Updates from December, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Blogger 9:07 am on December 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: female anatomy, hysterectomy, uterus   

    Watch this before you consider a hysterectomy 

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  • Blogger 12:53 am on August 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: benefits and harms of cancer screening, Cancer, Cancer screening   

    Cancer Screening: Benefits and Harms 

    Dr. Gilbert Welch discusses the benefits and harms of cancer screening (11:31 min).

     
  • Blogger 6:34 pm on July 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , truth about pap smears,   

    The Ugly Truth About Women’s Cancer Screening 

    Over 10,000 comments containing truthful information and personal stories about pap smears, cervical cancer and other women’s health issues have been removed following changes on Blogcritics. The comments – over nine years worth – provided women with information that is often difficult to find and that is usually withheld by the medical community.  But the comments are no longer there.

    Elizabeth’s (Aust) response:

    I view those posts as a rare account of the real impact of this testing. The hidden truth, the ugly truth. The slash and burn approach adopted in many countries means huge numbers are harmed in an attempt to help a few. Yet evidence based testing would have achieved the same result, or better, without the awful carnage (Finland, The Netherlands). These women have had no voice, no one wanted to hear from them and posting to a women’s forum was usually met with, “you should be grateful you didn’t have cancer”.
    BlogCritics was probably the first safe place for women to share, vent…you could feel the pain in many of the posts, and the relief to be finally surrounded by people who understood and cared.
    Thankfully, there are now a couple of other safe houses. I know many of those posts have stayed with me. Remember Megan? Her life and health destroyed by an unnecessary cone biopsy…she lives with spotting, cramping, odour, pain, embarrassment…her relationship ended, sex was no longer a pleasant or easy experience…and the future, she was facing more surgery to re-open the cervix. To get pregnant….she’d probably need medical assistance to conceive, and deliver by c-section.
    The fact is…it was avoidable, all of it…an early pap test sealed her fate. This is the very reason we shouldn’t be testing women under 30…to protect them from this fate.
    Ignore the evidence….and we harm many women, we destroy lives.
    Now it’s even easier, for those who wish to test, offer HPV primary testing or HPV self-testing at age 30 and offer a pap test every 5 years to the small number of women who test HPV+
    (until they clear the virus) BUT,
    No one cares about harming women and no one cares about saving as many lives as possible…evidence based testing would save more lives.
    It says to me our health and lives have never been the highest priority with this testing, not by miles.    Elizabeth (Aust)  http://forwomenseyesonly.com/

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    • mi 10:47 am on November 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      The fact of female sexual predators in healthcare is a dirty secret, well hidden NOT even mentioned on the web. Amazing is that the W.W.W. Information highway in all its vastness has NO info about this subject tho everything else imaginable…… I am realizing the gyn exam is like a ritualistic brainwashing to keep women convinced she can NOT exist without ongoing, lifelong, doctors care just to exist in a female body. Its seems the female body is more exploited by the healthcare system than anywhere else. Thats not enough, add to it nurses preying on women during the exams and finding women with a history of sexual trauma and abuse easy prey. We are in times where sexuality needs to be listed separately than gender and on licenses so that patients can make informed decision for who is doing their gyn exam.

  • Blogger 7:12 pm on June 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Blogcritics, Health, , pelvic exam, , unwanted pap test   

    10,000 Comments on Unnecessary Pap Smears Deleted 

    *Update: The lost comments have been found and are being republished on Unnecessary Pap Smears WordPress (linked below)

    In 2004 a woman who called herself “Bookofjoe”  wrote an article titled “Unnecessary Pap Smears” and published it on Blogcritics.  The article highlights a number of interesting points, but the main focus of the article is on the questionable practice of screening for cervical cancer on women who have no cervix.  The author states that in the United States “almost 10 million women – almost half of all women who have undergone hysterectomy – are being screened unnecessarily, as they are not at risk of cervical cancer” (the full article can be read here http://blogcritics.org/unnecessary-pap-smears/)

    The article is interesting but it is what happened after the article was published that is most remarkable.  Women began to comment on the article and to share their experiences with pap smears.  Women – many for the first time – discovered that others shared similar experiences and feelings.  Blogcritics became a community of like-minded women – a safe haven to speak openly, to regain strength and to seek comfort after negative and traumatic medical experiences.  It also became a valuable resource for truthful information and statistics.

    In the nine years that followed the article’s publication, over 10,000 comments had been posted.  But . . . a few weeks ago the site underwent some changes and the comments were deleted.  *Nine years worth of comments are gone.  Elizabeth (Aust) sums it up well:

    “By the way, hope Blogcritics is only down temporarily, it would be a great loss, those pages are a rare and raw account of the suffering and harm these programs have caused, women silenced for decades. It shows what happens when you ignore informed consent and don’t follow the evidence. It’s a damning indictment of the medical profession and all those who promote and protect this abuse.
    I felt many women found that site and poured out their souls, some of the posts affected me deeply….and the tragedy, almost all of it was avoidable.” Elizabeth (Aust)

    *Since this post was published, the comments have been recovered and are currently in the process of being re-posted here: https://unnecessarypapsmears.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/over-10000-lost-comments-on-unnecessary-pap-smears-find-a-home/

     
    • forwomenseyesonly 7:48 pm on June 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on forwomenseyesonly and commented:
      So many comments – nine years worth of comments – gone. They were an important piece of women’s history.

