A Visit to a Doctor

by a Prisoner, VSPW
Walk into the “doctor’s” office (this doctor does not have a license to practice medicine) and you see disposable gynecological instruments on a cart spilling out of an open, by now un-sterile, pack. You don’t want to touch anything, much less sit on the exam table, where the paper still sits from the last pelvic exam.
So you stand there and wait until you hear some deep uttering from a man in a white lab coat, who looks like mama from “Throw Mama from the Train” with less hair. If you say “Excuse me?” he looks up over his glasses and from deep down in his enormous gut he yells, “what do you want?” quickly and sharply as if it were one word.
Frightened, you begin to explain your health problem, whether gastrointestinal bleeding, severe abdominal or chest pain, a broken ankle, or anything else that would warrant a visit to an emergency room. The “doctor” interrupts with “you’re faking!”
Then, while looking through your medical file, he insists that you haven’t had a pap smear in a while, so if you’re appealing enough he will advise that you ought to have one. Unless you sign a refusal, you succumb to what others consider sexual molestation, physical torture and the feeling of being raped. One woman, too afraid to appeal because of repercussions, talked with tears in her eyes of his fingers trifling with her clitoris and simulating sexual intercourse. “I felt like I was raped by that disgusting man.”
In addition to your existing medical problem, you have the trauma and cutting psychological torment inflicted by this inhumane, un-compassionate and hateful “medical” staff. This is the reality here.
[Unfortunately, the above story is not unique. The October 28, 1998 issue of Journal of American Medical Association documents many cases of doctors whose medical licenses were revoked in several states for malpractice and sexual misconduct. Yet those doctors were recruited by penal institutions to practice medicine there. Sidney M. Wolfe, MD, director of Public Cituzen’s Health Research Group in Washington, D.C. is quoted: “It is unethical and inhumane to say that a physician isn’t trustworthy or good enough to treat people in the community, but that he or she is good enough to care for inmates of correctional facilities or mental hospitals.” He calls this practice “reckless and dangerous.” E. Fuller Torrey, MD, executive director of the Stanley Foundation Research Program in Bethesda, Md. is also quoted: “…there is a strongly disproportionate percentage of incompetent physicians for whom correctional facilities are the place of last resort to practice. The use of special licensing arrangements that allow physicians who cannot be licensed to treat the public to treat sick and mentally ill inmates in prisons or jails is a scandal. It is a scandal that is being tolerated because we don’t care what happens to these people. And we don’t seem to care that much what happens after they’re released.” –Editors]