not surprised you find it hard to write that complaint.

Have people heard of the birth trauma association who are a charity to help people who have had horrendous experiences. If anyone wants to talk stuff through they might be useful smile

BlackSwan7 Sun 12-May-13 15:08:33

scaevola

Well, the system in UK is permitting it because it's happening. The Canadian system doesn't exactly say that this is acceptable but it still happens behind the scenes. I'm sure you realise that no system puts it down on paper that performing procedures without consent is OK. hmm That disturbing fact is that it is still happening.

And I wasn't talking about the culture of nurses, I made it quite clear I was referring to the culture of misogyny and objectification which is all pervasive.

BTW means of redress are useless. The emotional and physical damage has been done and can't be undone. I'd rather work towards a system where this sort of thing didn't happen rather than spending hours talking about what the redressal should be if it does happen.

RiotsNotDiets Sun 12-May-13 15:08:57

scaevola my experience happened in a room full of trained medical staff. there were around six of them. Not one of them challenged the doctor or even attempted to comfort me during or after.

Their silence and inaction made them complicit in assaulting me and showed that they didn't see anything wrong with it.

I think that in the medical culture in the UK, pregnant and labouring women are seen as nothing more than vessels.

BlackSwan7 Sun 12-May-13 15:11:59

Arseface

I am sorry about your experience.

I find it shocking that women need "permission" to deliver their twins naturally and those who choose to do so have "conditions" placed before them. It is your bloody choice to deliver however YOU want.

The same way, I find it shocking when women are denied epidurals and c-sections. It is every woman's right to make an informed choice about childbirth.

NiceTabard Sun 12-May-13 15:13:42

"I think that in the medical culture in the UK, pregnant and labouring women are seen as nothing more than vessels."

YY well put.
Not by all HCPs obviously, but enough, and the general attitude seems to be that way.

RiotsNotDiets Sun 12-May-13 15:15:59

Thanks for the link Tabbard

fishybits Sun 12-May-13 15:18:46

I went into have my gallbladder removed wearing knickers and in full control of my bladder. I came round not wearing knickers and temporarily couldn't control my urine. I got nowhere with the hospital, PALS. Stonewalled at every turn so I gave up looking for answers and just accepted that I'd never know what had happened.

Some years later I became friends with a surgeon and asked him what possible reasons during general surgery would there be for me to lose my knickers. Apparently I probably had any number or students examining my vagina whilst under GA sad

I would never ever have consented to this. I am someone who is not in awe of the medical profession and who understands that it's my body whether it's surgery, pregnancy or giving birth. Nothing happens without my informed consent except apparently when under GA when any Tom, Dick or Harry can inspect the most intimate parts of my body angryangryangry

RiotsNotDiets Sun 12-May-13 15:20:52

That's vile fishy

you don't have to be pregnant to have your wishes ignored and your body violated then... just a woman.

BlackSwan7 Sun 12-May-13 15:37:25

fishybits

Oh my gosh sad That is just awful. I am so sorry to hear this!

I can't even imagine how rough they would have been to cause you to lose control of your bladder!! [shocked]

How is this NOT objectification? They are viewing women as an inanimate object. Honestly, if any doctors or students who do this sort of thing are reading this thread here's my message to them:

If this is not a big deal and you use the old "how will they learn" argument, then I have a suggestion. Why don't you people practice on each other? Why not nominate yourselves or your wives/daughters etc to be practice dummies for students?

fishybits Sun 12-May-13 16:49:53

I would love for my surgeon friend (now a consultant) to have been winding me up but I don't think he was. I dated a med student for about a year (18 years ago) and he said that they did examine each other. I think it was the anus and rectum of one of his classmates that he examined. Things may have changed with the students but my surgery was early 2008 so not that long ago.

I did give permission in 2007 for students to examine my uterus during surgery to remove cysts and endometriosis tissue. That was informed consent and they had my blessing. The more knowledge gleaned about endometriosis the better. But I did not give consent to have my vagina examined during the gallbladder removal, the subject wasn't even raised and why would it be.

BlackSwan7 Sun 12-May-13 17:06:09

I do think they should stick to examining each other and the patients who choose to give them permission. Examining women who haven't consented or coercing women into agreeing to the examination is just unethical.

