The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Posts Tagged ‘medicine’

The Twenty-Eighth Down Under Feminists Carnival

Posted by caitlinate on September 4, 2010

Oh my gawd, hi everyone. So this is the first time I’ve done a blog carnival and I put my hand up for it 6 months ago not realising that this was going to be like the busiest two or three weeks I would be having all year. So! There is no theme and things might be organised a little incoherently but I hope I’ve done a good job and you like…

WELCOME to the 28th Down Under Feminists Carnival!

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Posted in Announcements, Blog Watch, body image, domestic violence, Family, glbt, Interviews, law, Media Watch, music, Politics, porn, Relationships, reproductive rights, sex, Trans, violence against women, women we love, Women's Health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Doctor Accused Of Raping Patient: Trial Continues

Posted by Rhiana Whitson on November 8, 2008

You may recall reading fellow Chorister Caitlin’s recent post on rapist and serial violator of women, Dr Sabi Lai. In an extrodinairy case of injustice for rape victims Lai was reinstated to the medical register by VCAT just a couple of weeks ago. This is despite the Medical Practitioner’s Panel conclusion that he was unfit to practice as a health professional (no shit!). Even more shocking is the fact that Lai has so far managed to escape an actual prison sentence altogether.

Well, this week another case of a Doctor abusing his powers of authority has been brought to trial.

Sulieman Ismail Hamid, an emergency department doctor at the Western Hospital in Sunshine has been accused by a woman (who cannot be named for legal reasons) of two counts of indecent assault, two counts of rape, two counts of sexual penetration of a person under his medical care who was cognitively impaired and two counts of indecently assaulting a person who was under his medical care who was cognitively impaired.

The first incident occurred at the Western Hospital, when the woman, who was a regular patient of the hospital, was seeking treatment in the emergency departement for a drug overdose and self-harm.

“(She) was alone with the accused in the cubicle. . . under the influence of those drugs she had taken at home and the ones given in the hospital. She propositioned the accused using the words f–k me,” Ms Forrester told the jury.

“He said he couldn’t because he was working, but then he rubbed her neck and breasts,” she said.

Two days later the Hamid went to the woman’s house and asked if he could come inside. According to the woman’s lawyer the victim thought that Hamid was merely making a house-call to give her medication so let him inside. Once inside the Hamid first digitally raped the woman and then after an interval where she thought he had left and fell asleep, he then raped her again:

The woman told the court that when Hamid came over to her house she was tired and went back to bed and he followed her into her bedroom.

She said he told her she was attractive and began touching her and kissing her.

“I was telling him I wanted to die and stuff like that,” she told the court. “Then he just got really in to me and started kissing me and touching me.”

She said Hamid began removing her clothes and she was feeling confused. She told the jury Hamid removed her pants and began touching her underneath her underpants. He then digitally raped her.

“I couldn’t move. I felt I didn’t have any bones in my body,” she said. “I think I screamed out . . . because he was hurting me.”

After Hamid left the woman went and told a friend who went with her to the police. A DNA sample was taken and Hamid’s DNA was found on the results of the sample.

Not surprisingly Hamid is denying that occurrence of rape. He is also denying that the woman was cognitively impaired, even though during their first encounter he would have been fully aware that she was mentally and emotionally unstable, she was after all being treated by him in emergency for self-harm and a drug overdose.

I just hope that the judge will see past the original proposition by the victim, and see that the doctor was not simply reciprocating the attention of the patient but using his position of power to exploit the vulnerable woman who looked to him as someone in a position to take care of her, not violate her.

Because regardless of whether the victim did initially proposition Hamid or not, he has committed a grave abuse of his powers as a doctor. The victim had history of mental instability and was not in a position to consent to any form of sexual contact, Hamid was clearly aware of this, and clearly exploiting her vulnerability. By admitting to sex (something he had no choice to do because of the little fact of his DNA) and denying rape he plants the seeds of doubt where in the end it is his word, a doctor (a position which as we have seen with the Dr Sabi Lai case seems to grant a different sort of judicial treatment than usually handed out) against a woman who’s mental health issues could quite easily be twisted by a good defense lawyer to indicate a web of lies.

However regardless of the cases still “alleged” status, the point remains that Hamid should not have responded to the sexual advances of a patient.

He stands guilty of abusing his powers of both masculinity and his medical profession.

