The Bakersfield Californian from Bakersfield, California on November 25, 1974 · Page 26
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The Bakersfield Californian from Bakersfield, California · Page 26

Bakersfield, California
Issue Date:
Monday, November 25, 1974
Page 26
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26 Monday, Nov, 25,1974 Sbr jahrrafaln (Saltforatart Young doctor fights pressure for sterilization LOS ANGELES (APT - An investigation ordered into Los Angeles County's sterilization practices is due partly to a young obstetrician's campaign to stop what he calls the common practice of pressuring patients into being sterilized. Sterilization studies by Dr. Bernard Rosenfeld were used by a local coalition of antisterilization groups. Their investigation resulted in three women filing claims last week against the county for $2 million each, saying they were permanently sterilized by tubal ligation without their permission. The Board of Supervisors ordered an investigation a day after the claims were filed. The sterilizations purportedly took place at giant County- University of Southern California Medical Center. An official there, Dr. Edward Quilligan, said it was against hospital policy to advocate sterilization. He said one of the operations was done because the woman-begged her doctor to do so. But he said it wouldn't have been done without her husband's consent had it been known the husband was in the waiting room at the time. The women, aged 24, 26 and 32, said permission for the sterilizations was sought while they were in pain and under sedation during Cesarean childbirth in 1972 and 1973. An attorney for two of them said Beverly Graves and.Elid- ia Sylva thought the consent forms signed for the surgery were for temporary sterilization. The other woman, Melvina Hernandez, said she was not aware an operation had been performed. She wore an intrauterine contraceptive, device — IUD — for two years until she learned she had been sterilized. The three women apparently didn't realize they could never bear children until they were informed by the coalition fighting the operations. Two of the women have two children each and the third woman has nnp child All three said they had wanted to have more children. Rosenfeld, 32, has been documenting what he says are sterilization abuses in U.S. hospitals. His work was used in preparation of a suit by the Southern Poverty Law Center against proposed sterilization regulations of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He was a contributor to a 1973 report by the Ralph Nader-led Health Research Group which said: "It is probable that of the 2 million people who undergo surgical sterilization each year, at least several hundred thousand are considerably less than well informed about the irreversibility, risks and alternative methods of family planning when they decide to have these operations." Nor is this always due to simple oversight, says Rosenfeld. He and other investigators alleged that it is common practice for interns, residents and other doctors to "sell" sterilization operations for their own purposes. One such purpose is getting practice in doing the opera­ tions—tubal ligations (tying and cutting the Fallopian tubes) and hysterectomies (removal of the womb.) Another, said Rosenfeld,' is the feeling among many doctors that poor and welfare mothers should have small, families, and be persuaded to end their reproductive lives after having a certain number of children. Rosenfeld, who also has a Ph.D. in psychology, said he observed patients being pressured into sterilization jn four general hospitals where he trained. He also compiled cases by talking to doctors from other institutions. "The problem is not confined to Los Angeles and poor people," Rosenfeld said. "It is quite apparent that those doctors who learn to abuse patient's rights during their training will continue the practice in perhaps much more subtle ways when they go into private practice." What is supposed to safeguard people against such abuses is the principle of informed consent—that doctors are legally obligated to explain thoroughly the risks, consequences and alternatives of any procedure, including sterilization. "What is clear, however," said the Health Research Group report, "is that, in many instances there is little evi-' dence of informed consent by the patient and that these operations have been sold to the public by surgeons in a manner not unlike many other ' deceptive marketing practices." An Associated Press newsman who spoke with about 25 young doctors about their observations while training in hospitals found that many of them, although a minority, had observed such abuses. "No, I can't say informed consent was always given," said a woman doctor from a Southern medical school. "We didn't go into the alternatives (other-contraceptive methods, most of which Rosenfeld contends are safer than sterilization) too much. Looking back on it, I think it was wrong." Dr. Juan Nieto, presently in training at the LA medical center, alleged that sterilizations were pushed at a Colorado hospital when he was a medical student. He said he was shocked: "It wasn't explained to them...they didn't know.this was a permanent .thing. I know some of the doctors felt they were doing' society a favor by sterilizing these people so they wouldn't have their children with tax money." Another intern at a Southern California hospital recalled, "One resident told a group of us medical students, 'Any tubal ligations you can get consent for, you can perform.' "So-some of the students were rnnning up and down the halls looki.g for tubals to do." At LA medical center, Rosenfeld said, some doctors tried to persuade women to be Wind, water effects doubted Venus' shallow craters puzzle Sign in Sargent's drug store in Chicago informs passers "Leeches are available." Harvey Snitman, mamager, holds jar of leeches for sale at $5 each. They're used for black eyes and brusies.