    • Blogger 7:11 pm on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      This is the last (most recent) page of the old comments from Blogcritics: 10026 – Diane (US) May 17, 2013 at 1:07 am I do agree, Elizabeth, there’s way too much fear-mongering out there, and the sad part is, all of the real cases get lost in the shuffle. Automatically deciding to remove one’s breasts – or uterus, or what have you – is a drastic step, and as mentioned, they’d never recommend prophylactically removing a man’s testicles or prostate. I think we can agree that there’s too much testing, too much fear-mongering and the inexcusable attitude of the medical professional to reduce women to their reproductive organs. It’s been mentioned before that doctors will never ask about the cancers that are way more common than cervical/breast, or insist on testing for them, and that women with real symptoms of trouble (such as the person I know who is now battling ovarian cancer) are blown off. Having said that, at the end of the day it’s Jolie’s choice to do what she wants to do with her own body – and one can only hope that she did have the correct and complete information to make the best decision for herself. I also do appreciate that in her article she wasn’t going on about mammograms and paps, which alone makes it stand out from others who speak about breast cancer. I’m not even going to touch the nonsense about magically curing cancer with diet and attitude, or the dismissal of genetics. 10027 – Yazzmyne May 17, 2013 at 2:25 am Diane: ” I’m not even going to touch the nonsense about magically curing cancer with diet and attitude, or the dismissal of genetics.” Too bad you have to brush FACTS off as “nonsense” and this is exactly the sort of closed-minded mentality that is never going to lead to the cure or any significant improvement as “the cure” already exists. Most ‘scientists’ don’t even want to do research on it, merely because of their ridiculing attitude towards certain concepts, that’s not very objective or scientific is it? Real scientists and doctors who come with evidence that doesn’t suit the *beliefs* of mainstream ‘scientists’ are shunned and ridiculed and that’s how it always has been to later on (usually after their death) admit they were actually genius and ahead of their time because truth always goes through several stages before the masses can accept it as first it is ridiculed, then it is violently opposed untill it is accepted as self-evident. Recognizing the stage you are in, I won’t bother to argue with you anymore, but I wish you good luck in practising an open mind regardless. 10028 – David (UK) May 17, 2013 at 4:08 am There ARE a lot of naïve patients around today… I suspect due to a ridiculous trust of Doctors? Many of patients do not even know, or do not recognise, the difference between the Male and Female psyche, or how the opposite gender is sexually stimulated. Mr Doctor, My Wife and I recognise your “I’ll just take little a look at that” sentence, for what it is – an attempt to brighten your day at the expense of our Marriage, a typical Male Doctor tactic wanting to take a look! If you’re a woman who regards routine intimate examinations as ‘unpleasant’, then I’m flat out calling you a liar! If your claim were true, then most of the unnecessary practices would have been stopped years ago! And whilst I’m on the subject of intimate examinations, the Bi-Manual and Pelvic Examinations are useless at detecting disease, yet women are threatened, intimidated, and convinced to have them because they are told that they need this examination to remain healthy? The Bi-Manual Examination (insertion of two fingers into the vagina), is such a vile and disrespectful examination and a complete joke too… Please take a look at your fingers… now tell me which one of them is longer than the bills of a Vaginal Speculum? A Medium Cusco measures 4″ (101.6mm) and it takes all, or almost all of it just to view the cervix, so how do doctors think they can reach deep enough to feel (palpate) the Cervix to push and tilt the Uterus to determine disease? Pap/Smear tests are virtually pointless too. There are too many variables within Smear Samples, making the test prone to inaccurate results from the laboratory, along with the fact that the collection process causes damage to the cells on the surface of the cervix which can mutate and even cause the exact disease that the woman is attempting to prevent — Cancer! 10029 – ADM (Canada) May 17, 2013 at 5:07 am It is very true that genetics do not determine our fate. We know through epigenetics that genes can be changed through interaction with the environment which includes diet. Just because someone has a genetic predisposition to an illness does not mean they are going to get that illness. Illness is caused by a complex interaction between the genetic predisposition and the environment. Certain foods are known to help in the prevention and cure of cancer including the cruciferous vegetable family. Broccoli contains several compounds that have been shown to reduce the risk of several cancers. Information about this is right on the American Cancer Society webpage. The ability to prevent or heal the body with the mind and attitude is still a controversial area but several studies have shown that it can be done. Dr Andrew Weil talks about this in his book Spontaneous Healing, and a new book is out called Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin, M.D. We know the mind affects the body which is simply shown with thinking about eating a dill pickle and the mouth waters. Most illnesses have physical and mental expressions. This is seen with mental health problems such as depression where treatment of the mind relieves physical symptoms. 10030 – Mary May 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm I’d like to think curing cancer was as simple as diet and meditation. And yes cancer is supposed to feed off sugar (like all cells) but there are many people who turn to diet when they are diagnosed with cancer. Belinda Emmett, a soap star here who died of breast cancer at 32 had the money to be able to spend her whole time, 24/7, meditating, eating special foods spending all her energy fighting cancer and she still succumbed to it. I think that those who claim they cured their cancer from diet did not have an aggressive cancer in the first place, just as those who claim they were saved by a mammogram also had a slow growing cancer. Peter Goetzsche talks about a little known phenomenon of cancer spontaneously regressing. Why it does that we don’t know. But anyone who smugly claims they were cured of their cancer, whether by conventional means or complementary medicine were never destined to die from it in the first place because cancer is not one disease. There are at least four different types of breast cancer that we know of at the moment, for example. 10031 – Diane (US) May 17, 2013 at 7:40 pm I agree 100% with Mary. I’ve known plenty of people with wonderful diets and outlooks on life who died of cancer or other diseases. One I can think of: a colleague at work who was a vegetarian who did yoga every day, was Buddhist, meditated and ran marathons…and died in his sleep of a massive heart attack. There’s always a complex interaction between environment, genetics and other mitigating factors. A positive outlook does help. However, IMHO, to say that someone could have cured their cancer or any other dread disease, or prevented it, through diet, exercise or their own mindset is a slap in the face to those who do everything in their power and still succumb to their illness. To pretend that genetics can’t predispose someone to an illness or condition is to wear blinders. 10032 – ADM (Canada) May 18, 2013 at 6:45 am It’s not pretending that genetics can’t predispose someone to an illness. The word predisposition says exactly that. But the extensive study of genes has shown that just because someone has a predisposition does not mean they are 100% guaranteed to get that disease/condition. It is only a predisposition not a gurantee. For example it is know that with certain mental health problems that if a parent has a mental illness the risk factor for some illnesses is 40% which leaves another 60% that is environmental factors. In identical twin studies that are raised in the same home and those raised separately there are cases where one twin develops an disease/condition and the other doesn’t. Epigentics is scientific fact. I would argue that to dismiss the role of environment including diet is to also wear blinders. 10033 – Mary May 18, 2013 at 4:08 pm Of course diet plays a role in diseases. You only have to look at heart disease. But I’d like to see the evidence that it cures cancer. I’m not going to believe somebody who wrote a book claiming they cured their cancer from their diet of Amazonian acai berries. 10034 – Diane (US) May 18, 2013 at 10:24 pm But the extensive study of genes has shown that just because someone has a predisposition does not mean they are 100% guaranteed to get that disease/condition. It is only a predisposition not a gurantee. Nobody ever said genes are a GUARANTEE that someone will get cancer or another condition. And a lot of genes are double recessive, and if one only has one copy, one’s only a carrier. You see a lot of cases where one sibling is ill and the others aren’t. However, if you have a gene like BCRA, it certainly does up the risk level above that of the general population without the gene in question. There are case histories of families where each generation is in a different place/et al and they all come down with melanoma, or ovarian cancer, or what have you. And Mary, I agree with that completely. Saying diet has a role does not mean that diet can cure disease. Case in point, my colleague who just died, who had the best diet and physical activity level of any of us. Another case in point, Olympic athletes who come down with cancer. Having a great diet can help you but it can’t save you. There are all sorts of websites claiming everything from berries to silver can cure cancer…sorry, I don’t buy it. 10035 – Sue May 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm Oh Oh Oh this really turns my stomach – this following bit that Dr. Bernstein copied and pasted onto his blog recommending girls between the ages of 13-15 go in for a gyno consult, where: “An “external-only” genital examination can provide the health care provider with the opportunity to evaluate the patient for normal external genital anatomy, issues of personal hygiene, and abnormalities of the vulva, introitus, and perineum that might require further investigation. The external-only examination also provides the clinician with the opportunity to educate the patient on the range of normal female anatomy.” As Elizabeth has said, heavy handed tactics, an effort to get younger girls in, “grooming” them to distrust their own bodies and to cultivate the need for reassurance. Are boys also being encouraged to undergo visual inspection of their genitals? For normal external genital anatomy, issues of personal hygiene, and abnormalities of the penis and scrotum that might require further investigation? http://bioethicsdiscussion.blogspot.ca/2013/04/patient-modesty-volume-54.html#comments 10036 – Jane (UK) May 19, 2013 at 12:27 pm Sue – it’s disturbing. If you can convince young teenage girls that it’s perfectly normal to get naked and spread their legs for a yearly exam and convince them that cancer is just waiting to get them if they don’t comply – then you’ve got customers for life. 10037 – Chrissy (UK) May 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm Sue, this is really nauseating. What the hell is this fixation with female genitalia that they deem it necessary to visually inspect girls from 13 upward? The emotional damage this would cause to these vulnerable girls would surely eclipse any problems they might find. They obviously do not care how humiliating this type of exam is for a teenage girl – to have someone scrutinising their genitals is horrendous at that age. 10038 – Mary May 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm I would like to know exactly what abnormalities they are looking for. So they want to check that young girls look normal but then tell them that normal is really a range. Gee they don’t mind messing with young girls minds do they? Of course they can probably see that this will lead to a boom in labiaplasties. Gotta make up for the drop in colonoscopies somehow. 10039 – Alice (Australia) May 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm Exactly Mary! I would too like to know exactly why a 13 years old girl needs to be “evaluated for normal external genital anatomy”, and what exactly the doctors going to do if they find something not quite “normal” size or shape? Cut the girls genitals off “just in case”, or tell her that she must come back for regular check-ups every month? Whoever suggested this idiotic gyn exams for little girls must be sent to psychiatrists before they managed to any extensive damage to the children. Otherwise that will be us who will have to take our daughters, granddaughters, nieces or little sisters to a shrink after such “external genital examinations”. 10040 – Sue May 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm After reading your comments I feel better now. I love this site. It really is a form of statutory rape in my opinion. Medically sanctioned and socially accepted, but really what you have is an underage girl being coerced into showing her vagina to an older, strange, male. How traumatic that would be. Girls that age are so self-conscious of their budding bodies, and to have to strip and and spread their legs, then hold still with some stranger, most likely old male, up close and breathing onto her genitals, googly eyeballs drinking it all in . . . ewwww. Plus what happens if an “abnormality” is “suspected”? Will she then require an internal examination? Then she it all real risk of having her hymen ruptured via speculum. What a thrill that must be for some of them. 10041 – Kleigh (US) May 19, 2013 at 4:49 pm There is this idea with doctors that woman do not know there own bodies. it is sexist what about the changes a male child goes thru? II guess they dont need inspection. this has to be about desincetising young girls to intamte exams. If some one did that to me when i was 13 I whould have felt melsted. the thing that gets me the most with this is how childern esp young girls are taught that if any one touches your privates call the police or tell an athurity figer. but its okay to do that to girls at the doctors office? I also read about a obgyn telling mothers that there daughters might wonder why they need to go to a doctor if they are not sick. and they were telling the moms that they needed to go for there sexuall health and that they can not trust there daughters bc they probly have sex in the school bathrooms. these pple are so despreate. 10042 – Sue May 19, 2013 at 4:50 pm Oh, and I forgot to add they most likely are able to see the hymen being torn as the speculum is expanded, given there vantage point and the fact there is a bright light shining onto the girl’s vagina. 10043 – Kleigh (US) May 19, 2013 at 4:50 pm There is this idea with doctors that woman do not know there own bodies. it is sexist what about the changes a male child goes thru? II guess they dont need inspection. this has to be about desincetising young girls to intamte exams. If some one did that to me when i was 13 I whould have felt melsted. the thing that gets me the most with this is how childern esp young girls are taught that if any one touches your privates call the police or tell an athurity figer. but its okay to do that to girls at the doctors office? I also read about a obgyn telling mothers that there daughters might wonder why they need to go to a doctor if they are not sick. and they were telling the moms that they needed to go for there sexuall health and that they can not trust there daughters bc they probly have sex in the school bathrooms. these pple are so despreate. 10044 – Diane (US) May 19, 2013 at 6:35 pm The idea that young girls should be “visually inspected” is sickening. Absolutely sickening. And it absolutely does groom and condition them to believe that it is perfectly okay for the medical community to scrutinize their genitals. This actually happens in France already even to very young girls. In that case, they are apparently trying to make sure that girls from certain cultural/religious backgrounds are not being subjected to female genital mutilation. They check the girls and then arrest the parents if the girls have been mutilated. I’m not sure what to feel about that. Do you try to stop FGM and the violation of dignity and body that it entails by violating girls’ dignity in another way? 10045 – Kleigh (US) May 19, 2013 at 7:11 pm Leep is female genetal mutlation. 10046 – Diane (US) May 19, 2013 at 9:15 pm I agree, Kleigh but with this FGM I’m talking about the ritual practice that still happens in a lot of cultures in Africa and Asia in particular. France is seeing a lot of immigrants from African and Middle Eastern nations who try to take their daughters home to do this. It’s a horrific practice that needs to stop, yesterday but this pattern of inspections does not seem to be a good way to do it and retain any bodily autonomy, privacy and respect for these girls. In France, mothers and babies attend specialist clinics up until the age of six. The genitalia of baby girls are routinely examined for signs of mutilation. Dr Amellou, who works in a clinic in a Paris suburb explains that after the age of six, responsibility is handed over to school medical teams. They continue to inspect girls, especially those coming from those high-risk ethnic groups. I point out that such a thing would be unacceptable in Britain. “What is your problem,” she asks? “Our interest is in protecting the child.” 10047 – Elizabeth (Aust) May 20, 2013 at 10:18 pm The well-girl exam is child abuse, IMO…there is no clinical evidence to support routine genital inspections. The damage these exams will do is enormous, both physically and emotionally…if you look, you’ll find, will some of these girls end up having biopsies of “suspicious” lesions/marks found on the perineum etc? Diane, that’s horrible, it would be far better to find respected members of their community to educate & influence to stop this practice. I’m not sure I’d use threats of arrest and prosecution either (although that should happen) or they might not take their children to the doctor if they develop an infection or other health issue. (as a result of the cutting) Diane, yes, I’m sure Angelina Jolie got the best of advice and care. Not all women will be in that position though, especially those in the public system with no choice of surgeon. Women may be unhappy with the end result. I had a breast reduction in my late 30s and hand-picked an excellent reconstructive plastic surgeon, she was amazing and I was delighted with the end result. So getting the best advice and care is important. I know some high risk women take Tamoxifin and have regular MRIs, will they be influenced to do more or blame themselves for not taking that step if they get breast cancer? I don’t know, but I find the celebrity effect is almost always unhelpful. (and can lead to even more fear and harm) We had the Kylie effect which scared the life out of young women…this led to more calls from various sources, “make sure you check your breasts” or, “get screened”. (I know Nicole Kidman, after hearing about Kylie’s diagnosis, said we should, “tell our friends to get their mammograms”…) What screening? How does it help to urge young women to get screened or have their checks when CBEs, self-exams and mammograms are not recommended? It just causes worry and motivates some to find doctors who’ll do CBEs or send them for ultrasounds. My GP had a number of fearful young women greatly distressed when she refused to send them for mammograms. I’ll bet the number of young women having biopsies went up too, with more attempting self-examination or having CBEs/ultrasounds. We then had the Jade effect in the UK…young women scared to death about cervical cancer. (nothing new there) We shouldn’t even be testing women under 30 (and now I’d say we should only offer a pap test to women aged 30-60 who are HPV+) AND Jade Goody had an adenocarcinoma, usually missed by pap testing. (these very rare cases in young women tend to be an adenocarcinoma) So the Jade Goody effect meant more young women had pap tests…great, risk for no benefit. (risk from false negatives and false positives/over-treatment) I find it disgusting the way these programs use fear, misinformation and celebrities to sell screening. Hopefully, we won’t see a Jolie effect and this surgery remains fairly rare, performed only on well-informed and very high risk women. (fingers crossed) 10048 – Mary May 20, 2013 at 10:48 pm There’s was a letter in the SMH today about the proposal of banning unvaccinated children from schools. A doctor wrote it and some of what he said was this:”It is simply unethical to coerce parents into agreeing to any medical procedure, including vaccination, for their child. Threatening removal of an essential service such as preschool and childcare is coercion.” I wonder if he is aware of coercion with the pill and pap smears. 10049 – Alice (Australia) May 20, 2013 at 11:28 pm Kleigh, I totally agree: all those cervical punch and cone biopsies, LEEP, curettages and other “treatments” are female genital mutilations. And the medical community does nothing to make them less painful or avoid these tortures whenever possible! However, the World Health Organization conveniently defined female genital mutilations as “procedures of partial or total removal or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”. Therefore, doctors are free to do to female organs whatever they like, no matter how painful or unnecessary that is. “Medical reasons” will cover it all. 10050 – OverItAll May 21, 2013 at 10:45 pm Mary: your comment on vaccines made me comment. My son had 4 seizures 2 hours after his 3m shots when he was 4m (we split them up). The ped said it was all in my head and told us we could either continue the shots or leave the office. I spent 3 months looking for a dr who wouldn’t push vax, found one, met him (a family dr) and he openly admitted to coercing parents into vaxing even when it was against their religion. He said he’d wait till my son saw a NEUROLOGIST to discuss vax. Yep, my now-7m baby is having a bunch of tests done (mainly for epilepsy). I’ve been putting together a paper on vax, why I’m not doing them, health andreligious reasons. I should also add that ever since the seizures, he violently shakes his head day or night for absolutely no reason. Oh and the whole “vax or get out” goes against EVERY health org’s guidelines, even the apa or aap whatever it is says to continue seeing the child, a sort of “don’t blame the kid” thing. I’m not at all a religious person, but please keep my son in your thoughts. He goes in May 30, hopefully just for bloodwork and maybe an eeg. 10051 – Mary May 21, 2013 at 11:01 pm I don’t understand your comment on my comment. I was just saying that I am amazed that a doctor can see coercion when it comes to vaccination but probably can’t see it when it comes to the pill and pap smears. You are well within your rights to do what you believe is best for your son. I did not say everyone has to be vaccinated at all. That is the theme of this blog isn’t it, that we do our own research and take responsibility for ourselves and our children and do what we believe is best for us and our children? So I fully support your decision not to immunise your son. I wish your son well. 10052 – OverItAll May 22, 2013 at 2:28 am Let me clear it up. You were saying how dr’s coerce women into smears (“no smear get out”, “no smear no bc”) and I was explaining that the same goes for vaccines (“no shot, get out”). And just because they acknowledge it’s coercion towards shots doesn’t mean they don’t know it’s the same for paps. Doctors will use every trick in the book to get everything their way. I’m also all for informed decisions on ALL medical interventions. However, if you’ve had a bad reaction, dr’s shouldn’t try to force them on you. Sorry for the confusion, lack of sleep and cold medicine (going on day 4 of cold and my homeo’s aren’t working). And absolutely. This site s ALL about getting correct info to make an Informed Decision, that’s why we keep coming back!! 10053 – Torrance * Connecticut, U.S.A. May 22, 2013 at 7:37 am Here in The United States, it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to enroll a child in school; they MUST be vaccinated and it is preposterous. I know I was okay until I was vaccinated; was very ill afterward. Naturally, this just meant my mother could bring me to even more doctors (never diagnosed wit Munchausen-By-Proxy, but she MUST have had it). I’d toyed with enrolling in a computer class at a nearby college and their enrollment application said that adults must provide documentation that they are up-to-date with vaccinations, and I refused, so I couldn’t even think to enroll. These vaccinations are powerful upon immune systems which aren’t even formed, yet they are chronically demanded upon babies and youngsters/toddlers. I have NEVER seen ANY doctor refuse to do vaccinations; appointments are made and young parents are expected to adhere to vaccinating their children; regardless of the severe consequences which many babies wind up with. Over It All, I hope your son gets better soon. 10054 – Kleigh (US) May 22, 2013 at 9:00 am Torrance, back in the erly 80s my mother was low income and never took my brother for any shots. at about 4 my brother came to live with are grandparents and they took him to a peditrtion and my grand mother said he told them that they had to get him up to date on all shots bc cps whould take him away for child neglect. She said that he keep giving my brother sevrel shots at a time and it scared her because he whould come home each time after a round of vaccens and get a fever and sleep for almost two days. it was like it knoked him out. she thought it was to much at one time. Now i hear more parents are refusing and they can clam it is aganst there belifs. the power doctors are given is very scary. 10055 – Kleigh (US) May 22, 2013 at 9:04 am also not leting woman and girls in school if they do not get the hpv jab is sexist. Hpv is not spreed thru the air. it does not afect others at a school and i dont see how they could back that one up. 10056 – Torrance * Connecticut, U.S.A. May 22, 2013 at 9:07 am Kleigh, I just looked up the requirements and the chart is beyond scary. There are NO exemptions. I agree about power-crazy bureaucrats thinking they can remove children, citing “neglect”, when these vaccines are too strong and are “required”. I DREAD Obama’s bizarre health legislation demanding all citizens must be vaccinated or else they are fined; where will this nonsense stop? Children are not allowed to make their own decisions, depend upon their parents to do what’s right, yet how many are okay prior to being vaccinated, and autistic once those foreign substances are injected into their bodies? Some kids are forever ruined when they were fine BEFORE they were vaccinated. It is a life sentence for the kids and their parents and NOBODY is verifying these vaccines are dangerous; probably because they fear a class action lawsuit. Same with all this pap smear nonsense. It has harmed countless woman, yet women are herded into testing and very few balk at it. It is disturbing on all levels. 10057 – Diane (US) May 22, 2013 at 2:09 pm The link between vaccinations and autism have long been discredited. The original study was retracted by the Lancet after it was revealed the doctor had fabricated some of his data and had been working with a lawyer who wanted to sue the manufacturer of the MMR vaccine. In addition Thiomersal – mercury – has not been in human vaccines since the 1990s. It’s been pointed out that two of the reasons rates of autism are going up are a) because there now is recognition of a behavioral and cognitive spectrum, whereas children who were deemed autistic in the 1950s – onward were usually those who had a very narrow set of attributes, including cognitive difficulties. Parents are also seeking intervention. It’s also been noted that even before vaccines were widespread, a lot of autistic kids seem to be fine until they are two or three, and then slide back into increasingly more “autistic” behavior. And the autism link has also been discredited by numerous peer-reviewed studies. Unlike paps, vaccines are NOT big money for doctors. I agree that there are too many vaccines on the schedule – but the fact is that we are seeing recurrences of diseases that had nearly been eradicated, like measles and whooping cough, because of people who are not vaccinating their kids. That becomes a public health risk after a while. The whole idea of herd immunity is that if the herd is immunized, the ones who cannot be vaccinated due to health concerns such as seizures can be protected. 10058 – Diane (US) May 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm I guess I feel that the parallel is a little different. The pap/gyn industry is fueled on hysteria and fear. The tiny number of women who get gyn cancers, plus money, fuel this hysteria that tries to make all women feel that they are ticking time bombs of cancer and MUST have these tests to stay safe. With anti-vax, I feel it’s the tiny number of kids who do have adverse reactions fuel hysteria that keeps parents from vaccinating their kids. Can your kid react to a vax? Sure, the same as they can react to the peanuts in the snack you make them for lunch or the aspirin you give them for their headache. Is it likely to happen? No. And is the risk of polio, measles or diphtheria more pressing to address? IMHO yes. Getting the healthy kids vaxed means that kids like Over It All’s child – who has a legit reaction – will still stay safe due to herd immunity. 10059 – Alice (Ausralia) May 23, 2013 at 2:36 am Here is a very empowering and interesting document Policy protocols and procedures manual for authorised Pap smear providers (PDF). It is especially relevant to Queensland, Australia. Some quotes from it: About informed consent. As with any procedure, Pap Smear Providers must obtain informed consent from the woman before the procedure is commenced and throughout the procedure. There are five components to consent: 1. the client must understand the nature of their condition 2. they must understand the nature of the proposed treatment or procedure 3. they must be aware of possible alternative courses of action 4. they must be acquainted with the risks of both the proposed and alternate courses of action 5. they must be informed of the chances of success or failure of the proposed and alternative procedures. Therefore when women are asked to consent to a Pap smear, the above principles should be adhered to. It is important that women know that the Pap smear is a screening test and not diagnostic, and that there is the possibility of a false negative and a false positive result. Special communication strategies may be necessary to ensure that women with special needs (i.e. women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, or women with intellectual disabilities) fully understand the procedure and are capable of giving informed consent. Heath care providers (including PSPs) have a duty of care in diagnosing, treating and advising clients about the risk and consequences of treatment. About Pap smear registers and the opt-off procedure from this government-induced privacy infringement. Pap Smear Provider Responsibilities It is the Pap Smear Provider’s responsibility under the Public Health Act 2005 to inform each woman having a Pap smear, histology or HPV DNA test about the PSR. This includes: – the existence and purpose of the Register – the identifying and clinical information about the woman that may be recorded in the Register – that the woman may elect to ‘opt off’ from having her identifying and clinical information automatically included in the Register. If a woman indicates to the Provider she chooses to ‘opt off’ the PSR, the Provider will attach a “Not for Pap Smear Register” sticker on the pathology request form. If the provider does not have “Not for PSR” stickers, these words must be written clearly on the Pathology request form. It is important to note that if a request form has an ‘opt off’ sticker or notification on it, the PSR will not be sent any information about the woman. For this reason, women need to be asked by the Provider each time they have a Pap smear or related test about ‘opt off’, especially if they have done so previously, or their results will automatically be sent to the PSR and the woman will be sent a ‘Welcome letter’. So, on paper everything looks great: informed consent is acknowledged, downside of pap screening discussed, opt-off from Pap smear registers offered… In reality however, things are very different: real informed consent is non-existent, flaws of cancer screening are hushed up, not a peep about cervical cytology registers, let alone about opting out of them. By the way, if you live in Australia and want to stop pap smear reminder letters, you should remove your details from the pap smear register operating in your state or territory. By law, they must honour your request to delete all your data from their database. For example, here is the removal request form for Queensland (PDF). 10060 – Alice (Australia) May 24, 2013 at 7:17 am And this is how the pap smear register opt-off right is honoured by QML Pathology Laboratory, the largest laboratory in Queensland: ” Some time ago a friend of mine gave in to the widespread cervical cancer scare campaign and agreed to do a screening test. She deeply regrets it now, but 2 weeks ago she did agree to have a pap smear on two strict conditions: 1. None of her details or test results will be forwarded to Queensland Pap Smear Register. 2. She will get a copy of the test results. Her doctor was very supporting and did everything that was necessary to meet the conditions. The doctor wrote the following on the pathology request form: “Copy to patient” and “Not for PSR”. Both lines are standard requirements for giving a copy to the patient and for opting off the pap smear register. Both lines were written in HUGE letters twice on the form, to be 100% sure. What did QML do? They and their sub-contracted lab managed to miss both requests. My friend has been stressing out, checking her letter box every day, but instead of her results she got a letter from Qld government congratulating her that her results have been forwarded to the register and are now public property. She, however, still doesn’t know the results of her test, still worrying. And the sad thing is that some paper-shufflers in the register already have already got her results and even sent her a “welcome” letter. Clearly, the medical system thinks that a silly register is more important than the patient. And the lab was careless enough to forget about the opt-off request. Because it became apparent that her test results are ready, she called the lab today, and they said that nothing has been sent to her. They didn’t notice the “copy to patient” request either. Ironically, QML’s website states that “your request form is a legal document” when it comes to telling the patients that they must not add anything to the form. But how about threating that legal document seriously in the lab? What a degree of negligence should a laboratory have to ignore both requests written in that “legal document” twice, in big letters? The outcome so far: – infringement of privacy – double negligence – breach of the Privacy Act 1988 – breach of the Public Health Act 2005 – a stressed and worrying person who now also has to deal with the register to remove her details from there (provided the details can actually be removed completely). ” And this is all for a test that may lead to even greater damage! 10061 – Alice (Australia) May 24, 2013 at 7:39 am And this is a fraction of the debate in NSW parliament about the opt-in vs opt-off systems and respect for the patient’s choice, which surprisingly happened as far back as 17 years ago: PUBLIC HEALTH AMENDMENT BILL Second Reading Debate resumed from 17 April 1996. The Hon. Dr B. P. V. PEZZUTTI [3.25]: The Public Health Amendment Bill results from a commitment by the Carr Labor Government, through the personage of the Hon. Andrew Refshauge, Minister for Health, to change the way in which the pap smear register in this State operates. When in government I and then Minister for Health Ron Phillips determined, through public consultation, to have what is known in industry jargon as an opt-on register. Such a register gives people a choice to be placed on a register or within a reminder process regarding pap smears. Those who become part of the process have the benefits of the program – in this case pap smears but in other cases the benefits of an immunisation register and/or the immunisation process. This might seem small beer to many honourable members, but the opt-on process is important. I tell the House and the Minister that I have always been in favour of the opt-on process. However, many of my medical colleagues, especially general practitioners, including my wife, found that the responsibility for obtaining the consent of patients for their names to be on the register was taking up an inordinate amount of time in their rooms. The Cancer Council had placed with the general practitioner responsibility for ensuring that that consent was obtained. In other words, although the Cancer Council owned the register and had been given by the New South Wales Minister the task of running the registry and reminder process, it was left to the general practitioner to explain to the patients the whole of the process and the need for consent. I advised the former Minister for Health, Ron Phillips, of ways to fix this problem. The Cancer Council was responsible for obtaining the consents, not the general practitioner. The practitioner had enough trouble explaining the pap smear procedure to a patient, ensuring delivery of the sample and filling out the necessary forms to ensure that the registry records were accurate, without having to explain what the registry was all about, that it was something of an invasion of privacy and that the patients would be receiving letters from the Cancer Council. The Government and the present Minister, instead of making sure that responsibility for obtaining consent rested with the New South Wales Cancer Council, took the easy way out and decided on an opt-off register. It is incumbent on a general practitioner to send a pap smear test to the Cancer Council. If a woman does not want to be part of the register and get the letters of reminder and the benefits – and I use the word “benefits” advisedly – she has to write to the Cancer Council explaining that she does not want to be part of the register and wants to opt off the program. The general practitioner then has to explain to her what it means to opt off. The Hon. R. D. Dyer: That would depress participation rates, surely. The Hon. Dr B. P. V. PEZZUTTI: The Minister for Community Services has hit the nail on the head. Like many things that the Left of the Labor Party does – and the Minister for Community Services would know more about this than many – this action is being taken in the interests of the person concerned. In other words, Dr Refshauge, in a patronising way – The Hon. R. D. Dyer: You’re not calling me a Left member, are you? The Hon. Dr B. P. V. PEZZUTTI: No, I am not talking about the Minister, but he knows how the Left behaves. The Hon. Franca Arena also knows how the Left acts. The Left of the Labor Party considers that it is always in the best interests of the public to do what the Left tells it to do. The Left considers that it knows what is best for the public; the public would be better off if only it would do what the Left asked it to do. That is what the Left does all the time. The Minister for Community Services would have heard such sentiments expressed time and time again. Is that not right? … The Hon. Andrew Refshauge, in the interests of women, took what he thought would be the easy option to get participation rates up. He said that women were too bloody stupid to do it themselves, that they would not remember to go for tests, that they would not take any interest, and that they would not opt on. 10026 – Diane (US) May 17, 2013 at 1:07 am I do agree, Elizabeth, there’s way too much fear-mongering out there, and the sad part is, all of the real cases get lost in the shuffle. Automatically deciding to remove one’s breasts – or uterus, or what have you – is a drastic step, and as mentioned, they’d never recommend prophylactically removing a man’s testicles or prostate. I think we can agree that there’s too much testing, too much fear-mongering and the inexcusable attitude of the medical professional to reduce women to their reproductive organs. It’s been mentioned before that doctors will never ask about the cancers that are way more common than cervical/breast, or insist on testing for them, and that women with real symptoms of trouble (such as the person I know who is now battling ovarian cancer) are blown off. Having said that, at the end of the day it’s Jolie’s choice to do what she wants to do with her own body – and one can only hope that she did have the correct and complete information to make the best decision for herself. I also do appreciate that in her article she wasn’t going on about mammograms and paps, which alone makes it stand out from others who speak about breast cancer. I’m not even going to touch the nonsense about magically curing cancer with diet and attitude, or the dismissal of genetics. 