The National Center for Transgender Equality, NCTE, and the Human Rights Campaign gather on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, for a #WontBeErased rally. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Sometimes, surgeons mess up.
You may have heard urban legends of doctors amputating the wrong leg, etc., but I’ve got something new, and it happens to be true.
Two doctors in the UK have had their licenses suspended after surgically removing a vagina.
Dr. Marco Capece and Dr. Giulo Garaffa were found guilty of performing the irreversible procedure on a patient who didn’t…well, I’ll let Metro UK tell it:
The patient had consented to two other forms of surgery as part of the (gender) transitioning process, but only discovered his vagina had been removed a week later.
As told to a disciplinary panel, Marco altered a form to indicate consent. But it was Giulio — to whom Metro referred as a “renowned penis surgeon” — who did the deed.
Not only did the lady not want to be devagina’d, but she’d made sure people knew that. Over and over:
Before the operation the patient repeatedly said he did not want his vagina removed, the tribunal heard.
And now she — transforming to he — feels jacked up without his vagina:
The patient, identified only as Patient A, described to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) how the “unwanted surgery” had a “profound impact in all aspects of his life including his mental well-being.”
I’m not sure I understand this next part, so I’ll leave it to Metro; but I believe they’re saying she wanted to add a penis but keep the vagina:
The patient had agreed to have a hysterectomy and a metoidioplasty, which would have given him a penis, but had refused the third procedure.
It was an unusual choice, but for doctors to violate the will of the patient and remove part of her body is, of course, absolutely horrific.
No one should ever have that happen to them.
And in case you’re wondering, the form got altered after the fact:
[Giulo’s] colleague, [Marco], also from Italy, failed to obtain consent for the extra surgery at Highgate Private Hospital in October 2016, the panel was told.
Following the operation, he then added the words ‘vaginectomy’ on to Patient A’s consent form to give the impression it had been planned from the outset.
According to the article, the patient had begun “formal gender transition” in 2013. A name change came that same year, and life as a man started in March of 2014.
The patient also had her breasts removed.
When it comes to choosing a surgeon who can perform such a genitally-altering feat as was desired, pickin’s is slim:
[Giulo] is a “penis consultant” who is renowned across Europe for penis enlargement and reconstruction surgery. The tribunal heard he is one of only two doctors in the world capable of performing specific procedures.
And Giulo dropped the…ball…by not ensuring that consent had been obtained.
They both fouled up:
Speaking at the tribunal, MPTS Chair Tim Bradbury said: “[Giulo’s] failures were serious and numerous… The consequences of these failures were grave, Patient A underwent life changing and irreversible surgery which (they) did not want.” Mr Bradbury said [Marco] maintained a “false narrative” by not admitting his wrongdoing and insisting that he had not altering the document.
Surgery is scary enough. Everyone should be able to at least trust their doctors to perform the agreed upon procedures.
This is a sad story, and I’m not sure what the lesson is — other than, when it comes to your medical care, choose wisely, be loud, and pray a lot.
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