HullMum Sun 12-May-13 21:36:18

This is vile and misogyny is "our culture" in every country unfortunately. How fucking disgusting, I am struggling to see how this does not count as sexual assault. Letting a stranger touch your vagina and cause you potentially unknown harm. angry

I know so many people with horrible birth stories that nothing surprises me regarding the medical community and it's treatment of women anymore.

HullMum Sun 12-May-13 21:40:12

From a practical perspective (ignoring the huge ethical issue) if a person wakes up and something has gone wrong the doctor who performed the surgery wil have it come back on them.

I'm shocked the author needed his little brother to question the ethical side for his to realise it was an assault as well.

BlackSwan7 Sun 12-May-13 21:46:01

^ It ^is sexual assault. People throw rocks at me when I talk about medical rape or birth rape, but I think these terms are legitimate.

Especially since nowadays more and more people are admitting that rape is not about sex, it's about power and control.

RiotsNotDiets Sun 12-May-13 21:47:44

Yes Swan birth rape is the perfect term for it.

BasilBabyEater Sun 12-May-13 22:04:24

I'm beginning to think there should be escorts at all times when women come into contact with HCP's. Some of these stories are horrifying.

lyndie Sun 12-May-13 22:19:47

Fishy I doubt you were sexually assaulted, and the anaesthetic and analgesia is probably the reason you couldn't control your bladder.

UK medical students must seek written permission from the patient to do an examination under anaesthetic. It has been so for a long time.

Medical practitioners examining someone without consent is battery and should be reported as such. A subtle difference is in an obstetric emergency but permission must be sought.

BlackSwan7 Sun 12-May-13 23:52:26

lyndie

Honestly, you don't think that putting fingers, hands, instruments into a vulnerable woman's vagina without her consent is assault?? hmm

Like I said, rape is not about sex- it's about the abuse of power and the objectification of women. Viewing a woman as a practice board and abusing your power as a HCP by examining her intimately without her knowledge is most certainly assault.

In any country, not just the UK, medical students must seek permission before examining anyone and doctors must seek permission before performing a procedure. The gap between theory and practice is what this thread is addressing. They are not doing what they should do and are getting away with it.

BeehavingBaby Mon 13-May-13 00:09:04

I work in theatres often and also feel there could be an innocent explanation fishy - common to take a few hours to recover bladder control following abdominal surgery and they wouldn't send you to recovery with knickers covered in iodine and blood. Assume that is what Lyndie meant too - not that what your friend suggested would not represent assault.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Mon 13-May-13 02:54:40

Really shocking and terrifying stories sad

Am so sorry this happened to you, I'm sorry we live in a world where this is accepted or minimised.

fishybits Mon 13-May-13 06:56:59

The word "assault" hadn't entered my head.

I've had 5 GAs and this is the only one where I seemed to have lost temporary control of my bladder. I asked if a catheter has been fitted and was told no.

An innocent explanation would be lovely.

BlackSwan7 Tue 14-May-13 18:50:07

fishybits

There is no way of knowing for sure what happened. I hope that it wasn't anything sinister but if it was what you said it might be, then I can assure you that qualifies as assault.

RootinTootin Wed 15-May-13 10:53:05

Feminists slagging the NHS. The very definition of irony.

RiotsNotDiets Wed 15-May-13 10:57:56

Should I be grateful that there were medical staff there to assault, abuse and dehumanise me Rootin?

RootinTootin Wed 15-May-13 13:23:31

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RiotsNotDiets Wed 15-May-13 13:34:06

Did you read my experience rootin? Do you think that it is acceptable that a doctor did not even acknowledge me, let alone explain what he wanted to do or ask for permission before forcibly invading my body for no genuine medical reason and ignoring me begging him to stop?

Do you think that it is ok that after this he asked his student if she 'wanted a go' on me, as if I was a medical dummy and that a whole room of people who were supposed to be taking care of me stood by and watched as I was violated and in agony?

