Do you have butcher surgeons & murderous doctors in the States ? : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

This last year there have been a series of trials & enquiries into the activities and practices of various members of the UK medical profession.The latest is the "butcher" gynacologist who has been responsible for wrecking the bodies of about 4000 women.Some of you may remember the murder trial of Dr.Harold Shipman at the beginning of this year.We have also had the consultant whose death rate when operating on young children & infants was "unacceptable". To make the parents's agony even more intolerable it has now emerged that the childrens's organs were removed without their knowledge & kept for medical research.The enquiry into this aspect discovered that this was a fairly common practice in many hospitals.

I find it hard to believe that the UK is the only country where these kinds of things happen.Any thoughts ?

-- An angry (, June 03, 2000


No, perhaps not quite that bad here in the U.S. but, a doctor did carve his initials on the stomach of a mother he'd just delivered of a child by C-section.

And a fellow I knew slightly, went into the hospital for foot surgery and they did the wrong foot.

And I was having a hearing problem and went to a university hospital for tests. They said I had a massive infection and needed drastic treatment. I went to my local Dr. for the injections and he nearly fainted, said I seemed too healthy to him for such Draconian measures. He did all the tests again, I had no infection. Tests got mixed up, so some poor soul was out there with a massive infection and being told she was just fine.

Mainly our hospitals just charge so much and insurance pays so little, that is if you can afford insurance, that doctors just kill you slowly by depriving you of your bank account.

-- gilda (, June 03, 2000.

Most people are gutless when it comes to standing up to doctors (and nurses). Doctors are not gods. People must take control of their own health care.

-- Jeanne (, June 03, 2000.

We have "The butcher of Cheverly" here. A local gynocologist(sp?) by the name of Scarticini, who will give you a hysterectomy if you have a headache, or backache, or other problems. The idiots who let him do it say that he's very good looking, too. We also have a learned doctor at the National Institutes of Health who called a huge public conference on the subject of Hepatitis C and proceeded to show slide photos of liver diseases of Africa with last stage distended stomachs and botched surgeries while pointing and saying "Now you don't want to end up like this!"

When a man in a wheel chair asked, "Can you tell me why I'm so tired, that I can't stand up? The great doctor replied, "We're ALL tired!" while looking at his watch and grinning to his colleages on the stage. Your tax dollars at work.......

-- KoFE (your@town.USA), June 03, 2000.

We occasionally have "Death Angel" nurses and aides, but they are pretty rare.

-- Observer (lots@to.observe), June 03, 2000.


Can you say, "socialized medicine"?

I knew that you could.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), June 03, 2000.

Well..... I have to say that when we lived in U.K. we had Norwich Union private health plan as a back up. As you know, we still had to pay in to NHS, but the waiting times and overcrowding were a scary proposition. Having said that our NHS family practitioner was the sweetest man around. He even visited me in hospital! It is despicable what these individuals did, and a shame they weren't caught sooner. But I think the death rate is probably much higher than you'd think in the U.S. First of all you have the doctors who could care less as long as they can get you out of their office in 5 minutes (or less), and then you have you garden variety unliscenced liposuctionists and plastic surgeons. Add to that misspelled prescriptions, misread charts, and unneccesary surgeries. Even if error rate was small, out of a population of 300 million, the mind boggles... Feeling better yet? :)

-- Gia (, June 03, 2000.

I have so many stories about my husband and his experiences with doctors, it would make your toes curl and your a**hole pucker. The most recent severe incident was two years ago this month. Let me preface this by saying he has been in a wheelchair (paraplegic) for the last 55 years (since the age of 5) because the doctors thought they could "fix" his spinal tumor (turns out it wasn't-but that's another long story and I digress). During 96-97-98, he had been having what doctors told him were "seizures" (but not by my definition). He had had a number MRI's, EEG's, CAT scans and other tests to determine why he was having these episodes. Their tests told them nothing, but he still got light-headed, and fuzzy, as well as some other symptoms when he had these "episodes". I kept telling the doctors that these were not seizures, but they refused to listen. They said they fit "the description" but they didn't see them. They could not figure out what was wrong. In June of 1998 he was sitting at the kitchen counter one Sunday morning while I was fixing breakfast and suddenly, he leaned over from the neck, looked like he was passed out and was semi-responsive. He progressed from bad to worse and was unresponsive and started drooling. I called our HMO (who said to call 911 ASAP). The paramedics arrived within 5 minutes, and 5 more minutes later after their assesment, whisked him off the the hospital. I followed in my car. When I arrived at the emergency room, the ER doctor told me they were getting ready to put a pacemaker in him because he had a heart block. I told the doctor he was going to have to do some hard explaining to me before I would allow them to do such a radical procedure on a man that had never had any history of heart trouble. He looked at me, turned around, went back to the nurse's desk and started reviewing his file. He never said another word to me. A cardiologist took over, as well as another ER doctor and THEY made another determination after more tests (and a LITTLE MORE READING). As it turned out, the heart block was a result of a drug-drug interaction (overload) and those so- called seizures were also a side effect of the calcium channel blockers and another med he was on. Suffice it to say that patients and families cannot become complacent- arm yourself with medical education, and ASK QUESTIONS! Do not take things lying down. If you do not challenge the medical community, you will become a victim. Medicine is an art, not a science. There is no one answer. Question the questions, and their sources. Above all, ask WHY! And do not settle for an answer you do not understand. Remember the famous X-files phrase: TRUST NO ONE.