10027 – Yazzmyne May 17, 2013 at 2:25 am Diane: ” I’m not even going to touch the nonsense about magically curing cancer with diet and attitude, or the dismissal of genetics.” Too bad you have to brush FACTS off as “nonsense” and this is exactly the sort of closed-minded mentality that is never going to lead to the cure or any significant improvement as “the cure” already exists. Most ‘scientists’ don’t even want to do research on it, merely because of their ridiculing attitude towards certain concepts, that’s not very objective or scientific is it? Real scientists and doctors who come with evidence that doesn’t suit the *beliefs* of mainstream ‘scientists’ are shunned and ridiculed and that’s how it always has been to later on (usually after their death) admit they were actually genius and ahead of their time because truth always goes through several stages before the masses can accept it as first it is ridiculed, then it is violently opposed untill it is accepted as self-evident. Recognizing the stage you are in, I won’t bother to argue with you anymore, but I wish you good luck in practising an open mind regardless. 10028 – David (UK) May 17, 2013 at 4:08 am There ARE a lot of naïve patients around today… I suspect due to a ridiculous trust of Doctors? Many of patients do not even know, or do not recognise, the difference between the Male and Female psyche, or how the opposite gender is sexually stimulated. Mr Doctor, My Wife and I recognise your “I’ll just take little a look at that” sentence, for what it is – an attempt to brighten your day at the expense of our Marriage, a typical Male Doctor tactic wanting to take a look! If you’re a woman who regards routine intimate examinations as ‘unpleasant’, then I’m flat out calling you a liar! If your claim were true, then most of the unnecessary practices would have been stopped years ago! And whilst I’m on the subject of intimate examinations, the Bi-Manual and Pelvic Examinations are useless at detecting disease, yet women are threatened, intimidated, and convinced to have them because they are told that they need this examination to remain healthy? The Bi-Manual Examination (insertion of two fingers into the vagina), is such a vile and disrespectful examination and a complete joke too… Please take a look at your fingers… now tell me which one of them is longer than the bills of a Vaginal Speculum? A Medium Cusco measures 4″ (101.6mm) and it takes all, or almost all of it just to view the cervix, so how do doctors think they can reach deep enough to feel (palpate) the Cervix to push and tilt the Uterus to determine disease? Pap/Smear tests are virtually pointless too. There are too many variables within Smear Samples, making the test prone to inaccurate results from the laboratory, along with the fact that the collection process causes damage to the cells on the surface of the cervix which can mutate and even cause the exact disease that the woman is attempting to prevent — Cancer! 10029 – ADM (Canada) May 17, 2013 at 5:07 am It is very true that genetics do not determine our fate. We know through epigenetics that genes can be changed through interaction with the environment which includes diet. Just because someone has a genetic predisposition to an illness does not mean they are going to get that illness. Illness is caused by a complex interaction between the genetic predisposition and the environment. Certain foods are known to help in the prevention and cure of cancer including the cruciferous vegetable family. Broccoli contains several compounds that have been shown to reduce the risk of several cancers. Information about this is right on the American Cancer Society webpage. The ability to prevent or heal the body with the mind and attitude is still a controversial area but several studies have shown that it can be done. Dr Andrew Weil talks about this in his book Spontaneous Healing, and a new book is out called Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin, M.D. We know the mind affects the body which is simply shown with thinking about eating a dill pickle and the mouth waters. Most illnesses have physical and mental expressions. This is seen with mental health problems such as depression where treatment of the mind relieves physical symptoms. 10030 – Mary May 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm I’d like to think curing cancer was as simple as diet and meditation. And yes cancer is supposed to feed off sugar (like all cells) but there are many people who turn to diet when they are diagnosed with cancer. Belinda Emmett, a soap star here who died of breast cancer at 32 had the money to be able to spend her whole time, 24/7, meditating, eating special foods spending all her energy fighting cancer and she still succumbed to it. I think that those who claim they cured their cancer from diet did not have an aggressive cancer in the first place, just as those who claim they were saved by a mammogram also had a slow growing cancer. Peter Goetzsche talks about a little known phenomenon of cancer spontaneously regressing. Why it does that we don’t know. But anyone who smugly claims they were cured of their cancer, whether by conventional means or complementary medicine were never destined to die from it in the first place because cancer is not one disease. There are at least four different types of breast cancer that we know of at the moment, for example. 10031 – Diane (US) May 17, 2013 at 7:40 pm I agree 100% with Mary. I’ve known plenty of people with wonderful diets and outlooks on life who died of cancer or other diseases. One I can think of: a colleague at work who was a vegetarian who did yoga every day, was Buddhist, meditated and ran marathons…and died in his sleep of a massive heart attack. There’s always a complex interaction between environment, genetics and other mitigating factors. A positive outlook does help. However, IMHO, to say that someone could have cured their cancer or any other dread disease, or prevented it, through diet, exercise or their own mindset is a slap in the face to those who do everything in their power and still succumb to their illness. To pretend that genetics can’t predispose someone to an illness or condition is to wear blinders. 10032 – ADM (Canada) May 18, 2013 at 6:45 am It’s not pretending that genetics can’t predispose someone to an illness. The word predisposition says exactly that. But the extensive study of genes has shown that just because someone has a predisposition does not mean they are 100% guaranteed to get that disease/condition. It is only a predisposition not a gurantee. For example it is know that with certain mental health problems that if a parent has a mental illness the risk factor for some illnesses is 40% which leaves another 60% that is environmental factors. In identical twin studies that are raised in the same home and those raised separately there are cases where one twin develops an disease/condition and the other doesn’t. Epigentics is scientific fact. I would argue that to dismiss the role of environment including diet is to also wear blinders. 10033 – Mary May 18, 2013 at 4:08 pm Of course diet plays a role in diseases. You only have to look at heart disease. But I’d like to see the evidence that it cures cancer. I’m not going to believe somebody who wrote a book claiming they cured their cancer from their diet of Amazonian acai berries. 10034 – Diane (US) May 18, 2013 at 10:24 pm But the extensive study of genes has shown that just because someone has a predisposition does not mean they are 100% guaranteed to get that disease/condition. It is only a predisposition not a gurantee. Nobody ever said genes are a GUARANTEE that someone will get cancer or another condition. And a lot of genes are double recessive, and if one only has one copy, one’s only a carrier. You see a lot of cases where one sibling is ill and the others aren’t. However, if you have a gene like BCRA, it certainly does up the risk level above that of the general population without the gene in question. There are case histories of families where each generation is in a different place/et al and they all come down with melanoma, or ovarian cancer, or what have you. And Mary, I agree with that completely. Saying diet has a role does not mean that diet can cure disease. Case in point, my colleague who just died, who had the best diet and physical activity level of any of us. Another case in point, Olympic athletes who come down with cancer. Having a great diet can help you but it can’t save you. There are all sorts of websites claiming everything from berries to silver can cure cancer…sorry, I don’t buy it. 10035 – Sue May 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm Oh Oh Oh this really turns my stomach – this following bit that Dr. Bernstein copied and pasted onto his blog recommending girls between the ages of 13-15 go in for a gyno consult, where: “An “external-only” genital examination can provide the health care provider with the opportunity to evaluate the patient for normal external genital anatomy, issues of personal hygiene, and abnormalities of the vulva, introitus, and perineum that might require further investigation. The external-only examination also provides the clinician with the opportunity to educate the patient on the range of normal female anatomy.” As Elizabeth has said, heavy handed tactics, an effort to get younger girls in, “grooming” them to distrust their own bodies and to cultivate the need for reassurance. Are boys also being encouraged to undergo visual inspection of their genitals? For normal external genital anatomy, issues of personal hygiene, and abnormalities of the penis and scrotum that might require further investigation? http://bioethicsdiscussion.blogspot.ca/2013/04/patient-modesty-volume-54.html#comments 10036 – Jane (UK) May 19, 2013 at 12:27 pm Sue – it’s disturbing. If you can convince young teenage girls that it’s perfectly normal to get naked and spread their legs for a yearly exam and convince them that cancer is just waiting to get them if they don’t comply – then you’ve got customers for life. 10037 – Chrissy (UK) May 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm Sue, this is really nauseating. What the hell is this fixation with female genitalia that they deem it necessary to visually inspect girls from 13 upward? The emotional damage this would cause to these vulnerable girls would surely eclipse any problems they might find. They obviously do not care how humiliating this type of exam is for a teenage girl – to have someone scrutinising their genitals is horrendous at that age. 10038 – Mary May 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm I would like to know exactly what abnormalities they are looking for. So they want to check that young girls look normal but then tell them that normal is really a range. Gee they don’t mind messing with young girls minds do they? Of course they can probably see that this will lead to a boom in labiaplasties. Gotta make up for the drop in colonoscopies somehow. 10039 – Alice (Australia) May 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm Exactly Mary! I would too like to know exactly why a 13 years old girl needs to be “evaluated for normal external genital anatomy”, and what exactly the doctors going to do if they find something not quite “normal” size or shape? Cut the girls genitals off “just in case”, or tell her that she must come back for regular check-ups every month? Whoever suggested this idiotic gyn exams for little girls must be sent to psychiatrists before they managed to any extensive damage to the children. Otherwise that will be us who will have to take our daughters, granddaughters, nieces or little sisters to a shrink after such “external genital examinations”. 10040 – Sue May 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm After reading your comments I feel better now. I love this site. It really is a form of statutory rape in my opinion. Medically sanctioned and socially accepted, but really what you have is an underage girl being coerced into showing her vagina to an older, strange, male. How traumatic that would be. Girls that age are so self-conscious of their budding bodies, and to have to strip and and spread their legs, then hold still with some stranger, most likely old male, up close and breathing onto her genitals, googly eyeballs drinking it all in . . . ewwww. Plus what happens if an “abnormality” is “suspected”? Will she then require an internal examination? Then she it all real risk of having her hymen ruptured via speculum. What a thrill that must be for some of them. 10041 – Kleigh (US) May 19, 2013 at 4:49 pm There is this idea with doctors that woman do not know there own bodies. it is sexist what about the changes a male child goes thru? II guess they dont need inspection. this has to be about desincetising young girls to intamte exams. If some one did that to me when i was 13 I whould have felt melsted. the thing that gets me the most with this is how childern esp young girls are taught that if any one touches your privates call the police or tell an athurity figer. but its okay to do that to girls at the doctors office? I also read about a obgyn telling mothers that there daughters might wonder why they need to go to a doctor if they are not sick. and they were telling the moms that they needed to go for there sexuall health and that they can not trust there daughters bc they probly have sex in the school bathrooms. these pple are so despreate. 10042 – Sue May 19, 2013 at 4:50 pm Oh, and I forgot to add they most likely are able to see the hymen being torn as the speculum is expanded, given there vantage point and the fact there is a bright light shining onto the girl’s vagina. 10043 – Kleigh (US) May 19, 2013 at 4:50 pm There is this idea with doctors that woman do not know there own bodies. it is sexist what about the changes a male child goes thru? II guess they dont need inspection. this has to be about desincetising young girls to intamte exams. If some one did that to me when i was 13 I whould have felt melsted. the thing that gets me the most with this is how childern esp young girls are taught that if any one touches your privates call the police or tell an athurity figer. but its okay to do that to girls at the doctors office? I also read about a obgyn telling mothers that there daughters might wonder why they need to go to a doctor if they are not sick. and they were telling the moms that they needed to go for there sexuall health and that they can not trust there daughters bc they probly have sex in the school bathrooms. these pple are so despreate. 10044 – Diane (US) May 19, 2013 at 6:35 pm The idea that young girls should be “visually inspected” is sickening. Absolutely sickening. And it absolutely does groom and condition them to believe that it is perfectly okay for the medical community to scrutinize their genitals. This actually happens in France already even to very young girls. In that case, they are apparently trying to make sure that girls from certain cultural/religious backgrounds are not being subjected to female genital mutilation. They check the girls and then arrest the parents if the girls have been mutilated. I’m not sure what to feel about that. Do you try to stop FGM and the violation of dignity and body that it entails by violating girls’ dignity in another way? 10045 – Kleigh (US) May 19, 2013 at 7:11 pm Leep is female genetal mutlation. 10046 – Diane (US) May 19, 2013 at 9:15 pm I agree, Kleigh but with this FGM I’m talking about the ritual practice that still happens in a lot of cultures in Africa and Asia in particular. France is seeing a lot of immigrants from African and Middle Eastern nations who try to take their daughters home to do this. It’s a horrific practice that needs to stop, yesterday but this pattern of inspections does not seem to be a good way to do it and retain any bodily autonomy, privacy and respect for these girls. In France, mothers and babies attend specialist clinics up until the age of six. The genitalia of baby girls are routinely examined for signs of mutilation. Dr Amellou, who works in a clinic in a Paris suburb explains that after the age of six, responsibility is handed over to school medical teams. They continue to inspect girls, especially those coming from those high-risk ethnic groups. I point out that such a thing would be unacceptable in Britain. “What is your problem,” she asks? “Our interest is in protecting the child.” 10047 – Elizabeth (Aust) May 20, 2013 at 10:18 pm The well-girl exam is child abuse, IMO…there is no clinical evidence to support routine genital inspections. The damage these exams will do is enormous, both physically and emotionally…if you look, you’ll find, will some of these girls end up having biopsies of “suspicious” lesions/marks found on the perineum etc? Diane, that’s horrible, it would be far better to find respected members of their community to educate & influence to stop this practice. I’m not sure I’d use threats of arrest and prosecution either (although that should happen) or they might not take their children to the doctor if they develop an infection or other health issue. (as a result of the cutting) Diane, yes, I’m sure Angelina Jolie got the best of advice and care. Not all women will be in that position though, especially those in the public system with no choice of surgeon. Women may be unhappy with the end result. I had a breast reduction in my late 30s and hand-picked an excellent reconstructive plastic surgeon, she was amazing and I was delighted with the end result. So getting the best advice and care is important. I know some high risk women take Tamoxifin and have regular MRIs, will they be influenced to do more or blame themselves for not taking that step if they get breast cancer? I don’t know, but I find the celebrity effect is almost always unhelpful. (and can lead to even more fear and harm) We had the Kylie effect which scared the life out of young women…this led to more calls from various sources, “make sure you check your breasts” or, “get screened”. (I know Nicole Kidman, after hearing about Kylie’s diagnosis, said we should, “tell our friends to get their mammograms”…) What screening? How does it help to urge young women to get screened or have their checks when CBEs, self-exams and mammograms are not recommended? It just causes worry and motivates some to find doctors who’ll do CBEs or send them for ultrasounds. My GP had a number of fearful young women greatly distressed when she refused to send them for mammograms. I’ll bet the number of young women having biopsies went up too, with more attempting self-examination or having CBEs/ultrasounds. We then had the Jade effect in the UK…young women scared to death about cervical cancer. (nothing new there) We shouldn’t even be testing women under 30 (and now I’d say we should only offer a pap test to women aged 30-60 who are HPV+) AND Jade Goody had an adenocarcinoma, usually missed by pap testing. (these very rare cases in young women tend to be an adenocarcinoma) So the Jade Goody effect meant more young women had pap tests…great, risk for no benefit. (risk from false negatives and false positives/over-treatment) I find it disgusting the way these programs use fear, misinformation and celebrities to sell screening. Hopefully, we won’t see a Jolie effect and this surgery remains fairly rare, performed only on well-informed and very high risk women. (fingers crossed) 10048 – Mary May 20, 2013 at 10:48 pm There’s was a letter in the SMH today about the proposal of banning unvaccinated children from schools. A doctor wrote it and some of what he said was this:”It is simply unethical to coerce parents into agreeing to any medical procedure, including vaccination, for their child. Threatening removal of an essential service such as preschool and childcare is coercion.” I wonder if he is aware of coercion with the pill and pap smears. 10049 – Alice (Australia) May 20, 2013 at 11:28 pm Kleigh, I totally agree: all those cervical punch and cone biopsies, LEEP, curettages and other “treatments” are female genital mutilations. And the medical community does nothing to make them less painful or avoid these tortures whenever possible! However, the World Health Organization conveniently defined female genital mutilations as “procedures of partial or total removal or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”. Therefore, doctors are free to do to female organs whatever they like, no matter how painful or unnecessary that is. “Medical reasons” will cover it all. 10050 – OverItAll May 21, 2013 at 10:45 pm Mary: your comment on vaccines made me comment. My son had 4 seizures 2 hours after his 3m shots when he was 4m (we split them up). The ped said it was all in my head and told us we could either continue the shots or leave the office. I spent 3 months looking for a dr who wouldn’t push vax, found one, met him (a family dr) and he openly admitted to coercing parents into vaxing even when it was against their religion. He said he’d wait till my son saw a NEUROLOGIST to discuss vax. Yep, my now-7m baby is having a bunch of tests done (mainly for epilepsy). I’ve been putting together a paper on vax, why I’m not doing them, health andreligious reasons. I should also add that ever since the seizures, he violently shakes his head day or night for absolutely no reason. Oh and the whole “vax or get out” goes against EVERY health org’s guidelines, even the apa or aap what
      • Blogger 6:14 am on April 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        This is the last (most recent) page of the old comments from Blogcritics:

