Surgery’s Most Intimate Violation

February 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

After reading “The Tyranny of the Esthetic” I decided to do a little more reading and investigating other stories related to this topic. Most of the stories I found were basically the same and left me more shocked and angry at surgeons and parents, but even more angry at society’s definition of “normal”. Let’s first look at surgeons. Hippocratic oath? More like hypocritic oath. What happened to “avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism (cures that do more harm than good)?” What happened to “I will remember that I remain a member of society with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm?” You’d think surgeons would think about the possible after effects of a life changing surgery before they perform it. And you’d think that after all the stories of people having these surgeries and ending up psychologically confused, or worse suicidal, they’d learn to consider what’s best for the individual patient and not about “satisfying a social demand for ‘normalcy’.” As for the parents, what happened to raising your child to be its own person, to make its own decisions? Making a life changing decision for your child may seem like a good idea to you at the time, but what about 10 or 20 years down the road? I think parents should be more accepting of who their child is and less concerned with how their child fits a norm.

Now for my second point–yes, surgeons and parents make decisions to alter a baby’s genitalia, but it is our society’s definition of normal that forces them to make said decisions. Normal is defined as conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern; cut-and-dry. If there was no standard, no specific body type that was ideal, this wouldn’t be an issue. I find it outstandingly hypocritical of our society to push on one end for us to “be our own person” and “be independent”, while on the other end trying to conform us to a norm, an average. I find the idea of making a child “right” if they were born “wrong” ridiculous and the idea that there is a standard as to what is considered beautiful, or acceptable, is idiotic. Just because there is a deviation doesn’t make it wrong. Everything isn’t black-and-white, cut-and-dry. Everything runs on a continuum, there isn’t a right and a wrong variation. And unless that variation is somehow threatening the life of the person, I don’t see why it should be a problem.

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