Posted in Media Watch, Sex Crimes, sexual assault, violence against women | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Your Daily Dose Of Pill-Hysteria-Based Pseudoscience

Posted by Clem Bastow on August 13, 2008

Attention ladies on the contraceptive pill: you might be missing out on meeting Mr Right because you can’t smell him! That’s right, this corker of a “study” has popped up (where else) in the Daily Mail. (The countdown to Samantha Brett waxing lyrical on the topic starts now.) Here are the “findings“:

Women are said to have an inbuilt ability to pick up the scent of a partner who differs genetically. Falling for this type of man helps ensure that the couple’s children will have broad immunity against disease, so the theory goes.

But researchers found that the Pill disrupts a woman’s power to recognise the aroma of a suitable partner.

Saddled with the wrong man – someone who in scientific terms has similar genes – she may find it hard to become pregnant and any children she does have may have a lower resistance to infection. What is more, when she stops taking the Pill and her sense of smell returns to normal, she’s more likely to fall out of love, the Liverpool and Newcastle universities research suggests. It is thought that women subconsciously use the smell of a man’s sweat as a guide to the genetic make-up of his immune system.

But this research shows that the Pill sends the rules of attraction into meltdown by making women set their sights on men similar to themselves.

To measure its effect, scientists asked a group of men to sleep in T-shirts and steer clear of deodorants and other fragranced products. The T-shirts were frozen until needed, then defrosted and placed in glass jars with ‘nose holes’ in the lids.

Almost 100 women then sniffed the shirts and gave their opinions on the ‘pleasantness’ and ‘ desirability’ of the odour twice over a three-month period. Many started taking the Pill during the experiment – and their opinions of the smell of the T-shirts changed, the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B reports.

Mmm, the Proceedings of the Royal Society B! Isn’t that a hit Off-Off-Broadway cabaret? Is anyone else mildly amused at the thought of 100 women huffing on thawed-out t-shirts? Not to mention the bit about the Pill keeping women in some Stepford-esque state of permanent loviness until they stop taking it and then go off their partner.

Do you take the Pill? Have you sniffed out a suitable husband?

Posted in Media Watch, Women's Health | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Could Viagra Help Women Suffering From Depression- Related Sexual Dysfunction?

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 25, 2008

While Viagra has become something of a punchline (ho ho, look at all the old codgers having heart attacks while macking!) it’s certainly been one of the “it” drugs of the past decade or so, and in some way, helped address stigmas associated with people over the age of, oh, 50 having active sex lives (newsflash, kids: they are still doing it!) – and some new research suggests the little blue pills could also assist women who are suffering from the sexual dysfunction that so often goes hand-in-hand with depressive illnesses.

A drop in libido levels is a common side-effect of antidepressant medicine, which often leads to women going off their medication sooner than they should, because they want to regain a sense of normalcy when it comes to their sex drive.

The women were told to take a pill one to two hours before sex for eight weeks. Half were given placebos pills which had no pharmacological effects.

Some 73 per cent of the women given placebos reported no improvement with treatment while only 28 per cent of the women taking Viagra said they did not notice an improvement, the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found.

Some of the women experienced headaches, flushing and indigestion but none of them withdrew from the trial because of side effects.

“By treating this bothersome treatment-associated adverse effect in patients who have been effectively treated for depression, but need to continue on their medication to avoid relapse or recurrence, patients can remain antidepressant-adherent, reduce the current high rates of premature medication discontinuation, and improve depression disease management outcomes,” wrote lead author George Nurnberg of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

This is encouraging news, especially when you consider the lack of compassion (let alone research) in the medical community when it comes to what happens to the female libido when certain medications are being taken (including the contraceptive pill; my article on that particular side-effect is here).

I wonder if the Viagra treatment would also work for women whose depression-related sexual problems are just due to depression full-stop, rather than antidepressant medicines, though? A lowered sex drive is a huge part of depression for many people (not just women). When I was at my darkest mood in a two-year period of particularly bad depression – which was treated with therapy, exercise and diet rather than anti-d’s – I had no sex drive whatsoever. At the time I had a lovely partner who I thought was completely gorgeous, but the libido was totally kaput; it was very confusing for both of us.

Either way, though, it’s heartening to see female sexuality and libido being taken seriously by the medical and research communities, but what are your experiences in this realm? Have you noticed a drop in libido while depressed, or being treated for depression? Did you have any ‘magic cures’ (chocolate, massage, vibrators, ’70s porn marathons?) or did you just ride it out?

Posted in Media Watch, Relationships, Sex And Love, Women's Health | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »