Gynecologist Dr. Red Alinsod gave new meaning to “personalized” care the day he branded Ingrid Paulicivic’s uterus after a hysterectomy in June of 2009. He met her only once, but he claimed the two of them to be good friends. As a “gesture of friendship”, with an electrocautery tool, he carved and burned her first name into her uterus after removing it from her body. Alinsod stated that the branding was used as a method of identification, because he “did not want to get it confused with the others.” As to why he posed holding her newly branded uterus in his hands for 50+ photographs, remains unexplained. These photographs later provided the incriminating evidence that Paulicivic discovered, accidentally, during a follow up visit with Alinsod, after complaining of burning sensations.
The lack of regard and absence of professionalism by Alinsod exemplifies the prevailing attitude that gynecology and society have toward women and the female organs.
In 2003, while performing a hysterectomy, Dr. James Guiler, a University of Kentucky medical school graduate, burned the initials of his alma mater “UK” into the uterus of Stephanie Means and at least nine other women while their uterus’ were still inside their bodies. He continues to practice medicine today. In 2008, surgeon Steven Kirshner, branded a temporary rose tattoo next to the vagina of a spine surgery patient while she lay unconscious on his operating table. And in 1999, it was discovered that Michael Neary performed peripartum hysterectomies on 129 women, shortly after giving birth. A major reason these unacceptable acts against women have been tolerated, is because the female organs are interior, with functions that are not outwardly visible, and not known by lay people. If it was a man subjected to this treatment, and the removed, branded organ was a penis, it would be unfathomable and egregious. When Lorena Bobbit was raped by her husband, and in retaliation amputated his penis and chucked it out of the car window onto the side of the road, a police search team was immediately dispatched to recover the missing penis, and doctors spent nine and a half hours meticulously reattaching it to the alleged rapist. Yet the female organs are removed from 621,000 women a year in the US, one every minute, without regard for the permanently damaging consequences.
To defile a corpse is against the law and subject to criminal prosecution. Defiling an amputated female organ is no less a crime. Moments before Paulicivic’s uterus was branded, it was intricately connected to a complex network of nerves, ligaments, with a rich blood supply. It is unlikely that Alinsod informed Paulicivic that removing her uterus, a hormone responsive reproductive sex organ, would result in permanent, life altering consequences which include a three times greater risk of cardiovascular disease, the loss of uterine orgasm and sexual feeling, a shortened vagina sutured shut at the top, compromised structural support to the bladder, bowel, and pelvis, profound fatigue, diminished cognition and often, social isolation.
The uterus is integral to the well being of women. It provides critically important functions all of a woman’s life. There is no age or time when the uterus is no longer needed. Desecrating the uterus, whether it is intact or amputated, desecrates the woman, and is offensive and intolerable. Learn more about the lifelong functions of the female organs at hersfoundation.flywheelsites.com.
The lack of information about the lifelong functions of the female organs and the disrespect and disdain for women is apparent in many of the comments that were posted after articles about the branded uterus were published online. The first set of comments below were posted by the lay public. The second set were posted by pre-medical students, medical students, and residents on a popular student medical forum. The study of obstetrics and gynecology focuses on the anatomy and functions of the female organs, where medical students learn that the uterus is a hormone responsive reproductive sex organ that provides structural support to the pelvis and the pelvic organs. They undeniably know that when the uterus is removed uterine orgasm is not possible. Many of their comments are arrogant and mock the woman and the desecration of her amputated uterus. A few were sympathetic to the woman, but the majority was not. Many of their comments offer insight about their disdain for women’s sex organs, referring to the amputated uterus as medical waste.
Comments made by the lay public:
“Just wondering…. but why does this woman give a sh*t?? It’s medical waste, so who cares if he branded it, cut it open, let students practice on it, or played floor hockey with it??”
“If a barber mistreats hair that has fallen to the floor after its been cut from someones scalp, does that affect their scalp? Absolutely not! And so it is with the uterus. So what if the uterus was branded after removal?”
“I think it is hard to claim medical malpractice for something that was done to an organ already removed from someone’s body. It maybe unprofessional behavior but not malpractice because it is not “practice of medicine”. The OR staff could have played soccer with the removed uterus, it is still not malpractice if the procedure was uneventful. The burn could be malpractice but that is not the claim here. And why it is malpractice to have fun during something you like doing?”
Comments made by medical community:
Status: Pre-Medical “I would like to know what font he used…cause if its really well done I think the patient owes the doc some money…”
Status: Medical student “Some people put their hands in drying cement to leave their mark. This doctor is doing the same thing as a favor to someone else… just with female reproductive organs.”
“I think it’s a worthy art form and should be encouraged.”
Status: Resident “ It basically means that her husband’s sex life with her is damaged as a result of this. Which sounds completely ridiculous.”
Status: Member “so how do these people even find out in the first place that their doc branded their uterus?”
Status: Pre-Medical “What?! Are you serious? Branding a uterus after a hysterectomy is nowhere on the same level as raping/mutilating a dead body.
Also, isn’t it very likely that the physician and patient knew what was wrong with the uterus before they removed it? I mean, if they wanted to find out the disease status of the uterus, they would’ve done a biopsy rather than remove the entire thing, wouldn’t you say? Not that I’m defending the physician, but who cares if a uterus that was removed and is about to be discarded/incinerated was branded with the patient’s initials? You really consider that to be a hate crime? I really don’t know what to say…”
Learn more about the lifelong functions of the female organs at hersfoundation.flywheelsites.com.