-- Aunt Bee (, June 03, 2000.

Evil and incompetent people should be fired or jailed. No question. But don't stop there, you CAN make your doctor visits more fun!

Make sure you ask tons of inane questions on topics such as average stool volume and cross-cultural hair loss patterns, to make sure the doctor knows his stuff, especially if you're there to get something totally unrelated like a flu shot.

Even if you have a cut finger, demand an MRI of the head to make sure you don't have a brain tumor that caused you to cut yourself (holding the blade of the knife wasn't your fault).

Also, refuse to do even the most common sense things that would be in your best interests (such as taking your insulin, or antibiotics), no doctor can cure a small problem, only big ones, so it does no good taking outpatient medicines as prescribed -- they have to hospitalize you with something BIG to get you back to normal.

Especially for people on medicaid (on money): even though a plumber will charge $75+ per hour to go to your house at night, complain profusely if some doctor has the temerity to ask you to get your own Tylenol. And a $5 co-pay? That's an Insult! Healthcare should be free, especially for those who don't work.

That's another thing to complain about, time. If your car goes into the shop and takes another day, so what? If you have to spend all day in line for concert tickets, or half a day at the hair salon or buying new golf clubs, so what? That's your lesuire time. OTOH if you think you're really ill and have to spend an hour or two in some doctor's office because other people are following the tips above, complain profusely about that too, as all doctors overbook their offices on purpose to make more money -- that stuff about "emergencies" is just another big lie to make money. You shouldn't have to waste your valuable time just sitting around.

Feeling empathic,


-- Someone (, June 04, 2000.

Oh what tales we tell ! Our family have been lucky but we are a healthy bunch...only broken bones amongst the young males falling off cliffs & motorbikes.

If Y2K taught me anything it was to question the competance & advice of the "professionals".Goes for accountants too !!

-- Chris (, June 04, 2000.

Had an OB doctor here deliver a baby and accidently cut the baby's big toe off.

Went unnoticed till parents saw it.


-- consumer (, June 05, 2000.

Chris (griffen) says . . .

"If Y2K taught me anything it was to question the competance & advice of the "professionals"

I assume he is referring to "professionals" such as Yourdon, Hyatt, Beach, Gordon et al. Maybe the lesson could be rephrased as . . "if Y2K taught me anything, it was to check whether people who claim to be professionals really are, and even if they seem to be, to check whether theyre commenting within their field of expertise".

On the health matter. Yes, there has been much publicity of cases of bad medical practice in the UK recently. Thats not to say that these bad practices are caused by "socialised medecine" as one politically simplistic poster alleged earlier, or that the same (or worse) practices do not occur elsewhere under vastly different systems. To think otherwise is simply "fuzzy reasoning" a la the Timebomb of old.

Personally, I'm proud of our National Health system. It is a little frayed around the edges, and varies from area to area, true. But I can call an ambulance and be taken to the emergency department without worrying about a $500 bill, or where my insurance papers are. I also like the idea that this service, and many others, are available to every member of our community, regardless of wealth, ability or social standing. Its not perfect, but to my mind its way better than "dont get sick, you cant afford it".

W (dialling 999)

-- w0lv3r1n3 (, June 06, 2000.

I jump at the opportunity to thrash allopathic practitioners. These self-proclaimed medical experts have botched most every attempt at diagnosing causes to my symptoms over the years. Most have been pompous, attempting to bluff & intimidate their way through diagnoses.

Allopathic physicians, in my experience, deny the existence of lifeforce energy in the body. Talk about operating without a full deck! I no longer use these witch doctors except for incidence of trauma. If I were to have symptoms of a heart attack I would seek allopathic intervention. Otherwise, chiropractic & deep tissue massage serve my basic needs quite well.

Want to stay healthy? Keep away from practitioners of allopathic medicine unless absolutely necessary. Question the proffer of all prescription medication. Demand adequate explanation of side effects AND drug interactions. Inquire as to the CAUSES of your symptoms.

Good luck!

-- Bingo1 (, June 06, 2000.

Bingo, you said,

I no longer use these witch doctors except for incidence of trauma. If I were to have symptoms of a heart attack I would seek allopathic intervention.

Exactly! When you're really sick, see a real doctor, when you're not, don't bother them (they can't cure someone who has no illness).


-- Someone (, June 06, 2000.

Exactly! When you're really sick, see a real doctor, when you're not, don't bother them (they can't cure someone who has no illness).

Is today your day of being facetious, Frank? How about toning it down and adding something of value, beyond the comedic? I enjoy a good piece of satire, however this is a very serious subject.


-- Bingo1 (, June 06, 2000.

What has become of us that we call insurance before 911?

Aunt Bee said:

"I called our HMO (who said to call 911 ASAP)"

I do not blame Aunt Bee. I blame a corrupt health care system that is set up to deny us our claims-so we live in fear and in an emergency call them first, then 911. Hmm.

