InformedConsent.com Foundation, Inc.
1302 7th Street
Moline, IL 61265
Phone (309) 736-0808
Fax (309) 736-0909
Patrick J. Woodman, D.O.
1112 North M Street
Tacoma, Washington 98403
Dear Dr. Woodman:
Thank you for your letter dated January 25, 2000. I had hoped you would take more than passing interest in my complaints concerning unnecessary surgery. I agree with you that you are unable to argue any benefits for unnecessary surgery. However, someone who does unnecessary surgery, teaches medical students to do unnecessary surgery, and publishes articles concerning how to most humanely do unnecessary surgery, cannot claim that he is not a proponent of unnecessary surgery. It is a blight on a major medical journal to present the fact that gynecologists commonly do unnecessary surgery; that patients do, indeed, feel pain; and that we, as physicians, should offer anesthetics. As human beings, we should, instead, make unnecessary surgery of non-consenting, protesting, tethered patients a transgression and avoid iatrogenic pain altogether.
I disagree with you that there are "a few medical indications" for unnecessary surgery. I disagree that patients "choose to request" unnecessary surgery. My experience is that patients are pressured, that consent forms are slipped into packets of admission forms, and that the forms are often inadvertently signed while the patient is in crisis or under the influence of drugs.
I am curious to know why a gynecologist, a woman's physician, feels compelled to offer, to teach, and to publish articles on amputating part of a male's normal sex organ. It is curious that the topic of unnecessary sexual surgery evokes the word "passionate" in your letter.
Enclosed is an informed consent form for medically necessary sexual surgery. It is on the Internet at http://www.informedconsent.org/circumcision.html. Feel free to use it in your own practice. No one has ever signed it. All I ask is that you let me know if anyone ever does.
Thank you for wishing me luck in my "crusade." It is not I, however, who plunders the treasures of my patients. Unnecessary surgery is not my religion. Thank you for informing me that you and Dr. Erickson [no relation to John A. Erickson] will continue perform and to teach unnecessary surgery. In the face of your willful defiance, it is my duty to document what you knew and when you knew it. To that end, I am sending your material to the Attorneys for the Rights of the Child, and I am placing your material on the Informed Consent.com Foundation working documents site.
I pray your work will quickly go the way of lobotomies, thymectomies, surreptitious sterilizations, the Tuskegee experiment, LSD experiments, and the plutonium files. You are proof that the medical community cannot police itself. You force the shortcomings of the medical profession into public forums. You force degrading legislation upon the medical profession. Until male genital mutilation is added to the Female Genital Mutilation Legislation and specifically prohibited by law as a felony, you amputate and you teach amputation under surveillance and at risk.
Eileen Marie Wayne, M.D.
cc: Attorneys for the Rights of the Child
Roy Pitkin, M.D. Editor ObGyn and Asst Editor JAMA
Sonya S. Erickson, M.D.
Catherine D. DeAngelis, MD, MPH Editor JAMA
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