        10026 – Diane (US)
        May 17, 2013 at 1:07 am

        I do agree, Elizabeth, there’s way too much fear-mongering out there, and the sad part is, all of the real cases get lost in the shuffle. Automatically deciding to remove one’s breasts – or uterus, or what have you – is a drastic step, and as mentioned, they’d never recommend prophylactically removing a man’s testicles or prostate.

        I think we can agree that there’s too much testing, too much fear-mongering and the inexcusable attitude of the medical professional to reduce women to their reproductive organs. It’s been mentioned before that doctors will never ask about the cancers that are way more common than cervical/breast, or insist on testing for them, and that women with real symptoms of trouble (such as the person I know who is now battling ovarian cancer) are blown off.

        Having said that, at the end of the day it’s Jolie’s choice to do what she wants to do with her own body – and one can only hope that she did have the correct and complete information to make the best decision for herself. I also do appreciate that in her article she wasn’t going on about mammograms and paps, which alone makes it stand out from others who speak about breast cancer. I’m not even going to touch the nonsense about magically curing cancer with diet and attitude, or the dismissal of genetics.
        10027 – Yazzmyne
        May 17, 2013 at 2:25 am

        Diane: ” I’m not even going to touch the nonsense about magically curing cancer with diet and attitude, or the dismissal of genetics.”

        Too bad you have to brush FACTS off as “nonsense” and this is exactly the sort of closed-minded mentality that is never going to lead to the cure or any significant improvement as “the cure” already exists. Most ‘scientists’ don’t even want to do research on it, merely because of their ridiculing attitude towards certain concepts, that’s not very objective or scientific is it? Real scientists and doctors who come with evidence that doesn’t suit the *beliefs* of mainstream ‘scientists’ are shunned and ridiculed and that’s how it always has been to later on (usually after their death) admit they were actually genius and ahead of their time because truth always goes through several stages before the masses can accept it as first it is ridiculed, then it is violently opposed untill it is accepted as self-evident.
        Recognizing the stage you are in, I won’t bother to argue with you anymore, but I wish you good luck in practising an open mind regardless.
        10028 – David (UK)
        May 17, 2013 at 4:08 am

        There ARE a lot of naïve patients around today… I suspect due to a ridiculous trust of Doctors? Many of patients do not even know, or do not recognise, the difference between the Male and Female psyche, or how the opposite gender is sexually stimulated.

        Mr Doctor, My Wife and I recognise your “I’ll just take little a look at that” sentence, for what it is – an attempt to brighten your day at the expense of our Marriage, a typical Male Doctor tactic wanting to take a look!

        If you’re a woman who regards routine intimate examinations as ‘unpleasant’, then I’m flat out calling you a liar! If your claim were true, then most of the unnecessary practices would have been stopped years ago! And whilst I’m on the subject of intimate examinations, the Bi-Manual and Pelvic Examinations are useless at detecting disease, yet women are threatened, intimidated, and convinced to have them because they are told that they need this examination to remain healthy?

        The Bi-Manual Examination (insertion of two fingers into the vagina), is such a vile and disrespectful examination and a complete joke too… Please take a look at your fingers… now tell me which one of them is longer than the bills of a Vaginal Speculum? A Medium Cusco measures 4″ (101.6mm) and it takes all, or almost all of it just to view the cervix, so how do doctors think they can reach deep enough to feel (palpate) the Cervix to push and tilt the Uterus to determine disease?

        Pap/Smear tests are virtually pointless too. There are too many variables within Smear Samples, making the test prone to inaccurate results from the laboratory, along with the fact that the collection process causes damage to the cells on the surface of the cervix which can mutate and even cause the exact disease that the woman is attempting to prevent — Cancer!
        10029 – ADM (Canada)

        • Blogger 6:16 am on April 10, 2016 Permalink

          May 17, 2013 at 5:07 am

          It is very true that genetics do not determine our fate. We know through epigenetics that genes can be changed through interaction with the environment which includes diet. Just because someone has a genetic predisposition to an illness does not mean they are going to get that illness. Illness is caused by a complex interaction between the genetic predisposition and the environment. Certain foods are known to help in the prevention and cure of cancer including the cruciferous vegetable family. Broccoli contains several compounds that have been shown to reduce the risk of several cancers. Information about this is right on the American Cancer Society webpage. The ability to prevent or heal the body with the mind and attitude is still a controversial area but several studies have shown that it can be done. Dr Andrew Weil talks about this in his book Spontaneous Healing, and a new book is out called Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin, M.D. We know the mind affects the body which is simply shown with thinking about eating a dill pickle and the mouth waters. Most illnesses have physical and mental expressions. This is seen with mental health problems such as depression where treatment of the mind relieves physical symptoms.
          10030 – Mary
          May 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm

          I’d like to think curing cancer was as simple as diet and meditation. And yes cancer is supposed to feed off sugar (like all cells) but there are many people who turn to diet when they are diagnosed with cancer. Belinda Emmett, a soap star here who died of breast cancer at 32 had the money to be able to spend her whole time, 24/7, meditating, eating special foods spending all her energy fighting cancer and she still succumbed to it. I think that those who claim they cured their cancer from diet did not have an aggressive cancer in the first place, just as those who claim they were saved by a mammogram also had a slow growing cancer. Peter Goetzsche talks about a little known phenomenon of cancer spontaneously regressing. Why it does that we don’t know. But anyone who smugly claims they were cured of their cancer, whether by conventional means or complementary medicine were never destined to die from it in the first place because cancer is not one disease. There are at least four different types of breast cancer that we know of at the moment, for example.
          10031 – Diane (US)
          May 17, 2013 at 7:40 pm

          I agree 100% with Mary. I’ve known plenty of people with wonderful diets and outlooks on life who died of cancer or other diseases. One I can think of: a colleague at work who was a vegetarian who did yoga every day, was Buddhist, meditated and ran marathons…and died in his sleep of a massive heart attack. There’s always a complex interaction between environment, genetics and other mitigating factors. A positive outlook does help. However, IMHO, to say that someone could have cured their cancer or any other dread disease, or prevented it, through diet, exercise or their own mindset is a slap in the face to those who do everything in their power and still succumb to their illness. To pretend that genetics can’t predispose someone to an illness or condition is to wear blinders.
          10032 – ADM (Canada)
          May 18, 2013 at 6:45 am

          It’s not pretending that genetics can’t predispose someone to an illness. The word predisposition says exactly that. But the extensive study of genes has shown that just because someone has a predisposition does not mean they are 100% guaranteed to get that disease/condition. It is only a predisposition not a gurantee. For example it is know that with certain mental health problems that if a parent has a mental illness the risk factor for some illnesses is 40% which leaves another 60% that is environmental factors. In identical twin studies that are raised in the same home and those raised separately there are cases where one twin develops an disease/condition and the other doesn’t. Epigentics is scientific fact. I would argue that to dismiss the role of environment including diet is to also wear blinders.
          10033 – Mary
          May 18, 2013 at 4:08 pm

          Of course diet plays a role in diseases. You only have to look at heart disease. But I’d like to see the evidence that it cures cancer. I’m not going to believe somebody who wrote a book claiming they cured their cancer from their diet of Amazonian acai berries.
          10034 – Diane (US)
          May 18, 2013 at 10:24 pm

          But the extensive study of genes has shown that just because someone has a predisposition does not mean they are 100% guaranteed to get that disease/condition. It is only a predisposition not a gurantee.

          Nobody ever said genes are a GUARANTEE that someone will get cancer or another condition. And a lot of genes are double recessive, and if one only has one copy, one’s only a carrier. You see a lot of cases where one sibling is ill and the others aren’t.

          However, if you have a gene like BCRA, it certainly does up the risk level above that of the general population without the gene in question. There are case histories of families where each generation is in a different place/et al and they all come down with melanoma, or ovarian cancer, or what have you.

          And Mary, I agree with that completely. Saying diet has a role does not mean that diet can cure disease. Case in point, my colleague who just died, who had the best diet and physical activity level of any of us. Another case in point, Olympic athletes who come down with cancer. Having a great diet can help you but it can’t save you. There are all sorts of websites claiming everything from berries to silver can cure cancer…sorry, I don’t buy it.
          10035 – Sue
          May 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm

          Oh Oh Oh this really turns my stomach – this following bit that Dr. Bernstein copied and pasted onto his blog recommending girls between the ages of 13-15 go in for a gyno consult, where:
          “An “external-only” genital examination can provide the health care provider with the opportunity to evaluate the patient for normal external genital anatomy, issues of personal hygiene, and abnormalities of the vulva, introitus, and perineum that might require further investigation. The external-only examination also provides the clinician with the opportunity to educate the patient on the range of normal female anatomy.”

          As Elizabeth has said, heavy handed tactics, an effort to get younger girls in, “grooming” them to distrust their own bodies and to cultivate the need for reassurance.

          Are boys also being encouraged to undergo visual inspection of their genitals? For normal external genital anatomy, issues of personal hygiene, and abnormalities of the penis and scrotum that might require further investigation?
          http://bioethicsdiscussion.blogspot.ca/2013/04/patient-modesty-volume-54.html#comments
          10036 – Jane (UK)
          May 19, 2013 at 12:27 pm

          Sue – it’s disturbing. If you can convince young teenage girls that it’s perfectly normal to get naked and spread their legs for a yearly exam and convince them that cancer is just waiting to get them if they don’t comply – then you’ve got customers for life.
          10037 – Chrissy (UK)
          May 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm

          Sue, this is really nauseating.

          What the hell is this fixation with female genitalia that they deem it necessary to visually inspect girls from 13 upward? The emotional damage this would cause to these vulnerable girls would surely eclipse any problems they might find. They obviously do not care how humiliating this type of exam is for a teenage girl – to have someone scrutinising their genitals is horrendous at that age.

        • Blogger 6:17 am on April 10, 2016 Permalink

          10038 – Mary
          May 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm

          I would like to know exactly what abnormalities they are looking for. So they want to check that young girls look normal but then tell them that normal is really a range. Gee they don’t mind messing with young girls minds do they? Of course they can probably see that this will lead to a boom in labiaplasties. Gotta make up for the drop in colonoscopies somehow.
          10039 – Alice (Australia)
          May 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm

          Exactly Mary! I would too like to know exactly why a 13 years old girl needs to be “evaluated for normal external genital anatomy”, and what exactly the doctors going to do if they find something not quite “normal” size or shape? Cut the girls genitals off “just in case”, or tell her that she must come back for regular check-ups every month?

          Whoever suggested this idiotic gyn exams for little girls must be sent to psychiatrists before they managed to any extensive damage to the children. Otherwise that will be us who will have to take our daughters, granddaughters, nieces or little sisters to a shrink after such “external genital examinations”.
          10040 – Sue
          May 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm

          After reading your comments I feel better now. I love this site. It really is a form of statutory rape in my opinion. Medically sanctioned and socially accepted, but really what you have is an underage girl being coerced into showing her vagina to an older, strange, male. How traumatic that would be. Girls that age are so self-conscious of their budding bodies, and to have to strip and and spread their legs, then hold still with some stranger, most likely old male, up close and breathing onto her genitals, googly eyeballs drinking it all in . . . ewwww. Plus what happens if an “abnormality” is “suspected”? Will she then require an internal examination? Then she it all real risk of having her hymen ruptured via speculum. What a thrill that must be for some of them.
          10041 – Kleigh (US)
          May 19, 2013 at 4:49 pm

          There is this idea with doctors that woman do not know there own bodies. it is sexist what about the changes a male child goes thru? II guess they dont need inspection. this has to be about desincetising young girls to intamte exams. If some one did that to me when i was 13 I whould have felt melsted. the thing that gets me the most with this is how childern esp young girls are taught that if any one touches your privates call the police or tell an athurity figer. but its okay to do that to girls at the doctors office? I also read about a obgyn telling mothers that there daughters might wonder why they need to go to a doctor if they are not sick. and they were telling the moms that they needed to go for there sexuall health and that they can not trust there daughters bc they probly have sex in the school bathrooms. these pple are so despreate.
          10042 – Sue
          May 19, 2013 at 4:50 pm

          Oh, and I forgot to add they most likely are able to see the hymen being torn as the speculum is expanded, given there vantage point and the fact there is a bright light shining onto the girl’s vagina.
          10043 – Kleigh (US)
          May 19, 2013 at 4:50 pm

          There is this idea with doctors that woman do not know there own bodies. it is sexist what about the changes a male child goes thru? II guess they dont need inspection. this has to be about desincetising young girls to intamte exams. If some one did that to me when i was 13 I whould have felt melsted. the thing that gets me the most with this is how childern esp young girls are taught that if any one touches your privates call the police or tell an athurity figer. but its okay to do that to girls at the doctors office? I also read about a obgyn telling mothers that there daughters might wonder why they need to go to a doctor if they are not sick. and they were telling the moms that they needed to go for there sexuall health and that they can not trust there daughters bc they probly have sex in the school bathrooms. these pple are so despreate.
          10044 – Diane (US)
          May 19, 2013 at 6:35 pm

          The idea that young girls should be “visually inspected” is sickening. Absolutely sickening. And it absolutely does groom and condition them to believe that it is perfectly okay for the medical community to scrutinize their genitals.

          This actually happens in France already even to very young girls. In that case, they are apparently trying to make sure that girls from certain cultural/religious backgrounds are not being subjected to female genital mutilation. They check the girls and then arrest the parents if the girls have been mutilated.

          I’m not sure what to feel about that. Do you try to stop FGM and the violation of dignity and body that it entails by violating girls’ dignity in another way?
          10045 – Kleigh (US)
          May 19, 2013 at 7:11 pm

          Leep is female genetal mutlation.
          10046 – Diane (US)
          May 19, 2013 at 9:15 pm

          I agree, Kleigh but with this FGM I’m talking about the ritual practice that still happens in a lot of cultures in Africa and Asia in particular. France is seeing a lot of immigrants from African and Middle Eastern nations who try to take their daughters home to do this. It’s a horrific practice that needs to stop, yesterday but this pattern of inspections does not seem to be a good way to do it and retain any bodily autonomy, privacy and respect for these girls.

          In France, mothers and babies attend specialist clinics up until the age of six.

          The genitalia of baby girls are routinely examined for signs of mutilation.

          Dr Amellou, who works in a clinic in a Paris suburb explains that after the age of six, responsibility is handed over to school medical teams.

          They continue to inspect girls, especially those coming from those high-risk ethnic groups.

          I point out that such a thing would be unacceptable in Britain.

