Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Three Views of the Crisis in Women’s Health - The New York Times

A woman receives a breast cancer diagnosis and opts for a mastectomy — only for her doctor to object: "But you aren't married."

A young girl suffering from endometriosis, a condition in which uterine cells migrate to other areas of the body, is informed by her doctor that childbirth will ease the pain. "I'm only 11," she later tells her support group, baffled.

A woman complains of vomiting uncontrollably, up to 100 times a night. She is offered antidepressants. When it finally occurs to a doctor to examine her further, to discover and perform surgery on her barely functioning gallbladder, she is on the verge of death.

These aren't tales from the dark ages of medicine. They are ordinary modern realities documented in Maya Dusenbery's well researched, wonderfully truculent new book, "Doing Harm," one of a cluster of new investigations into gender bias in medical treatment that also includes "Ask Me About My Uterus," by Abby Norman, and "Invisible," by Michele Lent Hirsch.

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