I have recently been educated as there are varying degrees of what is called modesty when in a medical setting. It is strange this difference even exists because one would think that having your modesty violated in any medical setting would matter. But according to some, it does not. I guess those people may fall into the category of being ones who blame the victim of a rape as she wore certain type of clothing or didn’t take certain precautions as being responsible for being the victim. Also, they are connected with the medical industry which in fact, sanctions the modesty/personal dignity violations.
First, I would like to define what I think is the difference between modesty and outright violations of personal dignity/respect. Modesty to me, is not wanting to have anyone especially including the opposite sex view your normally unseen parts of your body which would include the genital areas. To me, personal dignity/respect means whoever views those personal areas take absolute care to ensure every attempt to be respectful is made and also allowing you dignity of not being overly and unnecessarily exposed. It also means you have the right to choose who is involved in intimate care. The two are infinitely intertwined but whether a patient is modest or not, all patients should be afforded personal dignity. Personal dignity should not only be granted to those during office visits but to those in hospitals, nursing homes, etc. Really it is wherever any type of exposure occurs in a medical or care setting. Some on the blog felt emergency care does not qualify for respect of personal dignity. That is where I strongly disagree because oftentimes the patient is too ill or injured to defend themselves so this is why it is so important that medical people respect patient personal dignity in an unconditional manner. That differences supported by some that emergency care excludes patient’s having the right to personal dignity absolutely blows my mind.
I have recently withdrawn from participating in a blog site that some have very different views which I do not understand. They are able to justify violations of personal dignity/respect or even lack of modesty. It seems who views these areas also makes the difference. To some, a doctor of the opposite sex can view those areas but a nurse or tech cannot. For instance, a male patient might visit a female doctor for a urological exam or procedure but does not want a female nurse or tech to do the prep beforehand for an intimate exam. To me, it doesn’t make sense because both would be female with the only difference being the educational degree. Frankly, if you have an issue with a female tech than I think you would have an issue with a female doctor. All females are first and foremost sexual beings as are males.
However, where my difference in opinion with some happened, is with hospitalized patients. When you enter a hospital, it becomes a different world. There is no individual left in the patient. You just become a medical record number, a room number, or a subject of treatment. They cease to see or understand you are a real person. This is underscored by the way they deliver treatment care. Delivery of care is done in the most convenient way for them. Covering and uncovering a patient takes seconds and they are not willing to give a few extra second to provide humane and dignified care. What other aspects of care are they willing to discard in favor of getting things done quicker so they can do whatever?
If you are unfortunate enough to become what is termed as an emergency patient, then according to some on that blog, you have no right to expect to be treated with personal dignity. Anything goes and is acceptable. Even when that patient is past being in the emergency room and becomes an inpatient meaning receiving care in a patient room, they are not entitled to being treated with personal dignity. I can understand the need to quickly and professionally evaluate injuries especially if a person is unconscious and has serious injuries. However, for that of a heart attack patient, there is no need to strip a person immediately and leave their lower genitals uncovered. For all, their chest area with the EKG leads should be covered as quickly as possible especially if they are female. Some men are more comfortable with their chest covered too. If a person is stable, then informed consent needs to be done and that should not be done while they are totally naked, laying on a table drugged out of their mind. It is a scene out of a torture manual. Maybe medical people don’t mind having the patient naked but most patients would mind being naked while having to try to understand information. Certainly being totally naked, exposed while a fully clothed stranger makes assumptions about your lifestyle and lecture you about it is from a torture manual. How utterly degrading and demeaning not to have enough respect for an individual to give them a little ounce of respect to cover them up! Is that the intent to bully them into what the clothed person in power wants to do? For most individuals, being unclothed in front of clothed individuals immediately puts us at a disadvantage and the medical community knows this and uses this to their advantage. And if drugged, the patient is completely defenseless and not able to make normal, rational decisions and is more easily persuaded. Of course, the memory erasing drugs such as versed also helps the medical community because many will not even remember what happened and will assume the medical community did the proper thing. They count on that.
