December 6, 2022

Score one for the Patriarchy!

In an ethically dubious medical specialty, “Aesthetic Vaginal Surgery” may be the most dubious of all its subspecialties.

 

In an ethically dubious medical specialty, “Aesthetic Vaginal Surgery” may be the most dubious of all its subspecialties. In the Atlantic
Monthly
journalist Marie Myung-Ok
Lee describes a conference for about 60 practitioners at a luxury resort
outside Tuscon, Arizona. The doctors cater for women who want elective surgery
to “rejuvenate” and/or “beautify”
their vaginas.

The less said about
the procedure the better, but in any case the doctors seems more interested in
their wallets than in women’s health. It is a highly commercialised field. As
one doctor put it: “Retail plus medicine equals ‘retailicine.’”

“… one conference
presenter left his computer’s wallpaper—rotating images of him with his red
Porsche 911—up in the background during his PowerPoint lecture. The message was
tough to miss: practice cosmetic-gyn, and you too can live the life of a
plastic surgeon.”

Over at the Journal of Medical Ethics blog, Iain Brassington was outraged at the tacky,
patriarchal, exploitative commercialism of the conference.

“If you want medically
unnecessary surgery, then that’s fine; the onus is on you to persuade the
surgeon.  But this reverses the situation: it’s the surgeon – and since
this is the States, a surgeon with a financial interest (to which I’ll return)
trying to persuade a patient.  This is nuts.  Brutally nuts.
 It’d be dodgy enough in respect of therapeutic treatment, but here?  Surely any reasonably
switched-on medic with a shred of respect for the profession would find that
just a bit… well… repugn-…”

Michael Cook
cosmetic surgery