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Old 10-16-2010, 04:40 AM
 
6 posts, read 18,893 times
Reputation: 14

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Marylee,

You can't understand what you don't know about. That's the point. There are those who need to put their mental health first.

As a writer/researcher in the area of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after sexual assault, a recognized disability, these victims need protection. Persons who have been sexually assaulted develop PTSD about 65% of the time. Women develop ptsd after sexual assault more than men.

The US government and Amnesty International recognize that psychological torture (or other cruel and degrading treatment) suffer more than persons subjected to physical torture.

There are many power abuses with any kind of institutional care. There is a huge difference between racial discrimination and your privacy rights. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 has an exception. So...for example, if you were applying for a job as a restroom attendant, your gender would be a bona fide job qualification making the employees gender the same as the patrons of that restroom.

The medical industry decided to ignore this and employ whomever. The culture in the 50's and 60's hired orderlies to take care of the male patient intimate needs. Men have a problem having their modesty needs met.

What the general public doesn't understand that humiliation is a dynamic that the sexual assault victim cannot overcome and they don't have the same mindset as the rest of us. Their sense of trust has been eroded, their privacy ignored' they have been violated to the very core of their soul.

I ask you this....suppose you were sexually abused in a hospital, wearing a hospital gown. Suppose the abuse was especially degrading and that employees were punished for their behavior. Now suppose you have to go back to a hospital, be treated by the same people (strangers) and wear the same thing (hospital gown). Now you are asked to expose your body in front of all those people. Or, look at it this way, suppose you were gang raped wearing a red dress behind a movie theatre. How often do you think you would wear a red dress, and how often would you walk behind a movie theatre wearing that red dress?

The answer is you wouldn't. It must be recognized that we all have needs. Telling people to "get over it" is disrespectful, insensitive to others' experience, reeks of intolerance and is the reason that people avoid being treated.

I agree that racial profiling is unacceptable, however, let's take the whole person into context. Suppose, someone was gang raped by a specific racial group. It doesn't matter what group. It would be understandable based on this person's experience that she would be "triggered" by an opposite gender person of that group trying to bathe her or do intimate things. I understand that this is probably not the case in your example, however, what I'm saying is that the entire person has to be taken into context.

You see this as a silly thread. There are more people who do not. Additionally, it is our legal right to refuse treatment for any reason as long as we're mentally competent and who are you to stand in judgment? It's important that all sides of this issue are evaluated, that we all be tolerant.
marjoriestar3723
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Old 10-16-2010, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
25,136 posts, read 30,034,331 times
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Marjorie ~

I believe you are missing the point of the thread. The issue most of us have a problem with is the description of a properly performed medical treatment --- even if traumatic to the recipient of the treatment --- as "rape."

Surely the victim of a prior assault might have difficulty with gyn procedures. I think all of us can understand that. But that does not make the procedure itself a rape. When the procedure is related to childbirth, then refusal of examinations, whether out of a sense of "modesty" that is outside the norm ("I do not want anyone except my husband to touch me there") or due to PTSD, makes it impossible to render appropriate medical care.

Ideally, I would hope that anyone with serious PTSD related to assault would have counselling to address the issue before she got pregnant. If she did get pregnant, presumably with a consensual partner, to me that should suggest some coming to terms with the issue.

But a vaginal delivery, even if traumatic to the mother, is not rape.
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:11 AM
 
6 posts, read 18,893 times
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Suzy,

Cruel and degrading treatment doesn't have to be rape to be just as or even more psychologically damaging. Triggers involve more than just having problems with a vaginal examination.

The law of the land protects our right to privacy. Medical treatment is often not very private and the fact that dignity is listed at the top of the patient bill of rights is evidence. Stripping people publicly while restrained (as in the ER) or prior to C Section may be a standard of care practice, however, it is not one that protects the mental health of the patient.

Who are we without our mental health? Patients subjected to treatment that is degrading, humiliating, and most of the time unnecessary, will not obtain healthcare in the future.

Pubic stripping is one of the most psychologically damaging aspects of abuse/torture. When done in the context of medical care, if done properly, can be construed as a means to an end. All too often, to save someone's life, there are aspects of care that are simply unacceptable. Example....15 year old girl comes into the ER after a car accident. She is awake and conscience. She is restrained. The EMT's are standing around, the police are standing around, there are countless medical personnel standing around. The patient is freaking out and the nurse is trying to calm her telling her she'll be okay. The girl is freaking out because she's tied and stripped in public with an audience. I'm not saying don't examine the girl, I'm saying, do it with respect for her privacy, dignity and mental health.

