Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem for T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!

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.


I don't think the freaky doctor should have to pay millions for his act but I can see why the patient isn't happy. It's like the doctor was showing off for his entourage while she was undergoing a procedure. Not cool.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Maybe I'm not thinking about this from the right perspective.

I mean, sure, nobody wants their doctor to pull stunts like this. No question about that.

But if you're removing an unwanted chunk of flesh from my body, I really don't care if you burn it, draw a happy face on it, tie it up in ribbons, whatever. As long as you do it after it's out of my body (which seems to be the case here).

The gray area for me is the leg burns. The article mentioned the burns in passing, but I would think the more serious issue at hand would be actual physical harm to her body (or lack thereof) rather than what this guy wrote on some unwanted medical waste.

It's late. Maybe I missed something.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Once something is removed from your body, doesn't it legally become the property of the hospital? If so, she may have little to say about it.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
At the end of the article it mentions that marking the uterus is used to keep orientation during the procedure. Other articles on this story have mentioned that branding the uterus is a standard procedure during the procedure. So I imagine it would have to be a mark that indicates orientation, e.g. a circle or line is no good because if you don't remember which side you marked you can't tell. It seems like the best way would be to use a word or letters. Maybe they just need to mark LEFT or RIGHT?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I think one could certainly question the doctor's professionalism and I would certainly understand if he was disciplined by whatever body licenses him. A lawsuit seems over the top.

Obviously if they asked for the pictures then they were looking to fuel a lawsuit and this is the only thing they came up with.

All that being said - what kind of knucklehead would have provided photos that were not medically relevant?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Ditto what the others said. Let's hope the judge has got some common sense. What on earth does it matter that her name's on it???
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
If uterus needs to be sent to a lab for analysis, why NOT label it for accuracy?
I'm going to have to have mine out too.
But I want it back to cremate it so all my ashes can stay together.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
stupid lawsuit. if it was attached to her at the time, she would actually have something to complain about but it was removed and most likely about to become medical waste. she should be celebrating her chance to be alive and breathing, especially after major surgery. she also should've just kept the removed piece of herself as an awesome memento an thanked the doctor.
the worst part is that stupid medical lawsuits like this one are making health care unaffordable in the US. Thanks a lot lady.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Why would you want it back? What does it matter what happens to it?

Would would someone want to keep your tonsils, your baby teeth, your appendix, your tumour, your liposuctioned fat, your gangrenous toe, your hair, your nail clippings?

I knew a girl who had breast reduction surgery. She didn't keep what they took out.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
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.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
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.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
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?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
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?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
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.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Click here to access all of this post's 18 comments

Email This Post to a Friend
"Doctor Branded Patient's Uterus as a "Friendly Gesture""

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More