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Apr 28

Rectal discombobulation

Think about it: Burgos family still searching one year after.

Think about it: Pinoys believe Lozada claims on NBN-ZTE deal, SWS says.

The PCIJ reports, Malacañang is No. 1 agency with excess exec hires – CSC. Meanwhile, the scuttlebutt on the upcoming round of cabinet musical chairs is that the expected appointment of Gen. Esperon to the Defense portfolio’s being opposed by the current holder of the portfolio (see Ellen Tordesillas).

In two entries, Malacañang 2010 hopes and Cha-cha thrust, counter-thrust, Mon Casiple points out that people haven’t really noticed the Palace trial balloon of reviving constitutional amendments proposals having been shot down by the Senate.

The Inquirer editorial today, Bitter medicine, points to a multimillion-dollar insurance scam perpetrated by a Philippine doctor.

Speaking of doctors, my column for today (with some help from The Philosophical Dictionary), An intrinsically disordered response, begins with a reference to The Cebu Posterior Surgery Scandal and Its National Implications, as the Warrior Lawyer puts it (and he makes a good point about the morbidly humorous aspect of the tragedy). My column also makes reference to the following, which Joseph Gonzales wrote in his Cebu Freeman column, and which I’m reproducing in full because the Philippine Star group’s online people don’t understand the concept of permanent links.

LOOKING ASKANCE

By Joseph Gonzales

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I guess everyone in Cebu must know by now what happened at the Vicente Sotto hospital, where a gay patient who had a spray can extracted from his rectum was subjected to ridicule, by jeering nurses and doctors, and reportedly, even at the hands of outsiders, by the video-taping of his ordeal without his knowledge, and by the uploading of the video into YouTube, where the whole webbed world could witness his suffering.

To a large extent, I’m happy with the public reaction — all the possible groups that could have weighed in on the issue have weighed in, with uniform condemnation of the incident. Spokespersons for the Philippine Medical Association, the Department of Health, the Philippine Nurses Association, the Professional Regulation Commission, and the Human Rights Commission have indicated that this behavior by the hospital staff is unacceptable.

Even the local Integrated Bar and the Office of the Ombudsman (this being a government hospital) and, surprise, surprise, the Archdiocese of Cebu, have taken a position criticizing this blatant disregard for the sensibilities of the patient.

To all these organizations, I must say commendations are in order, for standing up for what is right, speaking out, and most importantly, for their surprisingly ability to look above and beyond the gender issue.

It could have been so easy for all these organizations to have their reactions colored, even shaped, by heterosexual revulsion. After all, look at the circumstances surrounding the medical procedure. The reports have it that the complainant is gay, he hired a male prostitute, he paid money for sex, and had sex with the guy. After insulting the prostitute for being ill-endowed (again, another sensitive issue for male heterosexuals), the florist went to sleep and woke up with the spray can lodged in him.

Even the supposedly liberal press could be accused of bias, coloring the facts by characterizing the occasion as happening after a bout of  “kinky anal sex,” in all probability eliciting an even more negative reaction from its readers. Anal sex is already anathema to this deeply religious nation. But “kinky anal sex”? It’s the same as saying a person is not just ugly, but butt-ugly (but worse).

(Possible discussion point for a journalism class: when does anal sex transform from non-kinky to kinky? Is there a gauge or a barometer that can be used to determine, “ooh, that’s bordering on kinky!”)

Yet, despite the homosexuality, the ‘kinkiness,’ the fact that the complainant is from an underprivileged community, despite all these, the essential abuse suffered by the patient was driven home, and understood by all those in positions of responsibility. Seemingly as one, the community is speaking and declaring that this behavior is not to be tolerated.

If there’s one good thing that comes out of this incident, it will be that future patients can be assured that their medical information will be better protected. As of now, there’re already so many serious breaches of this so-called right to privacy, where doctors not only swap stories with fellow doctors about the results of HIV tests, but in fact, even share it with non-professionals. It’s actually become normal for those with the means to avoid being tested in Cebu, since they know that any positive result will most certainly be broadcasted in the local community. With the scandal and the outcry now on-going, it can be hoped that the professionals will be more circumspect in their treatment of medical information.

It’s certainly a black eye for the profession. I remember when all these doctors and nurses were up in arms just because Teri Hatcher’s line in Desperate Housewives said something about making sure that her doctor wasn’t a graduate of “some med school in the Philippines.” Well, hello. No need for Teri Hatcher or the show to defend themselves, when these doctors and nurses have just so ably demonstrated how low they can sink. And we expect to promote medical tourism in this country?

Ultimately, we should be thankful that despite the humiliation involved, that patient still spoke out. To that patient, thank you for your courage. In my books, you qualify as a hero.

Two news items used:So were the doctors whooping it up when they extracted that spray can? Duque rues missed glory in rectal surgery video. How about this? Cebu priest: Real issue in video is gay sex. Oh, spare me. I’m not keen on how media handles medical emergencies, etc., in general; the reportage is usually lurid.

CAFFiend in Cebu thinks the patient got his just desserts (and the doctors, too); The Four-eyed Journal tackles the whole thing from a Human Rights perspective, as does smoke, who objects to the identities of the doctors being revealed. Bakla Ako, May Reklamo? reproduces Ang Ladlad’s statement. Journalism student SWEET SADNESS: The Sands Chronicles noticed the response was slow in coming.

Incidentally, The Ayson Chronicles points out:

The Philippine Daily Inquirer seems to be taking some technology lessons from George W. Bush. GW has been credited for inventing the term “the internets” (probably during one of his more confused moments) as a new term for what we know as the Internet. This in turn has morphed into the often used term “the interwebs”. In a similar fashion, the PDI appears to have coined the term “the YouTube” when refering to the popular video sharing site.

D’oh!

Overseas, a tart entry, Why people hate Antonin Scalia in The Economist’s Democracy in America blog, worth reproducing in full:

DURING an interview with “60 Minutes”, to be aired this Sunday, Antonin Scalia, a cantankerous Supreme Court justice, was asked if the Bush v Gore decision that decided the 2000 election was political. After calling the claim “nonsense”, Justice Scalia added, “Gee, I really don’t want to get in, get over it. It’s so old by now.” Ah, right, because we’re not feeling any repercussions from that decision still today.

Bingo!

A fascinating (as usual) examination of current American politics, from the perspective of past political contests: see History Unfolding:

Previous posts have focused on the parallels early in the civil war crisis, asking whether this election will be remembered as our 1856 (in which Compromiser/Artist James Buchanan defeated Transcendental/Gilded cusper John C. Fremont, largely because of fears that the election of the Republican Fremont would break up the Union) or that of 1860, which really kicked off the crisis. But 1932 offers some interesting parallels as well, both politically and with respect to the state of the country, and thus a brief review of that year is also in order.

The Democrats in 1932 faced a one-term incumbent whose popularity (then unmeasured by polls) must have sunk to about where George W. Bush’s is today, and who insisted, like Bush, that his policies were sound and that history would vindicate them. They were fortunate, as it turned out, to have three, not two, major candidates–and the rivalry between the top two, Alfred E. Smith, the former Governor of New York and 1928 standard bearer, and his successor Franklin Roosevelt, had something of the same emotional tenor as that between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Ten years older than FDR, Smith had been four times elected Governor of New York, and had gone down to a crushing defeat against Hoover, largely because of his Catholic religion, in 1928. In that same year he had hand-picked Roosevelt, whom many in New York politics had always seen as a dilettante and a lightweight, to run for Governor, only to see Roosevelt very narrowly elected while Smith, who never struck most Americans as Presidential timber, lost his own state. During the next four years Roosevelt made a good impression as governor and carefully cultivated Democratic leaders all over the country, all the while declining even to ask Smith’s advice on questions of policy or patronage. Smith however remained as determined to be the first Catholic President as Clinton is to be the first woman, and he felt just as entitled to the nod, feeling vindicated by the events of the last four years. The third candidate, Speaker of the House John Nance Garner from Texas, competed with Roosevelt for support in the South and West, while the two New Yorkers battled it out in the Northeast.

Had three candidates remained strong in this year’s race, the third one would now be able to decide the outcome. That is what happened at Chicago in 1932, when Garner, backed by William Randolph Hearst, switched to Roosevelt Democrats still needed a 2/3 majority for the nomination in 1932 (FDR had the rule changed, fortunately, four years later), and Roosevelt began on the first ballot with 666 votes, just 104 shy of the nomination, as Smith polled 202 and Garner 90. Garner switched on the fourth ballot in exchange for the Vice Presidency–a decision he bitterly regretted for the rest of his life and in 1960 urged Lyndon Johnson not to repeat. Smith was never reconciled to the party’s choice (and actually opposed Roosevelt in 1936), but that had little effect on the outcome.

Essentially the Democratic Party in 1932 had everything going for it.

In the blogosphere, I’m back to blogging over at Inquirer Current. My entry for today is on The Top 100 Public Intellectuals contest being held by Foreign Policy.

