Beware Female Veterans
There has been a big push for female veterans to get mammography over the last couple of month, including women who are under 50 and/or have gotten a mammogram within the last two years. Why? It may have more to do with OHSU needing breathing cadavers than with the V.A.'s concern for female veterans.
With the new suggested standard, one would think the government would be the first to accept the new guidelines. It saves money, and there is an abundance of research in support of the new guidelines. So, why are female veterans being called over and over with such urgency? It would be nice to think this has something to do with a genuine concern for our female veterans. Unfortunately, the timing of their campaign, and failure to accept the new guidelines, makes me suspect. I suspect the drive has more to do with OHSU's need to use female veterans as breathing cadavers for the year end surgical rotations in June.
You, however, will not be told that three days before your scheduled surgery, they will ask you to sign a consent form that allows the doctor you think will be performing the surgery, will be assigning those duties over to a resident, interns, and students. If you ask, you will likely be lied to about who will be performing the surgery. You will not be told that a resident will be supervising two interns will perform the surgery. You will not be told that before surgery, the resident, interns, and a gang of younger medical students will be involved not only in prep, such as catheter placement, but will be using you to practicing breast, pelvic, and rectal exams. If you ask this not be done, or it be limited to a couple of students, or request no males, once sedated you will be violated. Once you are sedated, you are their meat, not their patient. You will not be told that there is a good chance that on the day of the surgery, they will give you a date rape type drug and then ask you to sign other consent forms, allowing things you likely would not have consented to in the absence of drug facilitation. You will not be told that even janitors have been seen in O.R. rooms cleaning up around women stripped and uncovered. You will not be told that after this organized non-consensual mass violation of you dignity, autonomy, body, rights, in the form of gang "medical rape", you will not be assigned a female nurse to ensure you make it back to family unsalted further. No, in the V.A. you will be passed from male to male. No, no one will tell you that any number of males from janitor to techs, to doctors, even other patients can and often do find access to sedated female patients and sexually assault them. No, you will not be told. Nevertheless, there are things you do know.
As a female veteran, you are likely to be well aware that the military rewards rather than prosecutes rapists. 75-80% of known rapists are allowed to serve and are granted honorable discharges, their crimes sweated under the rug. As a female veteran, you are aware that the V.A. will hire these veterans before they hire a non-veteran. Nothing will be found if a background check is done. While you may not know that between 50 and 60% of males consistently report that they would "rape" or do something sexual to a woman against their will if they knew they would not suffer any consequences, you do know that the military has a history of no consequences for rape, at least not for the perpetrator. .
Well, it is early in the year; many of us have NOT gone in, for these exams, which may indicate we are getting smarter. Thus, the V.A. is in a panic. I have gotten five phone calls in the past two months, three in the past two weeks, all-trying to get me in for mammography. Problem is, I know about June. The V.A. likes to diagnose by February or March so they can run you through the plastic surgeon (then another whole group can practice on you several times if they can sell you on reconstruction, practice which yields high profit skills), and get you set up for the maximum amount of abuse in June. BEWARE. If you are not 50 or over, have no history of breast cancer in your family, have not had a lot of chest x-rays or eaten radioactive iodine, nor were exposed to toxins in military or job, you do not need mammography. If you are over 50 or have had some of the above you still are not likely to need one every year. Mammography itself can contribute to cancer.
If you are a veteran and feel you need mammography, go ahead. If diagnosed with cancer you should:
1. Get a second opinion on any diagnosis of cancer outside the V.A. system.
2. Refuse to sign their consent form on a digital pad and insist on signing a hard copy. Edit that hard copy such that it reflects what you are really consenting to in your mind.
3. Insist a family member or friend be present, by your side the entire time, prep, surgery, post op. Write on the consent form that this person has the authority to stop anything, any unauthorized touching, exams, or procedures to which you did not give informed consent.
Students need to learn, but we need to meet the residents and interns that will be performing these surgeries. We need to be given the opportunity to get to know them and them us. We need to be given the opportunity to volunteer to help teach students by allowing them physical exams before we are sedated and in reasonable numbers. If we refuse that refusal must be respected. We are not lab rats and breathing cadavers. We are full human subjects.
That said, I would strongly advise any female veteran, to insist their family stay with them at all times while they are under the influence of mind altering drugs, and that the I.V. be removed from your arm the next day after surgery. Have a family member stay with you that first night. If they say no, walk, at least until after finals in June.
contribute to this article
contribute to this article
add comment to discussion
view discussion from this article