There are senators in the US government who are now advocating for military victims of sexual assault to have special needs in healthcare. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for the rest of us who have been victimized.

Until you have a life experience that alters your perception of the world, until you have a life experience where the extreme humiliation gives you nightmares, you know nothing of the suffering of those subjected.

All I'm saying is that "to do no harm" should be the only thing that matters and that everyone's needs be protected and respected.
marjoriestar3723
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
25,136 posts, read 30,034,331 times
Reputation: 31239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marjorie Starr View Post
Suzy,

Cruel and degrading treatment doesn't have to be rape to be just as or even more psychologically damaging. Triggers involve more than just having problems with a vaginal examination.

The law of the land protects our right to privacy. Medical treatment is often not very private and the fact that dignity is listed at the top of the patient bill of rights is evidence. Stripping people publicly while restrained (as in the ER) or prior to C Section may be a standard of care practice, however, it is not one that protects the mental health of the patient.

Who are we without our mental health? Patients subjected to treatment that is degrading, humiliating, and most of the time unnecessary, will not obtain healthcare in the future.

Pubic stripping is one of the most psychologically damaging aspects of abuse/torture. When done in the context of medical care, if done properly, can be construed as a means to an end. All too often, to save someone's life, there are aspects of care that are simply unacceptable. Example....15 year old girl comes into the ER after a car accident. She is awake and conscience. She is restrained. The EMT's are standing around, the police are standing around, there are countless medical personnel standing around. The patient is freaking out and the nurse is trying to calm her telling her she'll be okay. The girl is freaking out because she's tied and stripped in public with an audience. I'm not saying don't examine the girl, I'm saying, do it with respect for her privacy, dignity and mental health.

There are senators in the US government who are now advocating for military victims of sexual assault to have special needs in healthcare. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for the rest of us who have been victimized.

Until you have a life experience that alters your perception of the world, until you have a life experience where the extreme humiliation gives you nightmares, you know nothing of the suffering of those subjected.

All I'm saying is that "to do no harm" should be the only thing that matters and that everyone's needs be protected and respected.
marjoriestar3723
I think that your perception of medical care has perhaps been tainted by watching too much Law and Order SVU. I do not know of any hospital ER that would undress a patient in front of police officers. And undressing a patient for surgery is necessary, but not done in front of anyone who does not need to be there or who is there without the patient's permission.

Again, you are missing the point of the discussion. We are not talking about people who do not want to be undressed in front of EMTs or police officers. We are talking about people who do not wish to be undressed in front of or examined by the doctors and nurses who are trying to provide medical care. "To do no harm" does not mean letting an accident victim bleed to death because she is "freaking out" and refuses to let someone touch her. We are talking about unreasonable expectations of privacy and "modesty" that interfere with the provision of totally reasonable medical procedures. We're talking about the woman who wants someone to deliver her baby without looking at or touching her "privates." And, although it can sometimes be very traumatic, childbirth is not "rape."
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Old 10-17-2010, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
532 posts, read 1,044,950 times
Reputation: 566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Modest Woman View Post
One more thing. I have done research and I noticed that there are a lot of mannequins and even catheterization stimulators that nursing and medcial students can practice on. Gaumard sells many nice mannequins and urinary catheterization stimulators that are almost "real".
I haven't read the thread in its entirety yet, but this caught my attention. I am a PCT in a hospital and we are delegated the task of urinary catheterization. Let me tell you, cathing a mannequin is NOT the same as doing it on a live patient. The best example is cathing a female- I practiced on a mannequin, but those mannequins are so anatomically perfect that it's unrealistic to expect that this is sufficient teaching and practice for medical professionals. These mannequins don't account for the fact that in a real female the urethra is not so easy to find, especially on obese woman, women with differently shaped anatomies, or women who have a vagina that is a bit hard to maneuver! They also don't account for the added difficulty of a pregnant female who will have a baby pressing on the urethra and make it a different ballgame altogether to get a catheter in. Also, what of male patients with enlarged prostates? Mannequins don't have those!
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Old 10-17-2010, 02:12 PM
 
Location: California
31,471 posts, read 34,718,140 times
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I'm going in for surgery tomorrow and the last thing on my mind is modesty.
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Old 10-17-2010, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 18,535,943 times
Reputation: 6733
Good luck with your surgery! I had some minor GYN surgery over the summer - and I can tell you the last thing on my mind was modesty. I was more concerned about adequate anesthesia - not having my bladder perforated - having my vagina sewn up properly - not getting a post-op blood clot or a complication from the IV line - having the cath tube done properly - etc. - etc. I'm 100% today . Note that I had my surgery at Mayo JAX. About 10 people in the OR - including surgeons - anesthesia people - nurses - etc. Men - women. All colors. Both attendings and those in training. The old see one - do one - teach one. I am very grateful for the competence of everyone involved.