The Big Event was, of course, iBlog4 last Saturday (scroll of honor over at Philippines Election Journal). A comprehensive account is in The Journal of the Jester-in-Exile. Bloggers Inside a Bum’s Mind and realcutie: that’s me also summarized the proceedings: Zen liveblogging even, courtesy of On Site. Stories and reactions from bloggers abound, see Arbet.log:

There are certain things to do when attending blogger events. Basically, you should expand your network by meeting new bloggers. You listen to talks, take down notes. Bring calling cards, or anything that will leave a good impression on everyone (chicken costume, anyone?); a calling card will do. If there’s a chance to broadcast your URL (the open mic session), grab it.

I did none of those things at iBlog 4.

And from Last Leaf Designs, this gem:

During the talks, there was a moment of stupidity for me (someone’s supposed to be surprised right about now, I’ll be happy even if it’s just make-believe), that was before Pinoyblogero’s talk. After he was introduced, I was mildly surprised because I was expecting him to look like his avatar. LOL What kind of person in their right mind would actually think of something like that, right? I mean, seriously. Oh man, how stupider can I get?

And more stories and responses from Rebyu, Sweet Perceptions, 214, My corner, bloggin’ in Asia, cafemom and Random Snowflakes. And a critique of the after-party from sexynomad (I have to sympathize as I have a horror of party games).

Thanks to SWEET SADNESS: The Sands Chronicles for jotting down notes on my talk (see her notes on Luz Rimban‘s and Janette Toral‘s talks, too). There was photo coverage, see Adventures and Stories of Azrael in his Merryland and Shari Shari Shari and even Video clips, too!

It was nifty seeing familiar faces like Here’s to Life, and Touched by An Angel, and meeting bloggers like Life with Ria (better known to me as Alleba Politics), The Marocharim Experiment, The McVie Show, Season Seven, Pinoy Life At Large, Prudence M.D. and Cokskiblue for the first time.

And the calling cards of bloggers (see Vaes9) swiftly changed hands. Until recently, I never had calling cards so was loathe to collect them; also, even if I have them, I’m highly disorganized so they just pile up. But for the record, here are the cards that ended up in my shirt pocket, which means it was nifty meeting these bloggers, too: Magikel, PinoyTech.TV, subtleoasis, The D Spot, The Yogini from Manila.

And you may be interested in signing the Online Petition for the Passage of the Cheaper Medicines Act.

66 comments

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  1. KG

    re:you know who

    CVJ,

    metapositions, remember?

    those are people who never allow people to question what they have seen or experienced.

    In short,bakit ba marunong ka pa? ang dating .

    Leytenian,
    IT is useless to have estimations of how benigno thinks,para sa kanya once you attack his attacks speculation na ng personal circumstances and ad hominems(shooting the messenger).
    Been there,done that.

  2. cvj

    Benign0, the requirement for being an intellectual is to be curious about people, events, ideas and how these relate to each other. And when you’re that curious, being intellectual is fun (in a productive kind of way). On the other hand, one can be serious without being curious, in which case that person is most likely just striking a pose.

  3. leytenian

    KG,
    thanks for reminding me. benigno is actually funny ,not serious. It’s very hard to be intellectual if you aren’t serious. lol.

    benigno: ” I thought you’d never ask.”
    good point.

  4. The Equalizer

    This sad episode will damage the reputation of our medical practioners abroad .

    The “Desperate Housewives” uproar is nothing compared to this incident.

    I wonder if this the effect of the current exodus of the best medical students to the nursing profession in the hope of better-paying jobs as nurses abroad.

    Are the remaining ones literally the “assholes”?

  5. supremo

    This reminds mo of the “Bansot” word being used by Manolo in some of his column against Gloria. And of course the so many NAMES printed in this blog….-rego

    The average Filipino man’s height is around 5′ 4″ while the Filipino woman is around 4’11”. Si Gloria parang 4’11”. Average lang si Gloria. Kailan ba sinabi ni Manolo na bansot si Gloria? Yung bansot sa column niya character di ba? Si rego pala ang nagsabi na bansot si Gloria. Oo nga pala rego yung listahan ng ‘nyo’ tapos na ba?

  6. grd

    finally, the cheaper medicine bill was passed. although it’s long overdue, it’s a welcome news. truly a big help for the people.

    Ang sa akin lang kung tuluyan nang patayin ang generics only provision sana huwag pati ang drug price regulation na tutulong upang huwag masyadong maging mahal ang mga gamot na mabisa sa sakit ng mga ordinaryong pasyente… flowell

    at least parallel importation is still included in the bill as well as the limits to patent protection.

    i understand the generics only provision although not included will not be abandoned by the lower house and will continue to push for it’s implementation.