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), June 06, 2000.


Sorry about that. Chip on my shoulder last couple a days, unrelated to you or the subject.


-- Someone (, June 06, 2000.

That's OK, Frank. I have a tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve too. We don't often agree but I do value your opinions.

FWIW, when I'm feeling 'chippy' it's often times because I'm taking myself & life in general a bit too seriously. Rent a comedy flick - Monty Python's Meaning of Life is a good one.

Best to You & Yours,

-- Bingo1 (, June 06, 2000.

Did you hear about Dana Carvey's ordeal? He had open-heart surgery done at about age 35 to unblock an artery and the surgeon bypassed the wrong artery! Look it up on

-- cin (cin@cin.cin), June 06, 2000.

p.s...I once paid 75 dollars for an office visit to a GP only for him to tell me that he was "perplexed by my symptoms", and proceeded to give me some tylenol, which they of course charged me for. I kid you not.

-- cin (cin@cin.cin), June 07, 2000.

Was I seeing things or did someone say they are happy with our current care?

Give me a break...

Cin: You want scarey, you should see the bill I recently received for a simple D&C.!!!!! Over 2,000 and double billed for many items.

Deb: care to jump in on this one? I would appeciate your imput.

BTW, I do have good med coverage, i dont have to pay the bill, thank goodness, but what a RIPOFF.

Reminds me of the toilet seats the government paid over 800.00 for. If memory serves me well, or was it a 'little' less?

-- consumer (, June 07, 2000.


You weren't seeing things, it was I who claimed to be "happy" (at least reasonably so) with my health system.

But then, I am about 4000 miles from the nearest US hospital. *grin*

W (in the UK)

-- w0lv3r1n3 (, June 07, 2000.


In America, when we encounter an incompetent physician, we no longer utilize his or her services, and we spread the information about his or her inability to our associates. This sort of free market phenomena can eventually lead to said incompetent physician finding other employment due to lack of business. In the merry old U.K. under your socialized medicine, I was lead to believe that when a poor bloke encounters an incompetent physician, one has little recourse, and is, in effect, stuck with the incompetent physician.

You therefore see, I hope, that while socialized medicine does not "cause" bad practices, per se, it does indeed prolong them and add to their number.

Of course, since my explanation is logical, and therefore not consistent with the feel- good socialist tripe that you espouse, I am labeled as "politically simplistic" and having "fuzzy reasoning". When you can't refute the logic of the argument, I guess that you must resort to name calling to try to discredit the arguer. Poor form, sir.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), June 07, 2000.

Cin, you said,

p.s...I once paid 75 dollars for an office visit to a GP only for him to tell me that he was "perplexed by my symptoms", and proceeded to give me some tylenol, which they of course charged me for. I kid you not.

Not everything that people are worried about has an obvious cause, the main thing you are paying the GP for is his ruling out (by knowledge and experience) of serious or life-threatening causes for your symptoms. Assuming they did this, $75 bucks is a pretty good buy -- less than a dinner out for the wife & I.

Consumer, you said,

Cin: You want scarey, you should see the bill I recently received for a simple D&C.!!!!! Over 2,000 and double billed for many items.

Double billing is fraud and if real should be reported and punished. The $2k excessive? O.R. time is over a thousand an hour, plus the time of an anesthesiologist, Gyn, couple of nurses, supplies, and lots of insurance for the one case in a thousand that goes wrong and ends up as a multi-million dollar lawsuit. I don't think it's too excessive, and would bet that if the lawyers were out of the picture, the price could be half that.

Still empathic,


-- Someone (, June 07, 2000.

Frank...are you a doctor or something?

By the way, you'll spend more than 75 bucks for dinner-for-two? Why would you do something like that?

-- cin (cin@cin.cin), June 07, 2000.


Just feeling empathic today. Regarding dinner, usually when we go out we take the kids to Taco Bell or something, which ends up costing ~12 bucks. But when the wife and I do get to go out by ourselves (not that often), I like to do it like I mean it.


-- Someone (, June 08, 2000.

You therefore see, I hope, that while socialized medicine does not "cause" bad practices, per se, it does indeed prolong them and add to their number.

yes they never sack incompetents in the public sector, whether that is the NHS or any branch of the civil service, at some state children's care homes, children under care were being abused by staff for many years before they were discovered, it is amazing that there are no checks on bad doctors and they're allowed to carry on their practices for years, why was Shipman allowed to wreck 4000 bodies before being stopped, surely his colleagues knew, it is impossible to take legal action the NHS is an organisational shambles that must be sorted

I have little or no respect for the profession and its reliance on drugs (whether it is run by the state or privately)

presumably the huge cost of medicine in the US reflects the high salaries of members of the profession

-- richard (, June 08, 2000.

presumably the huge cost of medicine in the US reflects the high salaries of members of the profession

Not any more. The HMO's have a responsibility to turn a profit for their investors. That was their claim when they were confronted over some of their practices. Such as sending mothers and newborns home 12 hours after birth, refusing to pay for the second baby when a woman had twins, sending 8- year old ladies home the same day they were given mastectomies, with draining tubes in and all.