Of course I am glad that there are trained medical staff available to women in the UK and that maternal/infant deaths are much less common now than they used to be, but that does not mean that I have to accept being treated like a worthless piece of meat and live the rest of my life suffering from PTSD in order to deserve to benefit from antenatal/delivery/postnatal care.

lottieandmia Wed 15-May-13 13:47:29

Gosh this thread has made me so sad and angry. Black Swan, thanks for posting the thread though - it is so important that people are informed about this. I had no idea it went on.

Riots - how unspeakably awful what you went through and fishybits. I just cannot believe this kind of thing happens. It's utterly disgusting.

lottieandmia Wed 15-May-13 13:50:30

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Lottapianos Wed 15-May-13 13:51:19

Am so shocked by these horrific stories. I am so sorry for all of you who have been assaulted in this way. In my mind there is no question, this is sexual assault and totally unjustifiable.

Rootin, please stop trying to silence women and prevent them from telling their stories. They are allowed to have feelings about these experiences even if you don't agree with them.

lottieandmia Wed 15-May-13 13:53:37

In what universe can anyone equate receiving necessary medical treatment with being treated like a piece of meat??

RootinTootin Wed 15-May-13 13:54:14

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lottieandmia Wed 15-May-13 13:56:31

Rootin - you obviously have some reason why you choose to disbelieve the victims of abuse. Your posts are not helpful and it is attitudes like yours that allow these things to go on unchallenged.

HanShotFirst Wed 15-May-13 13:58:52

Rootin I don't think anyone is slagging off the NHS but rather reliving their horrific experiences at the hands of some HCPs they thought they could trust when they were at their most vulnerable. No-one should ever be violated in such ways.

I posted on here a couple of years ago about 2 HCPs when I was pregnant who made me feel like a piece of meat.

I basically got called a troll, told to call the daily mail and all sorts.

That seriously fucked me up, I felt terrible. One of the people I think it was just absent mindedness (grabbed my downstairs during a physio thing to "show" me where to tense) and another person who made me feel horrid (stuck his hand up my top and under my bra to remove ECG stickies after I had told him I would do it myself as he had already made me feel uncomfortable.

The problem is, I think most people assume all HCPs are trying to help all the time and we should all just be gratefull (even though that is not how they are trained to act) sometimes it's just not like that. Yes, my first example was probably just a not thinking thing but I still don't want to go back to a pregnancy physio because of it.

Exams without consent and unconscious is just fucking vile, I hope that doesn't happen here.

Lottapianos Wed 15-May-13 14:12:08

Just to add, I am a HCP in a role where I don't have to make any physical contact with clients. Even so, we are scrutinised about how much we involve clients in making decisions about their own care, taking clients points of view and opinions into account and allow them to have their say and ask questions. Making decisions without getting consent from your client is not acceptable, and putting your hands on someone without their consent is absolutely not on.

Disgraceful and disgusting attitudes among supposed 'caring' professionals. And I agree with other posters who said that most people dont' want to talk about this - you're supposed to be grateful that you have had a baby and not allowed to question anything else that happened.

RiotsNotDiets Wed 15-May-13 14:13:02

Rootin are you actually trying to suggest I am lying???

This happened to me. I have been suffering with horrible flashbacks and depression due to the PTSD I have as a direct result of being assaulted by medical staff.

RiotsNotDiets Wed 15-May-13 14:13:29

*should say have been suffering for over two years

lottieandmia Wed 15-May-13 14:15:38

HCPs, just like teachers or lawyers or whoever can be very good at their jobs but some are capable of unprofessional conduct and are shit at their jobs. To deny this happens is downright ignorant.

RiotsNotDiets Wed 15-May-13 14:15:59

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lottieandmia Wed 15-May-13 14:21:06

Ignore it Riots brew Anyone with a shred of decency will believe your story and not make it worse by sticking the boot in.

RootinTootin Wed 15-May-13 14:21:16

There are 2 sides to every story and you talk about things going "unchallenged" yet you take these stories at face value and don't even question the posters potential bias or misunderstanding.

Why would women allow this to happen to women?

RiotsNotDiets Wed 15-May-13 14:23:00

Thanks Lottie it's painful enough to talk about it without being made to feel like a liar.

RootinTootin Wed 15-May-13 14:23:49

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RiotsNotDiets Wed 15-May-13 14:27:30

Why is it questionable? The doctor did not have my permission to touch me, he hadn't even told me what he was doing. I BEGGED HIM TO STOP.

