NOTE: We just received a note from Rep. Maloney's office stating that the Congresswoman is not introducing the bill mandating the video, which was discussed in my blog. Apparently her office had asked the source of my blog, from which my information was gathered, to update this information, and that was not done. That is why the error was made. So no such bill is being introduced by Rep. Maloney.
According to WeNews correspondent Frances Cerra Whittelsey, Rep. Carolyn Maloney from New York is considering the feasibility of legally requiring doctors to warn women about the impact of hysterectomies. Maloney believes that 90 percent of them are avoidable.
Maloney made this pledge at the 28th annual conference of HERS, a foundation whose aim is to reduce the number of hysterectomies.
Maloney, a Democrat from Manhattan, said, “Ninety percent of hysterectomy patients who opt for the surgery have non-cancerous, non-life-threatening ailments for which there are alternative, less invasive procedures. Where is the outrage?”
A representative for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said that the college doesn’t have statistics on the surgery or the reasons why it’s done, so she cannot check or confirm the 90 percent figure. The representative said that the college doesn’t support mandating or legislating informed consent for any condition, according to the WeNews article.
Approximately 600,000 women in the United States have hysterectomies every year. Nora Coffey, founder of HERS, said that it is rare for the women to hear from their doctors about adverse effects, other than the obvious one of not being able to bear children.
The HERS foundation was started 28 years ago in order to educate women concerning the effects of losing their reproductive and sex organs. It was also intended as a place for women to share stories about their surgeries. This organization has a video “explaining how and why many women suffer a loss of libido, urinary incontinence and a host of other debilitating and painful health problems when their uteruses--and often their ovaries are removed,” according to Whittelsey.
The HERS foundation is supporting a law that would require doctors to show the video to women 48 hours before they agree to the surgery. Right now there is no law that requires video consent, that is being introduced in any state.
Astonishingly, women who were at the conference reported that their doctors said they didn’t need their uteruses and ovaries after having had families, and gave the justification for taking out healthy ovaries as a way to lower the risk of ovarian cancer.
According to a 2005 article in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, the removal of the uterus alone reduces the risk of ovarian cancer by 40 percent. The article concludes that “at no age is there a clear benefit” from the removal of healthy ovaries. Approximately half of the women who have hysterectomies each year, also lose their ovaries at the same time.