Wanna hear a story about what has to be put up with? One year ago I took my mother to a doctors appointment on her birthday. She complained (again) of pain in her right hip, and in her back and stomach and breast, The doctor, n front of me said: Dorothy, I you cant possibly be hurting in all of those different areas, I think you just want pain medication. He sent her to a rehab center to ease her off of the pain meds he had been feeding her. They doped her up with three types of tranquilizers and percoset and sent her home for my 78 year old Father to take care of. When he had gone days without sleep he called me for help, she was wondering around not knowing what she was doing and turning on the burners of the stove and other dangerous things. I took her back to the doctor. Told him what was going on and he sent her back to the "rehab center". Nursing home is what it was but as long as the patients got a little therapy once a week it justified them being there. They no longer have the old "nursing homes" in this state. The old people are sent home, even if they live alone.

After another month at the rehab center (where the treatment sucked bigtime)they tried to send her home again. I stopped them, she was dependent military and my Father had been assured when he retired that they would receive medical care for the rest of their lives. The military had "sold" the treatment for dependents to an HMO.The HMO did not cover care for people who can not care for themselves or be cared for adequately at home. After demanding for weeks that the lump that was now the size of a golf ball in my mothers breast be checked they finally made her an appointment at their hospital. Only problem was, they demanded family take her. And if she had no family? She would not have gone.Yep It was cancer-DUH!

But as they tested further they found cancer in her stomach, in the bones of her hip, and golly gee pancrias.The unidentified and untreated breast cancer had metastified and gone throughout her body. Every week I would go with her to the hospital. They demanded I stay there with her and care for her because they did not have the nursing staff to check on her. I bathed her, I got the paperwork from her oncologists office and walked it over and turned it in to the hospital so they could order her chemotherapy. I had to push the nurses to get the chemo hooked up, it usually didn't get there in time for her to go home so it was ALWAYS an overnighter for which I was responsible fr her entire care. It got so bad that even though e got there early in the mornings they would not order and give her her regular meds-she was diabetic, the "rehab center" would not give me her meds for the day because they would have to be supplied by the hospital, the hospital didn't get them ordered or delivered until late at night.

She would be in so such pain that i actually went out on "the street" and bought pain meds to give her to ease her pain until they finally showed up with hers. AND I TOLD THEM ABOUT IT.

Some of them told me it was such a mess with the HMO's not staffing adequately and that my being there was a necessity for her safety and health. This was last spring.

Oh I went to her doctors office and the nurse was had an attitude about my wanting to see her doctor. So right there in the big ole waiting room I went off. I yelled at the top of my lungs about how the doctor had ignored her symptoms and told her she could not possibly be hurting in those areas and that it was those areas that had the cancer. The nurse said "I don't need to hear this right now" I told her I didn't need to hear that my mother was essentially dead right now either because of the lack of treatment from the doctor. When I told them she had lost 100 lbs in less than 2 months the doctor finally went to see her.

I told the oncologist how bad the treatment (or lack of treatment) was and he said I was complaining about nothing. Until he had to come up at 11 pm one night and order the staff to order her chemo. After that he started listening. One day I was physically unable to go with her in the cabulance to her chemo. She was abandoned and lost in the hospital for hours, it was only when a family friend who was there with someone else with cancer saw her sitting asleep in her wheelchair which had been left in a hall found her 5 hours later that it was realized she had been lost. The nurses at the rehab center refused to give her her meds, I would have to go every day and demand that they do what the doctor had written down for them to do, some of them used the excuse that she would become addicted to the pain meds. So they let her suffer in pain. They hated me. Too frikin bad. The same at the hospital. I would show up and do everything, calmly explain that they needed to order her chemo, just to me told that the orders had not come from the doctors office yet. I would calmly with narrowed eyes-explain that I had hand carried the orders over 3 hours earlier and brought them to the nurse at the desk and all it took was for one of them to stop chatting with each other long enough to phone them down to the pharmacy. Towards the end she could not function well so I would get her up to potty or more often have to bathe her and change her sheets myself. I fed her myself. I demanded her meds and had no patience for any of their incompetence or excuses for them not being there. I would stand by a nurse and watch him/her until s/he picked up the damn phone and did what s/he was supposed to do. There is a lot more.

But finally when her pain was so bad in August of last year they stuck her in a hospice hospital where they drugged her to death. The increased her morphine every day until she was too drugged to eat or drink and she lay there for one week, no food or water to die. Took 7 days, the last day she was only breathing 4 times a minute. I was with her most of the time, but one night I had to pick up my youngest daughter and take her home before I went back, my best friend was there and she died. I honestly think she didn't want to die in front of me.

Yp great medical we have in this country thanks to the HMO's need to turn a profit for their investors.

(remainder of post removed after some consideration)

-- Cherri (, June 08, 2000.

Oh my God, Cherri. I'm so sorry.

You are a special person. To endure, to persevere through what you've described - a daily personal hell shared by you & your mother - such strength of will & character.

I hope that slimy jackoff Ray is lurking & reads this. Hey Ray, perhaps a nice donation to your local hospice is in order.