There's nothing in there that would lead anyone to question my definition of assault. The only reason to doubt that it was assault is if you think I am making it up.

Lottapianos Wed 15-May-13 14:29:46

What 'misunderstanding' could there be about a consultant shoving his hand into a patient's vagina without so much as a greeting, then encouraging a student to 'have a go'? shock

'Why would women allow this to happen to women?'

Why indeed - but it doesn't mean it didn't happen. I'm sure we have all seen women do vile things to other women. I have had a female nurse make me cry because she was so horrible during a blood test, and I am a tough cookie when it comes to medical procedures.

RootinTootin Wed 15-May-13 14:30:01

How long ago was this?

lottieandmia Wed 15-May-13 14:31:18

'People don't want to hear about it because they still feel women are incubators. As long as the baby is fine, the physical and emotional impact on a woman is irrelevant.'

Yes, I totally agree with this. I always tried to have home births as I felt I would have more control.

HanShotFirst Wed 15-May-13 14:31:59

I agree with lottie - there are great HCPs and crap ones, and it's about time that we all started feeling we are able to talk about this without being shouted down with things like "don't use the NHS if you hate it that much" and telling us how lucky we are to have it.

As Riots, Schro, myself and countless others have probably found, especially, when talking about experiences during pregnancy and childbirth, there is the attitude of "well what did you think was going to happen? You're having a baby/course it's embarrassing/it's got to come out one way or another/people have been doing this thousands of years, you're not the first mother ever, stop making a fuss! Etc, etc, etc" and it's about time that we got listened to, and our experiences taken seriously, rather than being told that this is the best we can expect and have.

RiotsNotDiets Wed 15-May-13 14:32:16

about 2 and a half years ago Rootin, what difference does that make?

Percephone Wed 15-May-13 14:35:02

When I was medical student (2001) if we wanted to examine anyone during a surgical procedure then we had to seek written consent from the patient the day before and there were no exceptions to this rule. Also this was only patients who were attending for gynae surgery. General surgeons have no interest in teaching vaginal examinations during their list!

In my experience the nursing staff and other HCPs are strong advocates for their patients and (correctly) are very quick to tell medical students what is and isn't allowed.

However when I have my baby later this year I will be shouting very loudly about what I do and don't consent to.

BigBlockSingsong Wed 15-May-13 14:46:16

When I was pregnant , I was a higher BMI and a few times a female consultant allowed male medical students . (they were always male) come in, never ask and I was to shy to make a scene, I would have to take about my threatened miscarriage , so bleeding from my hoo-haa and get weighed infront of a male younger than me (for some reason this made it worse)
Although I noticed the med students were the only ones to say please and thankyou,
When I was being induced the male the doctor yet again . walked in like god, god forbid a 'please' escape his mouth and let his (again young) student try and feel my babies head which of course required me to pull some my trou/knickers lower and stood there for about 10 mins pressing, nudging, talking weight etc.
It was a small nicety when the medical student said thanks for letting me, it was the only manners I had encountered for a while.
I had to have an ecv too, which although was neccesary is agonising and violating.
I really wish I said something in Hindsight.

lottieandmia Wed 15-May-13 14:47:23

It is not in dispute by anyone sensible that some HCPs don't understand that they need to treat their patients with respect, otherwise why would there currently be so much discussion about the need to review how nurses are trained, how it has become too academic and how too many nurses lack bedside manner? This is widely accepted as a problem in the NHS at the moment.

Have any of you heard the programmes on radio 4 about this issue? I recently heard some heartbreaking experiences of people who had to watch terminally ill or elderly relatives live out their last days treated with an uncaring and disrespectful approach, which caused both emotional and physical pain to the patient.

Why would anyone not believe that this can also happen to labouring women or women under GA? ie - also too vulnerable at that time to speak out for themselves!

EldritchCleavage Wed 15-May-13 15:32:15

Can I just say that I absolutely hate the terms 'birth rape' and 'medical rape', as I do any prefix to the word rape (date, stranger, marital). I don't think splitting it up into categories is helpful or appropriate. And it often starts to feel like ranking the types of attack as though some are more horrible or worthy of belief than others, which is dangerous (not saying anyone on this thread has that intention).