Part of the issue with my husband’s treatment was that he was drugged without his knowledge, will, or even need as they lied about his pain level. We both feel this was done as he was resistant to having anything immediately done at the second hospital without consultation. He was stable and remained stable until midway through the procedure. His very slim slice of being unstable which was defined as one very slightly below acceptable level of blood pressure occurred primarily due to the amount of drugs given and also when they performed a manual thrombectomy. He had also told them he did not want any more painkillers other than the morphine he had agreed to as the morphine and nitro took care of his chest discomfort. We believe they used the massive amount of fentanyl covertly given to him during the helicopter flight to make him submissive, compliant, and to paralyze him. Apparently, according to one medical community member of that blog, patients need to be drugged despite their wishes. No one but that member has the right to an opinion and his/her opinion since is the only one that can be right. This type of behavior is standard by the medical community and this opinion is what in my opinion leads to what happened to my husband and to many others who have been abused by the medical community. Actually, the blogger needs to read articles about drug usage in cath labs such as: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/885560 which states only about 38% of European labs use fentanyl versus 92% in the US. The article went on to state:
I was not wrong in stating that sedation is not necessary but rather a choice in the US so patients are rendered defenseless. Part of the sedation, versed, is used primarily to make patients unable to remember what actually happened to them. They don’t want the patient to remember how they didn’t respect their personal dignity by leaving them exposed or the comments they make about them. The fentanyl also makes them not care what is happening and can physically paralyze them so they cannot move. My husband objected to the use of both but was given it anyhow. Why is it acceptable to inject into a patient’s body something they have refused? Does the patient not have rights? This person also got angry because I stated my husband’s urologist had given instructions regarding his foley catheter care that differed from his/her opinion. So I verified that what his urologist’s were accurate by different medical Internet sites and that really set that person off. Again, the medical attitude of being the only one entitled to an opinion, right or wrong. However, if it is wrong, no one dares to challenge because that will set off an angry rant or personal attack. Because I did not want to make that board into a battleground as it is someplace where people who like me are in need of information and even comfort (as long as they don’t irritate the one member), I left the blog.
Because I have been so traumatized by what happened to my husband and that I saw the abuse but was in shock and did not recognize or speak up while also being tortured by this facility by being denied access to my husband without explanation while being virtually held prisoner by a hospital employee and meeting with the man who performed the procedure my husband didn’t want only to find out the doctor was tired and didn’t want to be there, I vented a lot. My husband doesn’t like to talk about what happened. I didn’t want to burden him even more by having to deal with my thoughts. His feeling from the beginning was that most people would not believe a male patient could have been medically and sexually abused like he was. He said in sharing his story he would be bullied and ridiculed. He opposed sharing his story on a blog as he was aware of the bullying that can happen. He too suffers from PTSD and is dealing with it in his way. I deal with my PTSD in my way. He/she said I must have a fetish or was making up the story for some vague personal reason. However, just like in most cases those who seek to label others with issues may often have that issue for real themselves. Personal attacks via keyboard are easy. They can stay hidden and be as vicious as they want. However, I do have PTSD from happened and I do not need to suffer being bullied in addition to what has already happened. I think the blog itself was a good place for people like me or my husband (but sadly he was right about going public) to be able to vent but more importantly to bring it out in the open that horrible things happen to people while in the hospital. I am not the first to have been bullied by this member nor will I be the last. That blogger gets very nasty and is out of control but the moderator allows it as he believes that blog member is a member of the medical community. I don’t know whether that is true or not as the Internet gives a lot of details into the lives of any medical position. However, if assuming they are truly a member of the medical society, his/her attitude proves my point of too many medical people being bullies, uncompassionate, demi-gods, and totally vicious. People like that have no business being involved in the care of sick and defenseless individuals. I still believe what happened to my husband should be brought out into public but will go about it differently. Besides this website, I will be writing a book. We want to get his story out there along with what the family has been through. Not only is there what happened that night but having to live with the consequences of having a treatment forced on an individual is incredibly traumatizing. There were a lot of good people on that board and I hope they will read this blog and participate. It will be a safer place because you shouldn’t have to worry about being further bullied by medical people.