-- Bingo1 (, June 08, 2000.

J wrote . .

"In America, when we encounter an incompetent physician, we no longer utilize his or her services, and we spread the information about his or her inability to our associates. This sort of free market phenomena can eventually lead to said incompetent physician finding other employment due to lack of business."

{my reply} In the UK, when we encounter an incompetent physician, we have just as many resources available to us as you do, up to and including the law. However, generally speaking, the British are culturally less disposed to complain than are yourselves in the states, which is unfortunate, as it allows for an environment where low standards are permitted to remain, and malpractice often goes unpunished. How exactly this is some symptom (no pun intended) of "socialised medecine", I fail to understand. If your non-socialised system is so much better, how is it that the majority of posts on this thread seem to be from your countrypeople, complaining at how bad doctors are ?

"In the merry old U.K. under your socialized medicine, I was lead to believe that when a poor bloke encounters an incompetent physician, one has little recourse, and is, in effect, stuck with the incompetent physician."

{my reply}Totally untrue. In the UK we have a system in which patients are free to pick and choose the doctor they see, and beyond that, a regulatory authority (the BMA), the patients charter (which establishes a kind of service level agreement between patients and professionals) and ultimately, legal recourse. Having said that, in the UK just as much as in the US, doctors are very prone to accusations of malpractice (after all, if my kid is sick, and he dies despite the best efforts of the doctors, my grief may inspire me to accuse them of all kinds of things they "could have done"). For this reason, they have a tendency to isolate themselves into a professional community. I dont believe that the UK is the only nation in which professionals "stick together" for protection.

"You therefore see, I hope, that while socialized medicine does not "cause" bad practices, per se, it does indeed prolong them and add to their number."

{my reply} No, I do not see that. I see that you, as many from your country, misinterpret the word "socialism", and react against it with a knee-jerk negativity which (maybe harshly) I described as "fuzzy reasoning". Its nice to have a scapegoat on which to tag the blame for anything you see as negative, but in this case, your argument that a social medical policy in some way encourages or exacerbates bad practice is, I believe, illogical. In my opinion, the only factor which dictates those elements of quality is customer behaviour and attitude. If you accuse the British of being their own worst enemy as regards their reluctance to stand up and complain in an attempt to attain high quality service, then I agree wholeheartedly."

"Of course, since my explanation is logical, and therefore not consistent with the feel- good socialist tripe that you espouse, I am labeled as "politically simplistic" and having "fuzzy reasoning". When you can't refute the logic of the argument, I guess that you must resort to name calling to try to discredit the arguer. Poor form, sir. "

{my reply} If that is the impression my post gave you, then I apologise. My accusation that your argument was politically simplistic, and your reasoning "fuzzy" was based purely on your argument, and not on your character, which, by definition I know very little about. I believe I did refute the logic of your argument, but if you wish to continue the debate, please feel free. Also, accusing me of ad-hom tactics, and then in the same paragraph discounting my opinion as "feel-good socialistic tripe" is a prima facie case of "pot calling kettle black-arse". Your move sir.


-- w0lv3r1n3 (, June 08, 2000.

Any other story would pale in comparison to yours, Cherri. Geez. I can certainly understand your frustration. I have family in Norway that have been on treatment waiting lists for YEARS. One died last year and folks are thinking he wouldn't have had to die had he gotten treatment. I'm not sure how the list works, but I assume they treat the worst first and then go on to the less life-threatening problems.

We had the HMO for birthing and when the kids were small. It served us well. I never had to call them BEFORE an emergency. I called them AFTER so they would follow through on payment. I thought *I* was the one that decided I could go home after 12 hours from birthing. I seem to remember SOMEONE wanting me to stay until I'd had a bowel movement. I went home anyway.

There were two sketchy doctors later on. My ex had a vasectomy about a year after the third child was born, and he said the doctor who came in was shaking like a leaf. This didn't comfort him. It turns out that doctor wasn't the one doing the surgery. Another time, I took my daughter to a guy to see what could be done to perhaps make those facial scars less noticeable. He also was shaking, and he had a rash of sorts all up and down his arms and hands. She didn't feel comfortable with him.

Lately, we simply use the Doc in the Box. We can just walk in and get treatment without a long wait. They don't accept insurance, so one pays cash.

-- Anita (, June 08, 2000.

Some Doc-in-the-Boxes accept insurance, & you only have to pony up the co-pay {don't want any of y'all neglecting neccessary treatment, now}.


Parts of your story sound painfully familiar. You were a good advocate for your mom.

-- flora (***@__._), June 08, 2000.

I'm afraid to tell you the story about my son, who died at 5 months of age 12 years ago.

-- Cherri (, June 08, 2000.


You are, of course, correct about my ad-hominem attack. As the "pot", please accept my apologies, Mr. "kettle". That said, I find your argument about the British being inadequate complainers too shallow to explain away the problems of socialised medicine. If that was the whole explanation, then you wouldn't see wealthy Canadians coming to the U.S. to get quality medical care. Nor would you read things like what Anita posted about her Norwegian relative who died.

