A recent survey by the University of Chicago concluded that 14 percent of doctors believe they have no obligation to tell patients about all available options and another 29 percent believe they are under no obligation to refer patients for treatments they find objectionable.
As a woman, colour me unsurprised.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Though I am a mother now, I never intended to be one. Ã‚Â When I was 23 I sought a permanent solution to motherhood.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â I wanted a hysterectomy and sat out to speak with doctors about obtaining one. Ã‚Â It was an experience I’ll never forget.
The first one I spoke to pretty much just laughed me off and implied that I was just being immature and would change my mind when I “grew up”. Ã‚Â The second one bluntly stated that he wouldn’t perform such a operation and was rather proud to announce that I’d have a problem finding a doctor who would do such to an “otherwise” healthy woman.
It was the third one that got me to give up entirely.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â The man treated me like I wasn’t even a human.Ã‚Â After finding out that I was divorced he calmly explained that a future husband might desire children and would become unglued should he find out that his baby-machine was intentionally broken. Ã‚Â As a doctor and a man, he had to take the desires and wants of this potential husband into consideration and he just wasn’t up to having to face some ‘young buck’ down the road.
And having spoken to other women I’ve learned my story isn’t all that unique. Ã‚Â Many doctors, mostly men and often religious, have no problem enforcing their beliefs about women upon us. Ã‚Â Ã‚Â We’re baby machines, provided the good doctors think we’re old enough to start popping them out.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â We are not individuals who should be treated with respect and allowed to make our own decision about when or even if we’ll be mothers or to how many we’ll play mom to.
Doctors using their superior position to make sure we remain in our given role is not news.Ã‚Â At least, it isn’t to those of us who’ve tried to buck our assigned duties and choose our own paths.
The only thing that would be surprising is if a study concluded that religoius male doctors were more likely to withhold information from male patients about Viagra with even more declaring they had no obligation to tell male patients about procedures that can reverse the effects of a vasectomy.
Now that would be news.