          “What is your problem,” she asks? “Our interest is in protecting the child.”

          10047 – Elizabeth (Aust)
          May 20, 2013 at 10:18 pm

          The well-girl exam is child abuse, IMO…there is no clinical evidence to support routine genital inspections. The damage these exams will do is enormous, both physically and emotionally…if you look, you’ll find, will some of these girls end up having biopsies of “suspicious” lesions/marks found on the perineum etc?

          Diane, that’s horrible, it would be far better to find respected members of their community to educate & influence to stop this practice. I’m not sure I’d use threats of arrest and prosecution either (although that should happen) or they might not take their children to the doctor if they develop an infection or other health issue. (as a result of the cutting)

          Diane, yes, I’m sure Angelina Jolie got the best of advice and care. Not all women will be in that position though, especially those in the public system with no choice of surgeon. Women may be unhappy with the end result. I had a breast reduction in my late 30s and hand-picked an excellent reconstructive plastic surgeon, she was amazing and I was delighted with the end result.
          So getting the best advice and care is important. I know some high risk women take Tamoxifin and have regular MRIs, will they be influenced to do more or blame themselves for not taking that step if they get breast cancer?

          I don’t know, but I find the celebrity effect is almost always unhelpful. (and can lead to even more fear and harm) We had the Kylie effect which scared the life out of young women…this led to more calls from various sources, “make sure you check your breasts” or, “get screened”. (I know Nicole Kidman, after hearing about Kylie’s diagnosis, said we should, “tell our friends to get their mammograms”…)

          What screening? How does it help to urge young women to get screened or have their checks when CBEs, self-exams and mammograms are not recommended? It just causes worry and motivates some to find doctors who’ll do CBEs or send them for ultrasounds. My GP had a number of fearful young women greatly distressed when she refused to send them for mammograms. I’ll bet the number of young women having biopsies went up too, with more attempting self-examination or having CBEs/ultrasounds.

          We then had the Jade effect in the UK…young women scared to death about cervical cancer. (nothing new there) We shouldn’t even be testing women under 30 (and now I’d say we should only offer a pap test to women aged 30-60 who are HPV+) AND Jade Goody had an adenocarcinoma, usually missed by pap testing. (these very rare cases in young women tend to be an adenocarcinoma) So the Jade Goody effect meant more young women had pap tests…great, risk for no benefit. (risk from false negatives and false positives/over-treatment) I find it disgusting the way these programs use fear, misinformation and celebrities to sell screening.

          Hopefully, we won’t see a Jolie effect and this surgery remains fairly rare, performed only on well-informed and very high risk women. (fingers crossed)
          10048 – Mary
          May 20, 2013 at 10:48 pm

          There’s was a letter in the SMH today about the proposal of banning unvaccinated children from schools. A doctor wrote it and some of what he said was this:”It is simply unethical to coerce parents into agreeing to any medical procedure, including vaccination, for their child. Threatening removal of an essential service such as preschool and childcare is coercion.”
          I wonder if he is aware of coercion with the pill and pap smears.
          10049 – Alice (Australia)
          May 20, 2013 at 11:28 pm

          Kleigh, I totally agree: all those cervical punch and cone biopsies, LEEP, curettages and other “treatments” are female genital mutilations. And the medical community does nothing to make them less painful or avoid these tortures whenever possible!

          However, the World Health Organization conveniently defined female genital mutilations as “procedures of partial or total removal or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”. Therefore, doctors are free to do to female organs whatever they like, no matter how painful or unnecessary that is. “Medical reasons” will cover it all.

        • Blogger 6:19 am on April 10, 2016 Permalink

          10050 – OverItAll
          May 21, 2013 at 10:45 pm

          Mary: your comment on vaccines made me comment. My son had 4 seizures 2 hours after his 3m shots when he was 4m (we split them up). The ped said it was all in my head and told us we could either continue the shots or leave the office. I spent 3 months looking for a dr who wouldn’t push vax, found one, met him (a family dr) and he openly admitted to coercing parents into vaxing even when it was against their religion. He said he’d wait till my son saw a NEUROLOGIST to discuss vax. Yep, my now-7m baby is having a bunch of tests done (mainly for epilepsy). I’ve been putting together a paper on vax, why I’m not doing them, health andreligious reasons. I should also add that ever since the seizures, he violently shakes his head day or night for absolutely no reason. Oh and the whole “vax or get out” goes against EVERY health org’s guidelines, even the apa or aap whatever it is says to continue seeing the child, a sort of “don’t blame the kid” thing. I’m not at all a religious person, but please keep my son in your thoughts. He goes in May 30, hopefully just for bloodwork and maybe an eeg.
          10051 – Mary
          May 21, 2013 at 11:01 pm

          I don’t understand your comment on my comment. I was just saying that I am amazed that a doctor can see coercion when it comes to vaccination but probably can’t see it when it comes to the pill and pap smears. You are well within your rights to do what you believe is best for your son. I did not say everyone has to be vaccinated at all. That is the theme of this blog isn’t it, that we do our own research and take responsibility for ourselves and our children and do what we believe is best for us and our children? So I fully support your decision not to immunise your son. I wish your son well.
          10052 – OverItAll
          May 22, 2013 at 2:28 am

          Let me clear it up. You were saying how dr’s coerce women into smears (“no smear get out”, “no smear no bc”) and I was explaining that the same goes for vaccines (“no shot, get out”). And just because they acknowledge it’s coercion towards shots doesn’t mean they don’t know it’s the same for paps.

          Doctors will use every trick in the book to get everything their way. I’m also all for informed decisions on ALL medical interventions. However, if you’ve had a bad reaction, dr’s shouldn’t try to force them on you.

          Sorry for the confusion, lack of sleep and cold medicine (going on day 4 of cold and my homeo’s aren’t working).

          And absolutely. This site s ALL about getting correct info to make an Informed Decision, that’s why we keep coming back!!
          10053 – Torrance * Connecticut, U.S.A.
          May 22, 2013 at 7:37 am

          Here in The United States, it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to enroll a child in school; they MUST be vaccinated and it is preposterous. I know I was okay until I was vaccinated; was very ill afterward. Naturally, this just meant my mother could bring me to even more doctors (never diagnosed wit Munchausen-By-Proxy, but she MUST have had it). I’d toyed with enrolling in a computer class at a nearby college and their enrollment application said that adults must provide documentation that they are up-to-date with vaccinations, and I refused, so I couldn’t even think to enroll. These vaccinations are powerful upon immune systems which aren’t even formed, yet they are chronically demanded upon babies and youngsters/toddlers. I have NEVER seen ANY doctor refuse to do vaccinations; appointments are made and young parents are expected to adhere to vaccinating their children; regardless of the severe consequences which many babies wind up with. Over It All, I hope your son gets better soon.
          10054 – Kleigh (US)
          May 22, 2013 at 9:00 am

          Torrance, back in the erly 80s my mother was low income and never took my brother for any shots. at about 4 my brother came to live with are grandparents and they took him to a peditrtion and my grand mother said he told them that they had to get him up to date on all shots bc cps whould take him away for child neglect. She said that he keep giving my brother sevrel shots at a time and it scared her because he whould come home each time after a round of vaccens and get a fever and sleep for almost two days. it was like it knoked him out. she thought it was to much at one time. Now i hear more parents are refusing and they can clam it is aganst there belifs. the power doctors are given is very scary.
          10055 – Kleigh (US)
          May 22, 2013 at 9:04 am

          also not leting woman and girls in school if they do not get the hpv jab is sexist. Hpv is not spreed thru the air. it does not afect others at a school and i dont see how they could back that one up.
          10056 – Torrance * Connecticut, U.S.A.
          May 22, 2013 at 9:07 am

          Kleigh, I just looked up the requirements and the chart is beyond scary. There are NO exemptions. I agree about power-crazy bureaucrats thinking they can remove children, citing “neglect”, when these vaccines are too strong and are “required”. I DREAD Obama’s bizarre health legislation demanding all citizens must be vaccinated or else they are fined; where will this nonsense stop? Children are not allowed to make their own decisions, depend upon their parents to do what’s right, yet how many are okay prior to being vaccinated, and autistic once those foreign substances are injected into their bodies? Some kids are forever ruined when they were fine BEFORE they were vaccinated. It is a life sentence for the kids and their parents and NOBODY is verifying these vaccines are dangerous; probably because they fear a class action lawsuit. Same with all this pap smear nonsense. It has harmed countless woman, yet women are herded into testing and very few balk at it. It is disturbing on all levels.
          10057 – Diane (US)
          May 22, 2013 at 2:09 pm

          The link between vaccinations and autism have long been discredited. The original study was retracted by the Lancet after it was revealed the doctor had fabricated some of his data and had been working with a lawyer who wanted to sue the manufacturer of the MMR vaccine.

          In addition Thiomersal – mercury – has not been in human vaccines since the 1990s.

          It’s been pointed out that two of the reasons rates of autism are going up are a) because there now is recognition of a behavioral and cognitive spectrum, whereas children who were deemed autistic in the 1950s – onward were usually those who had a very narrow set of attributes, including cognitive difficulties. Parents are also seeking intervention. It’s also been noted that even before vaccines were widespread, a lot of autistic kids seem to be fine until they are two or three, and then slide back into increasingly more “autistic” behavior.

          And the autism link has also been discredited by numerous peer-reviewed studies. Unlike paps, vaccines are NOT big money for doctors.

          I agree that there are too many vaccines on the schedule – but the fact is that we are seeing recurrences of diseases that had nearly been eradicated, like measles and whooping cough, because of people who are not vaccinating their kids. That becomes a public health risk after a while. The whole idea of herd immunity is that if the herd is immunized, the ones who cannot be vaccinated due to health concerns such as seizures can be protected.
          10058 – Diane (US)
          May 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm

          I guess I feel that the parallel is a little different.

          The pap/gyn industry is fueled on hysteria and fear. The tiny number of women who get gyn cancers, plus money, fuel this hysteria that tries to make all women feel that they are ticking time bombs of cancer and MUST have these tests to stay safe.

          With anti-vax, I feel it’s the tiny number of kids who do have adverse reactions fuel hysteria that keeps parents from vaccinating their kids. Can your kid react to a vax? Sure, the same as they can react to the peanuts in the snack you make them for lunch or the aspirin you give them for their headache. Is it likely to happen? No. And is the risk of polio, measles or diphtheria more pressing to address? IMHO yes. Getting the healthy kids vaxed means that kids like Over It All’s child – who has a legit reaction – will still stay safe due to herd immunity.
          10059 – Alice (Ausralia)
          May 23, 2013 at 2:36 am

          Here is a very empowering and interesting document Policy protocols and procedures manual for authorised Pap smear providers (PDF). It is especially relevant to Queensland, Australia.

          Some quotes from it:

          About informed consent.

          As with any procedure, Pap Smear Providers must obtain informed consent from the woman before the procedure is commenced and throughout the procedure.

          There are five components to consent:

          1. the client must understand the nature of their condition

          2. they must understand the nature of the proposed treatment or procedure

          3. they must be aware of possible alternative courses of action

          4. they must be acquainted with the risks of both the proposed and alternate courses of action

          5. they must be informed of the chances of success or failure of the proposed and alternative procedures.

          Therefore when women are asked to consent to a Pap smear, the above principles should be adhered to.

          It is important that women know that the Pap smear is a screening test and not diagnostic, and that there is the possibility of a false negative and a false positive result.

          Special communication strategies may be necessary to ensure that women with special needs (i.e. women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, or women with intellectual disabilities) fully understand the procedure and are capable of giving informed consent.

          Heath care providers (including PSPs) have a duty of care in diagnosing, treating and advising clients about the risk and consequences of treatment.

          About Pap smear registers and the opt-off procedure from this government-induced privacy infringement.

          Pap Smear Provider Responsibilities

          It is the Pap Smear Provider’s responsibility under the Public Health Act 2005 to inform each woman having a Pap smear, histology or HPV DNA test about the PSR. This includes:

          – the existence and purpose of the Register

          – the identifying and clinical information about the woman that may be recorded in the Register

          – that the woman may elect to ‘opt off’ from having her identifying and clinical information automatically included in the Register.

          If a woman indicates to the Provider she chooses to ‘opt off’ the PSR, the Provider will attach a “Not for Pap Smear Register” sticker on the pathology request form. If the provider does not have “Not for PSR” stickers, these words must be written clearly on the Pathology request form.

          It is important to note that if a request form has an ‘opt off’ sticker or notification on it, the PSR will not be sent any information about the woman. For this reason, women need to be asked by the Provider each time they have a Pap smear or related test about ‘opt off’, especially if they have done so previously, or their results will automatically be sent to the PSR and the woman will be sent a ‘Welcome letter’.

          So, on paper everything looks great: informed consent is acknowledged, downside of pap screening discussed, opt-off from Pap smear registers offered…

          In reality however, things are very different: real informed consent is non-existent, flaws of cancer screening are hushed up, not a peep about cervical cytology registers, let alone about opting out of them.

          By the way, if you live in Australia and want to stop pap smear reminder letters, you should remove your details from the pap smear register operating in your state or territory. By law, they must honour your request to delete all your data from their database. For example, here is the removal request form for Queensland (PDF).

        • Blogger 6:20 am on April 10, 2016 Permalink

          10060 – Alice (Australia)
          May 24, 2013 at 7:17 am

          And this is how the pap smear register opt-off right is honoured by QML Pathology Laboratory, the largest laboratory in Queensland:

          Some time ago a friend of mine gave in to the widespread cervical cancer scare campaign and agreed to do a screening test. She deeply regrets it now, but 2 weeks ago she did agree to have a pap smear on two strict conditions:
          1. None of her details or test results will be forwarded to Queensland Pap Smear Register.
          2. She will get a copy of the test results.

          Her doctor was very supporting and did everything that was necessary to meet the conditions. The doctor wrote the following on the pathology request form:
          “Copy to patient” and “Not for PSR”.
          Both lines are standard requirements for giving a copy to the patient and for opting off the pap smear register. Both lines were written in HUGE letters twice on the form, to be 100% sure.

          What did QML do?
          They and their sub-contracted lab managed to miss both requests.

          My friend has been stressing out, checking her letter box every day, but instead of her results she got a letter from Qld government congratulating her that her results have been forwarded to the register and are now public property. She, however, still doesn’t know the results of her test, still worrying. And the sad thing is that some paper-shufflers in the register already have already got her results and even sent her a “welcome” letter. Clearly, the medical system thinks that a silly register is more important than the patient. And the lab was careless enough to forget about the opt-off request.

          Because it became apparent that her test results are ready, she called the lab today, and they said that nothing has been sent to her. They didn’t notice the “copy to patient” request either.

          Ironically, QML’s website states that “your request form is a legal document” when it comes to telling the patients that they must not add anything to the form. But how about threating that legal document seriously in the lab? What a degree of negligence should a laboratory have to ignore both requests written in that “legal document” twice, in big letters?

          The outcome so far:
          – infringement of privacy
          – double negligence
          – breach of the Privacy Act 1988
          – breach of the Public Health Act 2005
          – a stressed and worrying person who now also has to deal with the register to remove her details from there (provided the details can actually be removed completely).

          And this is all for a test that may lead to even greater damage!
          10061 – Alice (Australia)
          May 24, 2013 at 7:39 am

          And this is a fraction of the debate in NSW parliament about the opt-in vs opt-off systems and respect for the patient’s choice, which surprisingly happened as far back as 17 years ago:

          PUBLIC HEALTH AMENDMENT BILL
          Second Reading

          Debate resumed from 17 April 1996.

          The Hon. Dr B. P. V. PEZZUTTI [3.25]: The Public Health Amendment Bill results from a commitment by the Carr Labor Government, through the personage of the Hon. Andrew Refshauge, Minister for Health, to change the way in which the pap smear register in this State operates. When in government I and then Minister for Health Ron Phillips determined, through public consultation, to have what is known in industry jargon as an opt-on register. Such a register gives people a choice to be placed on a register or within a reminder process regarding pap smears. Those who become part of the process have the benefits of the program – in this case pap smears but in other cases the benefits of an immunisation register and/or the immunisation process.

          This might seem small beer to many honourable members, but the opt-on process is important. I tell the House and the Minister that I have always been in favour of the opt-on process. However, many of my medical colleagues, especially general practitioners, including my wife, found that the responsibility for obtaining the consent of patients for their names to be on the register was taking up an inordinate amount of time in their rooms. The Cancer Council had placed with the general practitioner responsibility for ensuring that that consent was obtained. In other words, although the Cancer Council owned the register and had been given by the New South Wales Minister the task of running the registry and reminder process, it was left to the general practitioner to explain to the patients the whole of the process and the need for consent.

          I advised the former Minister for Health, Ron Phillips, of ways to fix this problem. The Cancer Council was responsible for obtaining the consents, not the general practitioner. The practitioner had enough trouble explaining the pap smear procedure to a patient, ensuring delivery of the sample and filling out the necessary forms to ensure that the registry records were accurate, without having to explain what the registry was all about, that it was something of an invasion of privacy and that the patients would be receiving letters from the Cancer Council. The Government and the present Minister, instead of making sure that responsibility for obtaining consent rested with the New South Wales Cancer Council, took the easy way out and decided on an opt-off register. It is incumbent on a general practitioner to send a pap smear test to the Cancer Council. If a woman does not want to be part of the register and get the letters of reminder and the benefits – and I use the word “benefits” advisedly – she has to write to the Cancer Council explaining that she does not want to be part of the register and wants to opt off the program. The general practitioner then has to explain to her what it means to opt off.

          The Hon. R. D. Dyer: That would depress participation rates, surely.

          The Hon. Dr B. P. V. PEZZUTTI: The Minister for Community Services has hit the nail on the head. Like many things that the Left of the Labor Party does – and the Minister for Community Services would know more about this than many – this action is being taken in the interests of the person concerned. In other words, Dr Refshauge, in a patronising way –

          The Hon. R. D. Dyer: You’re not calling me a Left member, are you?

          The Hon. Dr B. P. V. PEZZUTTI: No, I am not talking about the Minister, but he knows how the Left behaves. The Hon. Franca Arena also knows how the Left acts. The Left of the Labor Party considers that it is always in the best interests of the public to do what the Left tells it to do. The Left considers that it knows what is best for the public; the public would be better off if only it would do what the Left asked it to do. That is what the Left does all the time. The Minister for Community Services would have heard such sentiments expressed time and time again. Is that not right? …

          The Hon. Andrew Refshauge, in the interests of women, took what he thought would be the easy option to get participation rates up. He said that women were too bloody stupid to do it themselves, that they would not remember to go for tests, that they would not take any interest, and that they would not opt on.

          10026 – Diane (US)
          May 17, 2013 at 1:07 am

          I do agree, Elizabeth, there’s way too much fear-mongering out there, and the sad part is, all of the real cases get lost in the shuffle. Automatically deciding to remove one’s breasts – or uterus, or what have you – is a drastic step, and as mentioned, they’d never recommend prophylactically removing a man’s testicles or prostate.

          I think we can agree that there’s too much testing, too much fear-mongering and the inexcusable attitude of the medical professional to reduce women to their reproductive organs. It’s been mentioned before that doctors will never ask about the cancers that are way more common than cervical/breast, or insist on testing for them, and that women with real symptoms of trouble (such as the person I know who is now battling ovarian cancer) are blown off.

          Having said that, at the end of the day it’s Jolie’s choice to do what she wants to do with her own body – and one can only hope that she did have the correct and complete information to make the best decision for herself. I also do appreciate that in her article she wasn’t going on about mammograms and paps, which alone makes it stand out from others who speak about breast cancer. I’m not even going to touch the nonsense about magically curing cancer with diet and attitude, or the dismissal of genetics.
          10027 – Yazzmyne
          May 17, 2013 at 2:25 am

          Diane: ” I’m not even going to touch the nonsense about magically curing cancer with diet and attitude, or the dismissal of genetics.”

          Too bad you have to brush FACTS off as “nonsense” and this is exactly the sort of closed-minded mentality that is never going to lead to the cure or any significant improvement as “the cure” already exists. Most ‘scientists’ don’t even want to do research on it, merely because of their ridiculing attitude towards certain concepts, that’s not very objective or scientific is it? Real scientists and doctors who come with evidence that doesn’t suit the *beliefs* of mainstream ‘scientists’ are shunned and ridiculed and that’s how it always has been to later on (usually after their death) admit they were actually genius and ahead of their time because truth always goes through several stages before the masses can accept it as first it is ridiculed, then it is violently opposed untill it is accepted as self-evident.
          Recognizing the stage you are in, I won’t bother to argue with you anymore, but I wish you good luck in practising an open mind regardless.
          10028 – David (UK)
          May 17, 2013 at 4:08 am

          There ARE a lot of naïve patients around today… I suspect due to a ridiculous trust of Doctors? Many of patients do not even know, or do not recognise, the difference between the Male and Female psyche, or how the opposite gender is sexually stimulated.

          Mr Doctor, My Wife and I recognise your “I’ll just take little a look at that” sentence, for what it is – an attempt to brighten your day at the expense of our Marriage, a typical Male Doctor tactic wanting to take a look!

          If you’re a woman who regards routine intimate examinations as ‘unpleasant’, then I’m flat out calling you a liar! If your claim were true, then most of the unnecessary practices would have been stopped years ago! And whilst I’m on the subject of intimate examinations, the Bi-Manual and Pelvic Examinations are useless at detecting disease, yet women are threatened, intimidated, and convinced to have them because they are told that they need this examination to remain healthy?

          The Bi-Manual Examination (insertion of two fingers into the vagina), is such a vile and disrespectful examination and a complete joke too… Please take a look at your fingers… now tell me which one of them is longer than the bills of a Vaginal Speculum? A Medium Cusco measures 4″ (101.6mm) and it takes all, or almost all of it just to view the cervix, so how do doctors think they can reach deep enough to feel (palpate) the Cervix to push and tilt the Uterus to determine disease?

          Pap/Smear tests are virtually pointless too. There are too many variables within Smear Samples, making the test prone to inaccurate results from the laboratory, along with the fact that the collection process causes damage to the cells on the surface of the cervix which can mutate and even cause the exact disease that the woman is attempting to prevent — Cancer!

        • Blogger 6:21 am on April 10, 2016 Permalink

          10029 – ADM (Canada)
          May 17, 2013 at 5:07 am

          It is very true that genetics do not determine our fate. We know through epigenetics that genes can be changed through interaction with the environment which includes diet. Just because someone has a genetic predisposition to an illness does not mean they are going to get that illness. Illness is caused by a complex interaction between the genetic predisposition and the environment. Certain foods are known to help in the prevention and cure of cancer including the cruciferous vegetable family. Broccoli contains several compounds that have been shown to reduce the risk of several cancers. Information about this is right on the American Cancer Society webpage. The ability to prevent or heal the body with the mind and attitude is still a controversial area but several studies have shown that it can be done. Dr Andrew Weil talks about this in his book Spontaneous Healing, and a new book is out called Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin, M.D. We know the mind affects the body which is simply shown with thinking about eating a dill pickle and the mouth waters. Most illnesses have physical and mental expressions. This is seen with mental health problems such as depression where treatment of the mind relieves physical symptoms.
          10030 – Mary
          May 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm

          I’d like to think curing cancer was as simple as diet and meditation. And yes cancer is supposed to feed off sugar (like all cells) but there are many people who turn to diet when they are diagnosed with cancer. Belinda Emmett, a soap star here who died of breast cancer at 32 had the money to be able to spend her whole time, 24/7, meditating, eating special foods spending all her energy fighting cancer and she still succumbed to it. I think that those who claim they cured their cancer from diet did not have an aggressive cancer in the first place, just as those who claim they were saved by a mammogram also had a slow growing cancer. Peter Goetzsche talks about a little known phenomenon of cancer spontaneously regressing. Why it does that we don’t know. But anyone who smugly claims they were cured of their cancer, whether by conventional means or complementary medicine were never destined to die from it in the first place because cancer is not one disease. There are at least four different types of breast cancer that we know of at the moment, for example.
          10031 – Diane (US)
          May 17, 2013 at 7:40 pm

          I agree 100% with Mary. I’ve known plenty of people with wonderful diets and outlooks on life who died of cancer or other diseases. One I can think of: a colleague at work who was a vegetarian who did yoga every day, was Buddhist, meditated and ran marathons…and died in his sleep of a massive heart attack. There’s always a complex interaction between environment, genetics and other mitigating factors. A positive outlook does help. However, IMHO, to say that someone could have cured their cancer or any other dread disease, or prevented it, through diet, exercise or their own mindset is a slap in the face to those who do everything in their power and still succumb to their illness. To pretend that genetics can’t predispose someone to an illness or condition is to wear blinders.
          10032 – ADM (Canada)
          May 18, 2013 at 6:45 am

          It’s not pretending that genetics can’t predispose someone to an illness. The word predisposition says exactly that. But the extensive study of genes has shown that just because someone has a predisposition does not mean they are 100% guaranteed to get that disease/condition. It is only a predisposition not a gurantee. For example it is know that with certain mental health problems that if a parent has a mental illness the risk factor for some illnesses is 40% which leaves another 60% that is environmental factors. In identical twin studies that are raised in the same home and those raised separately there are cases where one twin develops an disease/condition and the other doesn’t. Epigentics is scientific fact. I would argue that to dismiss the role of environment including diet is to also wear blinders.
          10033 – Mary
          May 18, 2013 at 4:08 pm

          Of course diet plays a role in diseases. You only have to look at heart disease. But I’d like to see the evidence that it cures cancer. I’m not going to believe somebody who wrote a book claiming they cured their cancer from their diet of Amazonian acai berries.
          10034 – Diane (US)
          May 18, 2013 at 10:24 pm

          But the extensive study of genes has shown that just because someone has a predisposition does not mean they are 100% guaranteed to get that disease/condition. It is only a predisposition not a gurantee.

          Nobody ever said genes are a GUARANTEE that someone will get cancer or another condition. And a lot of genes are double recessive, and if one only has one copy, one’s only a carrier. You see a lot of cases where one sibling is ill and the others aren’t.

          However, if you have a gene like BCRA, it certainly does up the risk level above that of the general population without the gene in question. There are case histories of families where each generation is in a different place/et al and they all come down with melanoma, or ovarian cancer, or what have you.

          And Mary, I agree with that completely. Saying diet has a role does not mean that diet can cure disease. Case in point, my colleague who just died, who had the best diet and physical activity level of any of us. Another case in point, Olympic athletes who come down with cancer. Having a great diet can help you but it can’t save you. There are all sorts of websites claiming everything from berries to silver can cure cancer…sorry, I don’t buy it.
          10035 – Sue
          May 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm

          Oh Oh Oh this really turns my stomach – this following bit that Dr. Bernstein copied and pasted onto his blog recommending girls between the ages of 13-15 go in for a gyno consult, where:
          “An “external-only” genital examination can provide the health care provider with the opportunity to evaluate the patient for normal external genital anatomy, issues of personal hygiene, and abnormalities of the vulva, introitus, and perineum that might require further investigation. The external-only examination also provides the clinician with the opportunity to educate the patient on the range of normal female anatomy.”

          As Elizabeth has said, heavy handed tactics, an effort to get younger girls in, “grooming” them to distrust their own bodies and to cultivate the need for reassurance.

          Are boys also being encouraged to undergo visual inspection of their genitals? For normal external genital anatomy, issues of personal hygiene, and abnormalities of the penis and scrotum that might require further investigation?
          http://bioethicsdiscussion.blogspot.ca/2013/04/patient-modesty-volume-54.html#comments
          10036 – Jane (UK)
          May 19, 2013 at 12:27 pm

          Sue – it’s disturbing. If you can convince young teenage girls that it’s perfectly normal to get naked and spread their legs for a yearly exam and convince them that cancer is just waiting to get them if they don’t comply – then you’ve got customers for life.
          10037 – Chrissy (UK)
          May 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm

          Sue, this is really nauseating.