The terrible things that some of you have gone through are plainly rape and/or sexual assault and should simply be called that. Where there is no therapeutic necessity for the touching and no consent, it is sexual assault plain and simple.

FloraFox Wed 15-May-13 16:36:22

Rootin your attitudes and behaviour are the reason why institutional abuse carries on in any field. You might believe that doctors are your betters who can do no wrong. Others have clearly felt the same way about celebrities, the BBC, the police, the clergy, social workers etc which has led to lifetimes of misery for those subjected to abuse. It's almost invariably the case that some individuals did speak up at the time and cunts like you who know fuck all about the situation or the individuals involved are perfectly willing to say "you're lying" or "it can't possibly be the case that <insert status> would do such a thing". There are no doubt people suffering in such situations now and you and people like you are responsible for this continuing by creating an environment where people do not speak out for fear of others doing exactly what you are doing on this thread.

We pay for the NHS. HCPs are not angels and we don't need to be grateful for abusive or substandard treatment.

EldritchCleavage Wed 15-May-13 16:41:47

Well said 8FloraFox*.
Can you imagine anyone shrugging off doctors teaching medical students to do cystograms (up the penis with a tube procedure-think I've got the name right) and prostate checks on drugged, unconsenting male patients? I can't see that happening. Would the male patients concerned just say 'Oh well, whatever?' Unlikely.

And there is no reason to treat women with any less consideration.

lottieandmia Wed 15-May-13 16:58:49

Good posts, Flora and Eldritch.

RootinTootin Wed 15-May-13 17:12:49

"cunts like you who know fuck all about the situation" very classy and also inaccurate.

I bet I know more about the NHS than most on here which is why I'm highly skeptical.

lottieandmia Wed 15-May-13 17:20:09

'I bet I know more about the NHS than most on here which is why I'm highly skeptical.'

Ah I see - you work for the NHS so you know what has happened in every PCT up and down the country in every patient's care? Silly me for not working that out before hmm

FloraFox Wed 15-May-13 17:27:38

Classy? Coming from you, pfft.

You have insufficient information to make any assumptions about your knowledge of the NHS relative to anyone else here. This statement however together with your incorrect use of the word "irony" is evidence that your intellect is lacking. Your willingness to attack a woman who is trying to discuss a harrowing experience which you know nothing about is evidence that your morals are lacking. I suggest you fuck off right now before you disgrace yourself any further.

lottieandmia Wed 15-May-13 17:36:14

I guess people like RT are the reason Jimmy Savile got away with abusing others for decades 'I know all about the BBC, nothing like that could happen here'

BasilBabyEater Wed 15-May-13 20:34:08

LOL I wonder if Rootie works for the NHS and expects patients to be grateful to her?

lottieandmia Wed 15-May-13 20:44:09

I hope RT is not let loose on real people with his or her profound lack of empathy and skepticism.

StrangeGlue Wed 15-May-13 21:05:51

I'm horrified to find that others had similar experiences to mine. The consultant walked into the room and broke my water without looking at me and it was down hill from there. I was in the room with get for 12 hours and she didn't say a single word to me. The epidural was done wrong but not corrected for ages as no one would listen to me. I was shouted at repeated by the midwife and I had a forceps delivery which took ages and reserved my dd unable to breast feed - something I was given no support for despite asking and asking. We were discharged without her having fed at all. I can't go into the other physical stuff which happened. It's too painful even 19 months and hours of therapy for PTSD and meds for pnd later.

I too was made to feel like I should be grateful my dd is alive. I saw 17 hcp in the first week of get life and the a&e registrar was the first one to listen and actually give some advice which would work.

All of these people were female so you can fuck off with your 'why would women let this happen to women'.

This thread, by therapist and my husband are the only people who haven't made me feel like a failure or 'just be grateful for modern medicine as in the Middle Ages you'd both have died'. I should have had a c-section but the consultant didn't listen so didn't do the right thing.

lottieandmia Thu 16-May-13 00:25:39

StrangeGlue sad To assume that only men are capable of misogyny shows a shocking level of ignorance.

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