And FWIW - what Subie2 says is right on. Ever watch a cooking demo - and then try to make what you saw in the demo at home? Came out perfect the first time - right ? Try making the dish with a blindfold on - and you will have a small taste of what Subie2 is talking about. During my operation - the head honcho anesthesiologist was giving me a spinal tap on one side - while instructing the senior resident working on my other side. Don't think I'd ever want an anesthesiologist - or any other kind of doctor or medical person - who had only worked on mannequins before.

There's an old medical/doctor acronym. GOMER. Get out of my emergency room. Please. If you are in good enough shape to be worrying about modesty - and not dropping dead - go to a doctor of your choice who will indulge you. Don't keep me waiting with your fussing while I'm having a heart attack. Robyn
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
25,136 posts, read 30,034,331 times
Reputation: 31239
[Moderator cut: orphaned quote
I still think you are missing the point of the thread. This thread is not about abuse in a medical setting. It is about people who have a distorted sense of "modesty" which interferes with their receiving perfectly normal medical care. It is not about people who actually were assaulted in a hospital. It is about people who object to the normal exams required to provide legitimate procedures. If a woman has been so traumatized by a previous assault that she has PTSD to the degree that she would be unable to accept normal medical care, she should certainly " work through" her issues before medical care becomes necessary.

I am very sorry that you had what was apparently a devastating experience and I hope your writing helps you work through it, but you are trying to extrapolate your experience to a discussion about another issue entirely. It might be best for you to start your own thread instead.

And anyone with PTSD should consider counseling.I disagree that it is not helpful.

And I do not believe I said anyone should just "get over it."

Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 10-18-2010 at 12:37 PM..
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:43 PM
 
6 posts, read 18,893 times
Reputation: 14
I didn't say therapy isn't helpful. What I said is that you are never the same despite the therapy that might be helpful. While sexual assault in a medical setting is not as common as one would think, cruel and degrading treatment happens all the time. Look on some of the patient modesty threads.

The reasons vary from insensitivity to problem personnel, however, these experiences "color" one's feelings about future treatment. These people whether traumatized or just humiliated will no longer look at medical treatment the same way that others might.

Life experience and cultural norms are what makes certain things tolerable or intolerable for some. While I might be expressing one end of the spectrum, nobody can argue the horrific statistics of sexual abuse in our country and yes, that will effect people when they go into a medical setting.
gd
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 18,535,943 times
Reputation: 6733
At age 63 - and female - I have never experienced anything close to sexual assault in a medical setting. Not even an inadvertent touch that might be misconstrued.

But I have gone through an awful lot of yucky medical procedures. The most recent - a dynamic pelvic MRI used to figure out the nature of the growths inside me - was a particular treat. Being in an MRI tube while gel was inserted in "private" places (I was actually asked to do that myself - like Subie2 has hinted - all women are different - and sometimes no one knows our personal twists and turns like we do). Then I was asked to hold it in - squeeze it out - take a deep breath - exhale - roll on my right side - my left side - etc. And for this I had to pay a large co-pay and deductible!

I happen to be a particularly good sport about things that are yucky (although I am no fan of pain). But I reckon a fair number of women would be mortified by this procedure. In fact - the med techs told me many women "flunk" the test - especially in terms of "squeezing it out" - and I suggested quite forcefully that perhaps it was because they were mortified about dumping stuff in an unladylike-way in an MRI tube. And that there weren't detailed instructions pre-procedure about what to expect.

Could you live with stuff like this - as long as it was explained properly in advance? I thought my pre-procedure explanation was lacking. But - even with a great explanation - there's no way in the world to make a procedure like this "modest". OTOH - it's a terribly useful procedure (saves surgeons lots of time when then know exactly where to cut without doing a lot of exploring - and can help patients a bunch because operations take less time). I'd rather be "under the knife" for 30 minutes than 90 minutes - and I suspect so would most surgery patients. Robyn
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