—(UPI Telephoto) Now available Leeches still cure black eye CHICAGO (UPI) - Inflation and shortages have taken their toll, but leeches, that old-time cure for black eyes, are back on the shelves. Sargent's Drug Store, in the Chicago Loop since 1852, recently posted a large sign: "Leeches now available here again." "You may be surprisedbut that sign is good news to a lot of people," Manager Harvey Snitman said. Snitman searched the world leech markets for eight months before success crowned his efforts. "I got this shipment of 100 leeches from a London, England, firmwhich specializes in hard-to-find items, and I expect it to' last about six weeks before I have to reorder," he said. Four years ago leeches cost $1 each, now they go for $5 apiece, he said. "If you saw Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn when they were covered with leeches in that 'African Queen' movie, you can imagine what that would cost if they had to " buy the hirudo medicinalis species that patients and some old- fashioned doctors still use," he said. Despite modern medical advances, the ancient therapy of blood-letting employing the blood-sucking leech remains alive, and customers come long distances to buy one or more. "We have a man from Iowa who comes in once a month to buy 20 of them. He refuses to tell us what he uses them for," Snitman said. The trick is to let the leech finish the job and then it falls off, he said. The leech has gained his medicinal fame for the curing of shiners, but it has a few other uses, too, Snitman said. "A woman from California called this week and said her doctor prescribed leeches to reduce a large bruise on her leg. We shipped some to her airmail in a jar. We also sent some leeches to a man in Florida who didn't say what he wanted them for." Wallace to enter most primaries NEW YORK (UPI) Radar probing through the thick screen of gases surrounding Venus found in recent years that the planet has broad but surprisingly shallow craters with apparently rounded rims. Scientists have been at a loss to explain why the craters appear that way when compared to the much deeper and more rugged craters of the moon, Mercury and Mars. Venus, a harsh planet where temperatures reach an ex- Eros statue gets $40,000 NEW YORK (AP) - A 2,000-year-old bronze statuette of Eros, the Greek god of love,, sold for $40,000 at auction Friday, the highest price ever paid here for a classical antiquity. The figure, with a blue and green patina from long exposure to the sea, is 19% inches tall, which brings the price to about $2,000 an inch. The bronze came from the collection of retired dealer J. J. Klefman whose ancient Iranian bronzes were also auctioned at Sotheby Parke Bernet. Michael Dollard of New York bought the Eros statuette. London dealers said that the Iranian bronzes were intended for newly oil-rich clientele^ treme of 800 degrees, is thought much too hot for water to accumulate under any atmostpheric pressure. Thus water erosion has been discounted. And from available evidence, the predominant assumption has been that there is little or no wind near the planet's surface, Now, a Florida State University meteorologist has developed a mathematical model that suggests it is indeed possible there are gusts of winds on Venus sufficiently strong to kick up particles of dust and over millions of years fill craters and erodetheif rims.. "We are not at all concluding that there definitely is wind on Venus," said Dr. Sey-" mour Hess, who recently delivered a paper on the subject at a space conference here, "but we now suspect it is very much possible." In constructing his model, Hess applied established meteorological formulas to information about Venus uncovered by a variety of recent research, including a Soviet space probe to the distant planet. Hess calculated the size of dust particles that are probably the most easily lifted in the thick Venus atmosphere and found that the particlesare extremely small compared to those on earth or Mars, leading to the conclusion that "very light free-stream winds will raise dust on Venus." Hess, of Tallahassee, Fla., has long been associated with the U.S. space program and currently is a team leader on NASA's Viking project, in which two spacecraft are scheduled to land on Mars in 1976. He delivered his paper on'Venus at a recent conference sponsored by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The institute's staff scientist for atmostpheric studies, Dr. James Hansen, said the idea of dust .blowing about in the Venus atmosphere is extremely important hi trying to explain the apparent surface erosion. "It's hard to think of any thing else as the probable mechanism (for the erosion) other than windblown dust," he said. If so, the assumption that the surface of Venus is calm apparently is wrong. But planetary scientists say even if dust explains the present appearance of the Venusian