I will grant you that all is not perfect in American healthcare, but you miss the point as to why the American horror stories so outnumber the British horror stories on this thread: the number of Americans at this forum are far greater than the number of British.

As far as your choice of doctors goes, I have heard otherwise. My mother's best friend has a daughter, son-in-law, and grandchild who are currently living in Wales. The grandchild was recently sick, and after two weeks of poor (to put it politely) care, they were going to fly the child back to the States to get proper medical care. Only the poor health of the child prevented them from doing this. Before considering such a drastic measure, they had tried, in vain, to get a competent doctor to treat their child, but they were told that they were stuck with the one that they had.

-- J (Y2J@home.comm), June 08, 2000.

Cherri: What an awful loss. I noticed on another thread that someone was going off about your case, I would have ran to the attorney's office. What a shame your mom had to go thru what she did and the bigger shame was you having to see it....

Going to the'street' for pain meds, I CAN relate, my mom died of cancer when I was just a teen. I am sitting here with tears coming out of my eyes, my mom was a good woman, when she took ill, nobody in our family would help take care of her, but me. I had a 1 1/2 yr old son, and a baby in the belly, each day, i walked to her home to feed her, carrying, son and groceries.

One day her pain was so intense and she had ran out of pain meds, my moms friends would not even give me a damn ride to the pharmacy to get her meds. They told her cancer had spread to liver, she gave up and while I delivered my son, she commited herself to nursing home. On the day I was released from hospital, I took newborn son to nursing home, I dont know to this day if she 'really' saw him, but 4 hours later she died. She too waited till I left to die.

no greater loss have i known. BTW, autopsy revealed cancer had NOT spread.

Like you, so many other tales of our so-called healthcare, i just went off the other day at my Dr's office because they pussyfooted around all day long w/dr excuse for my son for work. I ended up leaving work early after awaiting their faxed copy which never came, when I got there, nurse was doodling on paper!!!!!

Wont go into the exchange other than to say it GOT REAL UGLY

-- consumer (, June 08, 2000.

Cherri and Consumer, my heart breaks for you. I am so sorry. =*(

-- cin (cin@cin.cin), June 09, 2000.

Cin, just sharing. I'm way long over the loss, as I re-read my post, it appears I was a lil too personal, not looking for pity, It made me stronger. As A teen mother and mom 2 be I learned life thru the school of hard knocks.

I can be brutal as ya know, but my main point was the damn doctors, how they for the most part are nothing more than 'educated guessers', my sister who went to nursing school told me this.

We should NEVER be afraid to go for 2nd opinion, NEVER. Right now a 19 year old girl in my office 'may have cervical cancer', she went to an OB I went to 2 yrs ago, the OB is a female BUTCHER. I overheard the young girl telling a fellow co-worker about the Dr wanting to do hysterectomy on her!!!!!!!!!!!

I gave her my new OB's number, yes, he is a male, and I had wanted a female, but I found out the hard way, females arent always the best choice.

Girl in office is covered to see my OB/GYN, so she is in process of getting second opinion. I sure hope all works out well for her.

BTW, the OB/GYN works here in our office bldg, I was talking to the Dr's secretary who stated "I wouldnt go to her if she was the last Dr on earth" WHAT does that tell ya? :-)

So glad I offered advice to our young one......

Thanks for starting this thread there angry one!!!! Quite informative, to say the least.

-- consumer (, June 09, 2000.


I learned a LONG time ago not to judge an OB/GYN by gender. I've had good and bad in both genders. One of my birthings was "helped along" by the doctor breaking my water bag so HE could make a lunch date. He was also a condescending old fart from the OLD school. He was called to my bedside [I did the birthing room thing...set up like a suite] and didn't find someone screaming in pain, so said, "Who said this woman is fully dilated?" Three people came forward. When he did his own "look/see", he said, "Seems the only thing holding me back from a lunch date is this water bag" and broke it.

In contrast, I had a female deliver one, and my water had broken HOURS before, but the contractions had stopped. She said, "I think we should induce, Anita." I said, "No. I want to do this on my own." She said, "Okay. I'll check back later." Well, I walked the halls and nurses suggested that I take my hubby into a room for a little foreplay...just enough to get the contractions going again...but not enough to actually introduce any "foreign" bodies [grin] but I was content to simply walk. By the time I was ready, my female OB came in, stroked my head, and said, "You're an awfully nice patient to give me time to go home, have something to eat, shower and change my underwear before having me come back." She was attentive to my every desire, including not wanting an episiotomy. She lubricated and lubricated with baby oil to try and get the skin to stretch, but finally said, "Anita...if I don't cut you, you're going to rip." I agreed then. Back to the old fart, HE wanted to give me a local for the episiotomy. I refused it. He stood up tall and said, "This is NOT a contest in pain." I said, "Do I LOOK like I'm in any pain?" AFTER the birth, he wanted to give me something ELSE to make my uterus contract. I said "No. I'm nursing." He got really huffy then and said, "Well get that baby up to your breast, then." The third guy was a male and he was even better than the female. We called the unborn "Ollie", and had for months. Right before "Ollie" came out I said, "Oh my. I feel like I'm going to have a bowel movement." He said, "Nah..that's just Ollie." He was right.

NEVER choose a doctor due to gender, Consumer. [Sorry for the details for the squeamish among you.]

-- Anita (, June 09, 2000.

Too much information. Too much information. Too much information.

I feel like I know you better than anyone save my wife, Anita. And even that's a close call. :^)

-- Bingo1 (, June 09, 2000.

I really shouldn't jump in with the mob, but OTOH why not?

Although most of me thinks it's evil, I also think it's funny in a sick, "black-humor" sort of way: I know a male Ob/Gyn who sends all the sensitive "I want a woman MD" patients to a lesbian OB/Gyn.

I guess you had to be there.


-- Someone (, June 09, 2000.

lol. Sorry, Bingo. I've never been shy about discussing sex and reproduction...even in real life. I think it was all those years spent in biology at University. My oldest daughter saw her siblings be born, and when my dad was watching her one day, he saw her stick the doll [head down] under her skirt, then sit down on the floor and pull it out, mocking delivery. THEN [and I laugh all the time at this one], she started to lift her blouse and put the doll to her breast. For some reason, she realized that there was no milk in her breasts, so she took a toy bottle, shook it three times on both sides and THEN put the doll under her blouse.

When I picked her up after work, my dad said, "Are you SURE it was a good idea to have her watch her siblings be born?" Of course MY intent was to have her see for herself that it needn't be as painful as the girls at the hen-parties had told ME it would be, but I hadn't anticipated her doll-play as a result.

That female OB was a stitch, however. I birthed and couldn't wait to play tennis. I told her of my intent and asked if it would be okay if I joined the group that week for tennis. She said, "Sure...but you'll have an AWFULLY strange looking TWAT if you do." I said, "Would that be the technical term, Doc?"

-- Anita (, June 09, 2000.

Frank: Thanks for 'chiming in', you know, I STILL believe that Dr I had was a lesbian. Our girl here in the office said the doc kept asking about her sex life, got REAl personal, etc... Now Before someone 'jumps me' the ???'s about the girls sex life were NOT normal doc questions, cuz I asked. (being the nosey one that i am :-)

Either @ doc was a freak or B) doc was a freak

Take the pic.

-- consumer (, June 09, 2000.


NOW you sound homophobic. I've come home laughing from a few breast exams in my time, feeling that I've had more "professional" checks in the back seat of a car. Weirdos are out there. You only need ONE visit to spot them.

-- Anita (, June 09, 2000.


There are many nutty patients out there, both male and female (and so I wouldn't give this advice to everyone), but you post like a very level headed individual.

If you really feel that you've been treated in an unprofessional or inappropriate manner, you should report the MD to your state's medical board! Leaving that person practicing won't help the profession, or their next patients.


-- Someone (, June 09, 2000.

Anita, feel free to share any & all twat stories. Perhaps one of our ladies Lilith would oblige us with a new thread of particularly graphic anecdotes. (Yes this is the REAL Bingo writing this plea. Go figure.)

It's the birthing scenarios which get me feeling particularly wan. Guys, am I the only one who gets weak-kneed at the mere mention of birthing rooms, contractions, if I don't cut you, you're going to rip, water bag, etc.?

-- Bingo1 (, June 09, 2000.

Oh Goody goody I just love telling birth and breast feeding stories in mixed company. Maybe it is my ultra sensitivity to the male reactions that triggers the humorous side of me.

Like the time I was nursing Sam and squirted SO from across the room, he jumped like he had been burned, later asked for a sample, proving once again all men are just big babies. And for him to have been such a prude about the whole thing after all these kids and years...sheech!

Anita I know what you mean about not wanting an episiotomy, So when I was having Jesse I asked not to have one. The reason my brother has CP is the doctor brought all of the women who were about due in and broke their water bags so they would deliver and he could go on vacation. My brothers head had not yet dropped so the rush of amniotic fluid rushed out carrying the umbilical cord with it so as he was being delivered is body cut the oxygen off by pressing on the cord. With Jesse though, the monitor showed a slowing of the heartbeat so it was important time wise to do an episiotomy to allow a fast birth. It turned out that the cord was around Jesse's neck twice. Each case is different. My last birth was Sam and was done by C-section, Sam's head was stuck in my left pelvis. Not much of a shock for me It was my second one. Only problem was the anasteseologist never bothered to check to see if my epidermal worked so I was only numb on one side. As they cut across my belly I yelled when they got to the left side. They asked "pressure?' I said No, a sharp cutting sensation. As it stood at that time I had one living child from three live births and wanted the babe out fast and safely, so I told them to go ahead and cut. It was weird, I would tell them what I felt, three fingers and a pair of scissors deep inside of my belly, you have your hand next to my backbones now...etc. It kinda freaked them out. After Sam was out I looked down at my belly laying open and asked the Surgeon if he could remove some of that fat. (he wouldn't).

-- Cherri (, June 09, 2000.

Anita: LOL.....homophobic = NOT :-) You are right, once you spot one, you know it, I'm telling you, she was a WEIRD one.