          What the hell is this fixation with female genitalia that they deem it necessary to visually inspect girls from 13 upward? The emotional damage this would cause to these vulnerable girls would surely eclipse any problems they might find. They obviously do not care how humiliating this type of exam is for a teenage girl – to have someone scrutinising their genitals is horrendous at that age.

          10038 – Mary
          May 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm

          I would like to know exactly what abnormalities they are looking for. So they want to check that young girls look normal but then tell them that normal is really a range. Gee they don’t mind messing with young girls minds do they? Of course they can probably see that this will lead to a boom in labiaplasties. Gotta make up for the drop in colonoscopies somehow.
          10039 – Alice (Australia)
          May 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm

          Exactly Mary! I would too like to know exactly why a 13 years old girl needs to be “evaluated for normal external genital anatomy”, and what exactly the doctors going to do if they find something not quite “normal” size or shape? Cut the girls genitals off “just in case”, or tell her that she must come back for regular check-ups every month?

          Whoever suggested this idiotic gyn exams for little girls must be sent to psychiatrists before they managed to any extensive damage to the children. Otherwise that will be us who will have to take our daughters, granddaughters, nieces or little sisters to a shrink after such “external genital examinations”.
          10040 – Sue
          May 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm

          After reading your comments I feel better now. I love this site. It really is a form of statutory rape in my opinion. Medically sanctioned and socially accepted, but really what you have is an underage girl being coerced into showing her vagina to an older, strange, male. How traumatic that would be. Girls that age are so self-conscious of their budding bodies, and to have to strip and and spread their legs, then hold still with some stranger, most likely old male, up close and breathing onto her genitals, googly eyeballs drinking it all in . . . ewwww. Plus what happens if an “abnormality” is “suspected”? Will she then require an internal examination? Then she it all real risk of having her hymen ruptured via speculum. What a thrill that must be for some of them.
          10041 – Kleigh (US)
          May 19, 2013 at 4:49 pm

          There is this idea with doctors that woman do not know there own bodies. it is sexist what about the changes a male child goes thru? II guess they dont need inspection. this has to be about desincetising young girls to intamte exams. If some one did that to me when i was 13 I whould have felt melsted. the thing that gets me the most with this is how childern esp young girls are taught that if any one touches your privates call the police or tell an athurity figer. but its okay to do that to girls at the doctors office? I also read about a obgyn telling mothers that there daughters might wonder why they need to go to a doctor if they are not sick. and they were telling the moms that they needed to go for there sexuall health and that they can not trust there daughters bc they probly have sex in the school bathrooms. these pple are so despreate.
          10042 – Sue
          May 19, 2013 at 4:50 pm

          Oh, and I forgot to add they most likely are able to see the hymen being torn as the speculum is expanded, given there vantage point and the fact there is a bright light shining onto the girl’s vagina.
          10043 – Kleigh (US)
          May 19, 2013 at 4:50 pm

          There is this idea with doctors that woman do not know there own bodies. it is sexist what about the changes a male child goes thru? II guess they dont need inspection. this has to be about desincetising young girls to intamte exams. If some one did that to me when i was 13 I whould have felt melsted. the thing that gets me the most with this is how childern esp young girls are taught that if any one touches your privates call the police or tell an athurity figer. but its okay to do that to girls at the doctors office? I also read about a obgyn telling mothers that there daughters might wonder why they need to go to a doctor if they are not sick. and they were telling the moms that they needed to go for there sexuall health and that they can not trust there daughters bc they probly have sex in the school bathrooms. these pple are so despreate.
          10044 – Diane (US)
          May 19, 2013 at 6:35 pm

          The idea that young girls should be “visually inspected” is sickening. Absolutely sickening. And it absolutely does groom and condition them to believe that it is perfectly okay for the medical community to scrutinize their genitals.

          This actually happens in France already even to very young girls. In that case, they are apparently trying to make sure that girls from certain cultural/religious backgrounds are not being subjected to female genital mutilation. They check the girls and then arrest the parents if the girls have been mutilated.

          I’m not sure what to feel about that. Do you try to stop FGM and the violation of dignity and body that it entails by violating girls’ dignity in another way?
          10045 – Kleigh (US)
          May 19, 2013 at 7:11 pm

          Leep is female genetal mutlation.
          10046 – Diane (US)
          May 19, 2013 at 9:15 pm

          I agree, Kleigh but with this FGM I’m talking about the ritual practice that still happens in a lot of cultures in Africa and Asia in particular. France is seeing a lot of immigrants from African and Middle Eastern nations who try to take their daughters home to do this. It’s a horrific practice that needs to stop, yesterday but this pattern of inspections does not seem to be a good way to do it and retain any bodily autonomy, privacy and respect for these girls.

          In France, mothers and babies attend specialist clinics up until the age of six.

          The genitalia of baby girls are routinely examined for signs of mutilation.

          Dr Amellou, who works in a clinic in a Paris suburb explains that after the age of six, responsibility is handed over to school medical teams.

          They continue to inspect girls, especially those coming from those high-risk ethnic groups.

          I point out that such a thing would be unacceptable in Britain.

          “What is your problem,” she asks? “Our interest is in protecting the child.”

          10047 – Elizabeth (Aust)
          May 20, 2013 at 10:18 pm

          The well-girl exam is child abuse, IMO…there is no clinical evidence to support routine genital inspections. The damage these exams will do is enormous, both physically and emotionally…if you look, you’ll find, will some of these girls end up having biopsies of “suspicious” lesions/marks found on the perineum etc?

          Diane, that’s horrible, it would be far better to find respected members of their community to educate & influence to stop this practice. I’m not sure I’d use threats of arrest and prosecution either (although that should happen) or they might not take their children to the doctor if they develop an infection or other health issue. (as a result of the cutting)

          Diane, yes, I’m sure Angelina Jolie got the best of advice and care. Not all women will be in that position though, especially those in the public system with no choice of surgeon. Women may be unhappy with the end result. I had a breast reduction in my late 30s and hand-picked an excellent reconstructive plastic surgeon, she was amazing and I was delighted with the end result.
          So getting the best advice and care is important. I know some high risk women take Tamoxifin and have regular MRIs, will they be influenced to do more or blame themselves for not taking that step if they get breast cancer?

          I don’t know, but I find the celebrity effect is almost always unhelpful. (and can lead to even more fear and harm) We had the Kylie effect which scared the life out of young women…this led to more calls from various sources, “make sure you check your breasts” or, “get screened”. (I know Nicole Kidman, after hearing about Kylie’s diagnosis, said we should, “tell our friends to get their mammograms”…)

          What screening? How does it help to urge young women to get screened or have their checks when CBEs, self-exams and mammograms are not recommended? It just causes worry and motivates some to find doctors who’ll do CBEs or send them for ultrasounds. My GP had a number of fearful young women greatly distressed when she refused to send them for mammograms. I’ll bet the number of young women having biopsies went up too, with more attempting self-examination or having CBEs/ultrasounds.

          We then had the Jade effect in the UK…young women scared to death about cervical cancer. (nothing new there) We shouldn’t even be testing women under 30 (and now I’d say we should only offer a pap test to women aged 30-60 who are HPV+) AND Jade Goody had an adenocarcinoma, usually missed by pap testing. (these very rare cases in young women tend to be an adenocarcinoma) So the Jade Goody effect meant more young women had pap tests…great, risk for no benefit. (risk from false negatives and false positives/over-treatment) I find it disgusting the way these programs use fear, misinformation and celebrities to sell screening.

          Hopefully, we won’t see a Jolie effect and this surgery remains fairly rare, performed only on well-informed and very high risk women. (fingers crossed)
          10048 – Mary
          May 20, 2013 at 10:48 pm

          There’s was a letter in the SMH today about the proposal of banning unvaccinated children from schools. A doctor wrote it and some of what he said was this:”It is simply unethical to coerce parents into agreeing to any medical procedure, including vaccination, for their child. Threatening removal of an essential service such as preschool and childcare is coercion.”
          I wonder if he is aware of coercion with the pill and pap smears.
          10049 – Alice (Australia)
          May 20, 2013 at 11:28 pm

          Kleigh, I totally agree: all those cervical punch and cone biopsies, LEEP, curettages and other “treatments” are female genital mutilations. And the medical community does nothing to make them less painful or avoid these tortures whenever possible!

          However, the World Health Organization conveniently defined female genital mutilations as “procedures of partial or total removal or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”. Therefore, doctors are free to do to female organs whatever they like, no matter how painful or unnecessary that is. “Medical reasons” will cover it all.
          10050 – OverItAll
          May 21, 2013 at 10:45 pm

          Mary: your comment on vaccines made me comment. My son had 4 seizures 2 hours after his 3m shots when he was 4m (we split them up). The ped said it was all in my head and told us we could either continue the shots or leave the office. I spent 3 months looking for a dr who wouldn’t push vax, found one, met him (a family dr) and he openly admitted to coercing parents into vaxing even when it was against their religion. He said he’d wait till my son saw a NEUROLOGIST to discuss vax. Yep, my now-7m baby is having a bunch of tests done (mainly for epilepsy). I’ve been putting together a paper on vax, why I’m not doing them, health andreligious reasons. I should also add that ever since the seizures, he violently shakes his head day or night for absolutely no reason. Oh and the whole “vax or get out” goes against EVERY health org’s guidelines, even the apa or aap what

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    • June Gardner 4:36 am on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hopefully this will help other women not to be tricked by unscrupulous doctors the way I was, and the answer from a wonderful doctor who is a patient advocate………….MY HORROR STORY…….
      I was one of those lucky women who never suffered any gynaecological problems in the 58 years I had my precious female organs. I trusted the female doctor who did my yearly Pap smear (which she insisted I have every year, despite never, ever having abnormal cells). I did not know she was in cahoots with corrupt gynaecologists looking for easy prey to use for greed and training material. She forced me into seeing a gynaecologist writing that I had post-menopausal bleeding, which was a blatant lie, as I NEVER had a single drop of blood since my menopause finished 5 1/2 years before. She would not take “NO” for an answer. She did everything to gain my trust, so I didn’t understand what was going on. She wore me down until I gave in. I went to the gynaecologist she referred me to so he could examine me, say I’m fine and send me home. I’d never seen him before in my life. As soon as I sat down, he opened the referral, and the first words out of his mouth was: “You have bleeding. I’m giving you a curette.” I was shocked. He didn’t ask me one single question, and he didn’t examine me. I said I had no bleeding, and I was not having a curette, but he would not take “NO” for an answer. He already had me booked in for a curette. I was not told that it is my choice. He manipulated and coerced me until I gave in. At the post-op appointment 2 weeks later, he said I had cancer and had to have a hysterectomy. He’d already sent the referral to MMC (a public hospital I had never been to before, and was not told Monash Medical Centre is a teaching hospital). I only went there to be examined, told I’m fine, and sent home. The German Clinical Fellow in Gynaecology/oncology called me in after the waiting room was empty. He then mentioned the bleeding. I was so angry, I said: “Why do you people keep saying I had bleeding, when I hadn’t had a single drop since my menopause finished over 5 years ago, until I was given the curette and bled for 3 days”. He ignored me and told me he was going to take out my cervix, my uterus, my fallopian tubes, and my ovaries. And he was going to do it by laparoscopy, but still may have to cut me open.” Again I was shocked. I said: I have no bleeding, I have no pain, I have no symptoms whatsoever, and begged for another option.” He went berserk. His face was full of anger and contempt as he yelled at me: “YOU HAVE NO OTHER OPTION. YOU SHOULD CONSIDER YOURSELF LUCKY YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE CHEMOTHERAPY. NOT LIKE ALL THOSE WOMEN IN THE WAITING ROOM”, and he flicked his hand toward the empty waiting room and said: “THEY WEREN’T SO LUCKY”. I was shocked. He then answered every question I asked with: You’ll be fine, and insisted I go in, in 2 days. Then he shoved a piece of paper in front of me and pointed where to sign. He did not go through one thing written on that form. I asked him if he’d done laparoscopy surgery before, and he looked me in the eye and told me he’d done hundreds that he could do them with his eyes closed. A blatant lie. I did not know that after I left he added on the form he forced me to sign that he may take out some pelvic lymph nodes as well. He sprung that on me just before the surgery. To make a long story short. He mutilated 6 healthy organs from my body, and God knows how many lymph nodes, as that was covered-up. He botched it beyond repair leaving me wailing in agony every day and bleeding out since he butchered me in June 2005. The morning after he slaughtered my organs, he smugly told me that I was as clean as a whistle. That all my removed organs had been healthy. The whole system took his side and did everything to discredit me and spread the word I was paranoid. They denied that I was in any pain, and kept sending me to psychiatrists who just kept pushing drugs on me and telling me they found nothing wrong in the tests when I kept telling them how much pain I’m in. I’ve never in my life been touched by such evil. I was a victim of fraud, and criminal medical malpractice, and my health and my life has been destroyed by those evil doctors. Why aren’t women warned about these corrupt doctors who trick healthy women into unnecessary hysterectomies? This surgical racket has been going on for decades, and will never stop because the system is geared to protect doctors, and not patients from unnecessary harm…

      DrSuarna Mehulic…. Dear June, I am in this difficult situation because I objected such charlatans and their treatment of patients. Your story is unfortunately not uncommon. I have seen it before and I have seen situation where when unethical and unprofessional doctors take all reproductive organs of the patient and cause chronic pain due to botched and unnecessary surgeries. After that is done their next step is to refer patient to psychiatrist. It is absurd reality that these unethical , unprofessional people always get away with everything wrong they do , because they make revenue for the institutions.Most likely you asked yourself lots of time ” why me” but I have to tell you that it is not only you.Only what I know for sure that until values such as honesty, accountability, humanity are surpassed by greediness, business oriented medicine , these issues will not get resolved. There were times when being physician was honored profession and being public servant was the most honored role in the society. I think values has been changed to most honored status of being rich instead.Possibly nationwide campaign to return these values to medicine is of uttermost importance in times to come !
      Respectfully
      Dr.Sue

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