Doctor Branded Patient's Uterus as a "Friendly Gesture"

Well, as long as you've got your uterus taken out anyway, why not add a little personal touch? That's what landed one gynecologist in a bit of a hot water:

After performing a hysterectomy last year, a California gynecologist used a cauterizing tool to brand his patient’s name on her removed uterus, an unorthodox move that the doctor calls a “friendly gesture,” but which the woman terms “despicable conduct” in a medical negligence lawsuit.

In a Superior Court lawsuit filed earlier this month, Ingrid Paulicivic, a 47-year-old hairdresser, charges that Dr. Red Alinsod used an “electrocautery device to carve and burn” the word “Ingrid” on her uterus, which was removed during a June 2009 operation at his Orange County office.


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I am a female medical student, and lawsuits like this make me, as well as many fellow students, reconsider becoming a physician. I am offended by the previous comment left by, who seems to think this one story is proof that doctors in general, do not respect women. I personally know this doctor and would trust him with my life. He is an upstanding, well respected, Christian man and would not have done this if he knew that it would be so offensive to the patient.
I would ask those disturbed by this story to understand that, from year 1 of medical school, we start off being exposed to so many organs, and you must develop a certain psychological distance to the human body while still maintaining respect for the life it holds. It's a balance, and if sometimes cases like this occur, those who are not in the medical field have to understand that doctors don't, and can't, view organs in the same way that non-medical people might. If we did not, doctors would be destroyed and burned out with each loss, and patients would be left with no one to operate on them. Surgery is a difficult field to convince bright future doctors to go into to begin with. Don't discourage them even more with frivolous lawsuits like these. I am glad to see most of the commenters above realize that this suit lacks a lot of common sense.
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The lack of respect for women by doctors and society reveals an attitude that tolerates violent acts on women that would be unacceptable behavior toward men. It is not unlike the treatment of all oppressed groups. A doctor who desecrates the female organs, whether they are intact or amputated, should be prosecuted for committing a hate crime against women. Extirpated female organs are not medical waste. When a diseased uterus is removed it is examined by a pathologist to determine the extent of the disease. An act such as this may reveal that a doctor committed two crimes. It calls into question whether the uterus was diseased, or if he removed a normal organ, in addition to defiling the organ after it was removed. Defiling a corpse is a crime that is prosecuted in criminal court. A dead body is not medical waste, and is to be treated with respect, both professionally and ethically. The court system does not condone abuse of a corpse or a body part. How would you feel if your daughter, sister or mother's dead body was raped or mutilated by the coroner?
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Oh, I don't deny it was not the most professional thing to do.
I just can't picture going through the freezer in that household.
"What's for dinner? Let's see... pizza, TV dinner, french fries, Ingrid's uterus ... Um, I'm not really that hungry any more."

1. I agree it's not professional, but it's quite the assumption to make that the doctor "has a god complex". Maybe he's just a twit.

2. It may have symbolic meaning. If a man were to have his testicles removed, it would be traumatic, but I think he'd be more concerned about what he had left rather than the symbolism of what was removed. If this woman fixates too much on sybmbolism, she'll never get over it.

3. I didn't read the article to see anything about burn marks, so i won't comment.

4. I think body parts should be treated with respect, but there's a limit. What's wrong with treating liposuctioned fat with the same dignity as a uterus?
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1. The doctor was completely unprofessional in his behavior. The uterus may have become medical waste, but it wasn't his toy to do with as he wished. He's got a god complex going on, which doesn't bode well for future patients.

2. A uterus means more than liposuctioned fat. It's a symbol, for many people, of being a woman. Once it's removed, a woman cannot have a child. So it has a lot of symbolic meaning.

3. If the doctor was so casual as to leave burn marks on the patient from engaging in inappropriate conduct, then he really is behaving unacceptably and abominably.

4. Some people, for religious or personal reasons, believe that the body is sacred. All parts removed should be treated with proper respect. Some religions require that all body parts removed be retained and buried with the person when they die.

There's a lot of fail involved with this doctor. Unfortunately, people tend to revere doctors, and overlook boorish, rude, unacceptable, abusive, etc. behavior that would be condemned and punished in others.
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Any material that's left behind in a hospital is considered abandoned. However, you can request to keep it and there are good arguments about why you should. Your genetic material, if abandoned, can potentially be used by the hospital or whoever they sell it for various purposes, be it finding cures or creating designer genetics.

And just speaking as someone who had a hysterectomy (at a relatively young age), it isn't as easy as losing something like an appendix or tonsils. If this doctor did this only as a "friendly gesture" and not as part of standard labeling procedure, it's easy to take that as a slap in the face, as if the uterus was the only valuable part of you. Even if that wasn't the case, surgery is hardly a fun and friendly event. If the doctor had removed, say, my leg or a boob, and then brought it back in to show me with my name stamped on it, I'd be creeped out at best.
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