craters, their age and the nature of the forces that created them in the first place remain a mystery. Aluminum buyer It has been reported the auto industry consumed 502,000 tons of aluminum in 1972. WASHINGTON (UPI) Gov. George C. Wallace of Alabama is planning to enter almost every major Democratic presidential primary in 1976, according to his senior staff aides. Several of them said in interviews this week that they are certain he will announce for President early next year, others said they are "90 per cent sure" he will. Wallace himself told reporters this week at the Democratic governors' conference at Hilton Head, S.C., "I haven't quite decided what to do but I expect to be making an announcement in the first months of next year." Wallace still is partially paralysed from a 1972 assassi- i;:ition attempt and his lieuten- -dls say he will use tv heavily in the campaigns. "All the governor needs is a blue curtain and a tv camera and he can conduct a fine campaign, and reach a lot of people who know him by name," one aide said. "He won't have the name recognition problem that some of the others will. There won't be a need for him to make continuous appearances, day after day, morning, noon and night." Wallace staffers say he intends to begin his campaign with the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary, which he skipped in 1972, or the Florida primary, which he won. Since 1972 there has been CMsioerable speculation that WnlUce might have been able to control the Democratic convention —or at least have a powerful voice there -if his staff not mishandled his delegate assets. i i i i i WEBSTER'S : 327 .o9»« UPHOLSTERY FOR NOVEMBER UMIOI STKRY AND DRAPERY Shop at Home FOR EHEE ESTIMATES 1 I I I I I YEAR-END I I 1 SAVE • MONEY- | TIME- I ENERGY! | With this coupon. Offer expires Dec. 31st Save Gas—Save $$$ ENGINE TUNE-UP spark plugs ign. points condenser timing Replace FCV smog valve Service emission system Adjust carburetor Road test i i • Reg. 46.22 NOW 35.371 TRANSMISSION SERVICE I .-J .1..- a..-.—!..!.._ n__i fin W I I I I and clean transmission pan transmission gasket Replace filter screen Adjust bands when needed Change transmission fluid Adjust caster, camber and toe-in Reg.23.10 NOW 19.03 WHEEL ALIGNING Inspect steering mechanism Inspect tie rods and ends Reg. 16.00 BETTER DEALS Now 12.00 FINER SERVICE sterilized immediately after childbirth. He recalled one doctor telling him, "Unless we get those tubes tied before they go home some of them will change their mind by the time they come back to clinic." In conversations with the reporter, a few doctors, though Yiot involved in the obstetrics program, said they personally felt poor and uneducated women should be subjected to persuasion. "They just don't understand about taking care of a large family," said one. "I think they have to be brainwashed into being sterilized. I know one person (i.e., a doctor) can't have much effect on the population boom, but somebody's got to start somewhere." There are indications that Rosenfeld's efforts, as well as the publicity surrounding the sterilization of two teenage sisters in Alabama in 1973 and a resulting lawsuit, have begun to change hospital sterilization practices. Last February, Dr. Quilligan, head of obstetrics and gynecology at LA medical center, issued a memorandum which said in part: "Effective immediately, patients will not be approached for the first time concerning sterilization when they are in active labor... should they wish some form of permanent sterilization this should have been recorded in the chart prior to the admission to the hospital in labor." Quilligan said doctors were also instructed "generally not to sterilize anyone unless they have thought about it for at least three days," and two or more doctors had been consulted. The LA medical center also is preparing a booklet intended to explain fully to prospective sterilization patients that the operation is permanent and will end their reproductive lives. Kenneth Hahn, Board of Supervisors chairman, said he wanted the board's investigation also to cover whether Spanish-speaking patients at county hospitals are being told in their own lanaguage what forms they are signing and what is happening to them. One of the three women said in her claim that she understands little English a,d didn't understand the English-speaking hospital staff members or the content of the consent form she signed. The claims of the women will be acted on within 45 days, according to the county recorders office. If they are rejected, their attorney says he will sue. Rosenfeld said, "It is time the consumer realizes that any time any doctor performs a 100 per cent optional surgery like tubal ligation or vasectomy without informing the patients of the risks and alternatives to the procedure, the patient has the right to sue the doctor for not giving him or her informed consent. "Informed consent is a right, not a privilege." 1£e*tt BEDS for Overnight Quests 327-2791 — 2620 F St. BAKERSFIELD HOSPITAL SUPPLY CO,, INC. ROLLAWAYS BABY BEDS HOSPITAL. BEDS ALSO: Strollers High Chairs BEST RENTS •AND SEUS. ^ Girls Have the Look YOU, TOO, CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN! LOOK BETTER, FEEL EXCITING, GAIN CONFIDENCE AND SUCCESS SPECIAL HOLIDAY OFFER LIMITED TIME ONLY Slim away your excess jpounds and inches at our. luxurious SPA SALON. 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