MEDICAL ABUSE OF WOMEN

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The JRC Medical Advocates Group (JRC MAG), was formed to advocate for medical patient rights and address medical malfeasance . The group held a press conference in February of 2016 to announce the group's formation, and to address issues of the medical abuse of women of color.

Suzanne Brooks, group co-chair and JRC Women's Affairs Chair, and former patient of Mercy Medical Group and Mercy San Juan Hospital, filed civil and criminal complaints against Mercy San Juan Hospital, Dr. Wiley Fowler, Dr. Javid Javidan and 20 et al for failing to adhere to the surgical plan they made with her and 6 doctors during 6 months of consultation, examinations, tests and discussion during which she asked to have a cyst removed. Instead, the doctors removed all her ovaries and fallopian tubes in violation of the agreement and their promises. Later the Courts worked with Hospital attorneys to deny Ms Brooks her medical battery claim.

The issue of medical malfeasance (Malpractice and Battery), in general, continues to be a major problem. With hospitals being run by corporations whose down line is profit not people, and who collude with civil, government, and corporate entities to deny rightful medical treatment to patients. Unnecessary treatments, false diagnosis, falsifying reports, and just generally taking advantage of people. This is  true for the poor, people of color and women. Especially women of color,

Urgent help is requested to protect the reproductive organs of women which are being removed against their will, without their consent. Law enforcement agencies are refusing to investigate related crimes of fraud and falsification of medical records which are state and federal misdemeanors.

2010-2012, 150 CA incarcerated women had organs removed without consent. The CA Legislature addressed this, but only for incarcerated women.

The California State Auditor released a report on the issue of coerced sterilizations in women’s state prisons, Sterilization of Female Inmates. The audit was requested last summer by members of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus.

In response, Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), vice-chair, released the following statements:

“I want to thank the State Auditor for her diligence on this report. It’s good to get to the bottom of this appalling practice. Now we understand the full scope of the problem, the victims affected, and quite frankly, the inexcusable lack of oversight within our prison system," said Assemblywoman Lowenthal.

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson said, “We knew there was a problem with unlawful and coerced sterilizations in the prison environment, but this report shows it is far more serious and systemic than we had thought. The audit shows that nearly a third of the tubal ligations performed on female inmates by doctors between 2005 and 2013 were performed without appropriate consent. Although safeguards and regulations were in place regarding consent forms, appropriate waiting periods, and medical approvals, these protocols were not properly followed or were ignored.

This report underscores the need for my legislation, Senate Bill 1135, which would prohibit forced or coerced sterilizations in prisons. From this report, we now have clear proof that the prison environment is an environment where consent simply cannot be obtained in a responsible, reliable manner for these procedures."

(Jackson is the author of Senate Bill 1135, which is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday, June 24. Lowenthal is the principal co-author of SB 1135. A copy of the audit can be found at www.auditor.ca.gov)

 Still the practice goes on and has increased, especially in private prisons. 

 

This terrible, old practice has not been eliminated. It is happening to women of color/poor women of all groups, across the nation with cover ups, refused media coverage  and little support. This is why the JRC has picked this issue to champion. It's important to our mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, and families.