I had to have my tonsils removed at age 21, tell me why the Doc had to do extensive Breast Exam? :-)

I can relate to that back seat syndrome. When I asked him why he was giving me a breast exam for a tonsillectomy (sp) he left the room!!!

Cheap thrill, didnt have any then or now, go figure.

Frank: i did consider reporting him. But for the lady OB/Gyn, I'm glad I didnt cuz she is a BIG Doc and I work 3 floors below her now:-?


-- consumer (, June 09, 2000.


Had the docs gone BEYOND that, of course I would have reported them. You know as well as I do that I wouldn't be shy about such a thing. The docs who did this weren't trained in ob/gyn, so I don't know if they even LEARNED the proper method for breast examination. At the risk of throwing the ever-sensitive Bingo out of his chair, the proper method is to lay the woman down, ask her to raise her arms above her head, and lay the palm on the breast examined. The palm would move up, down, left, right, feeling for a nodule that would feel like the bump created by a sweet pea under the skin. There should be no FINGER involvement at all. The exams women give themselves each month should involve the palm alone as well.

Bingo: If it makes you feel any better, there's absolutely no pain associated with a water bag breaking, and the head of the unborn pressing on the cervix has already deadened the nerve endings to the opening of the vagina. A rip is simply harder to stitch than a clean cut, so a clean cut is preferable. We don't feel the stitches either, until sensation is restored to the nerve endings some time later. THEN we say, "Ouch!"

-- Anita (, June 09, 2000.

Anita, you said,

The palm would move up, down, left, right, feeling for a nodule that would feel like the bump created by a sweet pea under the skin. There should be no FINGER involvement at all.

Oops, maybe I spoke too soon ;-) One's fingertips are very sensitive, more than the palm of the hand. Many docs use their fingertips for breast exams (as they can get around a lesion) without being perverts.


-- Someone (, June 09, 2000.


I hear the same argument at home. "I'd KNOW if you had any lumps in your breasts." I think the big one is the raising of the arms, Frank. If a doctor doesn't ask you to do this first, he is unaware that the breast flattens in this position, allowing for a more thorough appraisal of the spread-out tissue.

-- Anita (, June 09, 2000.

The topic is about murderous doctors, I suspect the percentage doesn't hold a candle to lecherous doctors...


I had to have my tonsils removed at age 21, tell me why the Doc had to do extensive Breast Exam? :-)

I went in to doctor for suspected inguinal hernia. My regular doc wasn't there, so I was examined by another in the suite. Doctor examined my groin, then proceeded to do you guessed it, breast exam. (Good for you for calling it.)

Frank: [If you really feel that you've been treated in an unprofessional or inappropriate manner, you should report the MD to your state's medical board! Leaving that person practicing won't help the profession, or their next patients.]

After I got home, first place I called was his office to speak to head staff before looking into the Medical Board. I learned that the esteemed doctor was retiring from practice that week! and I got a letter to that effect, the following week. Just having his last fling, I guess. :^)

-- Debbie (, June 09, 2000.


Yeah, I wouldn't trust your husband's opinion, the odds are his mind's not very clinically focussed at the time. :-)


Remember though that 1 in 9 women will get breast cancer. Some people have -very- spotty follow-ups with their doctors, and so some doctors feel that every time a woman (over 35 say) comes into their office they should have a breast exam, as they don't know when the patient will ever go to another doctor, or if they'll ever be back (due to change of insurance or whatever). Unless the doctor was behaving inappropriately, I'd say they were just being thorough (I wasn't there, so don't know your particular situation).

The same is true of men going in to the doctor's office with rectal exams. Every guy in America complains about that, and now with PSA it might not even be as valuable, but it's still done. Cancer is something to catch *before* it's advanced.


-- Someone (, June 09, 2000.


You do have some stories. I have some as well on the issue of milk- tasting, and milk ejaculations, but I'll save them for after the consequences of a hurricane in the gulf pass us by. I get a bit testy when I've typed multi-paragraphs and the power goes out.

-- Anita (, June 09, 2000.


You make a good point about concern for breast cancer risks. It would've seemed more normal however, if the doctor had introduced the subject in conversation first, inquiring whether I do my own, and asking for my consent to do the exam. Instead he just "did it" - It just seemed mighty peculiar! esp. in the midst of a rush-rush, short-notice office visit for acute hernia pain...

The best way to handle these kinds of situations is to do what Consumer did - confront it while it's happening, face to face (which I didn't). That way, I wouldn't be left with the little part of me which still felt "maybe I'm just crazy."

After that, I resolved to request that a female assistant or nurse be present with any unfamiliar doctor.

-- Debbie (, June 10, 2000.


With regard to the last, in this day and age, I'd think that for any breast/pelvic exam a male doctor should have the sense to have a female assistant present at the time. A doctor who's near retirement age may not be thinking along these lines, but any younger one should.

It's just good protection for both the doc and the patient. I know of some docs who will state the nurses *name* who was present during the exam in their dictations whenever the patient seems "sensitive" about something. Maybe they should quit being lazy and do that for every patient.

And you're entirely right, no "invasive" exam should be done without some sort of introduction as to why it's being done, etc.


-- Someone (, June 10, 2000.

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