  7. Bencard

    bansot, dwarf, liliputian, unano are just a few of the favorite derisive put-downs used by the hate-gloria group upon the president as though the childish name-calling would help oust her, or force her to resign. “character”, you say supremo? how could anyone judge character by physical stature? are mahal, mura or dagol of bad character just because they are tiny physically? and those making that kind of judgment, are they ‘giants’ in terms of character?

  8. Bencard

    cvj, you cannot be “intellectual” if you are one-track minded, prejudiced or judgmental. intellectuals look at things from both sides, if not from all dimensions. they don’t jump to conclusions without solid foundations, and they don’t claim “facts” when all they have are one-sided speculations. btw, intellectuals rely on their own studies, investigation and analysis to form their own opinion, not on the say-so of others no matter how well-known.

  9. leytenian

    Equalizer:
    “Are the remaining ones literally the “assholes”?”

    Most Medical professionals abide the rules and regulations and code of ethics set by the licensing board and place of work ( employer). In our country, both place of work and licensing board may have no clear, strict policies, procedures and guidelines that are consistently implemented thru continuing education and seminarsthat our professionals must adhere. A standard of practice must be updated and provided to each individual practioner not only at the time of licensing and renewal but during employee orientation for new hire to fully implement it. Penalties and monetary fines must be clear such as suspension, inactivation and full deactivation of licenses.

    If those policies and procedures were implemented in the first place like a system that everyone must follow, unethical behaviour could have been prevented.

    Same thing with our Rice Crisis… if policies were in place, then occurence may be decreased and curable in the short term. In my own understanding, our Rice crisis is an addition to our current situations. Employee overtime may be required. Employees of the Philippines are our leaders…. Let’s see what’s next.

  10. leytenian

    The problems is our country are accumulations of problems from the past such as:
    1. banking system ( non transparency of financial transactions) , worsening of corruption

    2. Political Dynasty and too many non performing leaders.

    3. It’s hard to let go.Cultural issues? Instead of learning from the past to face the current situation, our current leaders have failed again to move us into a better economic position. People trust them to be our role models thus people are willing to pay them salaries.

    The attitude of the people cannot be blamed. There is a difference between education and lack of knowledge. It seems to me that our leaders lack the knowledge and the people are educated.

  11. DevilsAdvc8

    But as soon as they enter the OR, the behavior changes instantly OR is like a hallowed place, it is a place respected by everyone, it is a place where lives are saved and rarely, lost. The surgeon is akin to a maestro of the orchestra, everyone follows his command. The operating team work in silence (except maybe a music piped in the OR), everything is done by the number, surgical instruments are passed without verbally asking for them, everyone knows how to anticipate the moves, the whole thing is done by the book.

    do not kid yourself. take it from someone who’s been inside the O.R. of a public hospital. First of all, the team RARELY works in silence. and the surgeon, more often than not, is not a maestro at an orchestra but simply an ass. the patient, being sedated as hell, is made fun of and their genitals played with.

    i still support a public backlash against the medical team that handled that operation. release the names abroad, send it to all possible employers. easy as that and they get their just desserts. mabulok sila dito sa pinas!

    typical church reaction: sinisi pa ang bading. gago mga paring ganito. di ba sila nag-aral ng turo ni Hesus? hate the sin save the sinner. Jesus forgave a prostitute and said: who among you has not sinned cast the first stone.

    mga sinless fathers, bumalik sana sainyo mga batong pinukol nyo! walang-wala man lang si Hesus sa puso nyo!

    ang baboy talaga, nag home-in lang sa bading, yung mga doktor na patong-patong na kabulastugan ang ginawa parang kinunsinti pa. sinong maniniwala sa mga paring ganito?

  12. DevilsAdvc8

    I wonder if this the effect of the current exodus of the best medical students to the nursing profession in the hope of better-paying jobs as nurses abroad. Are the remaining ones literally the “assholes”?

    YES. this is the future. remember? one of my predictions. i called it, THE WASTELAND. and you should be more alarmed that this is happening with the teaching profession.

    it only takes some imagination to see how the philippine’s future would look like when the final exodus has left.

  13. benign0

    typical church reaction: sinisi pa ang bading. gago mga paring ganito. di ba sila nag-aral ng turo ni Hesus? hate the sin save the sinner. Jesus forgave a prostitute and said: who among you has not sinned cast the first stone. – Devil

    The Church can’t seem to see past its quaint and archaic prejudices.

    It raises the question of what kind of example it sets to the people it presumes to preach to.

    Kawawa nga naman talaga ang Pinoy.

    The Pinoy population is too vacuous to come up with its own vision;

    And the people and institutions to which they rely on to provide a vision can only dish out some worn out medieval belief system.

    – 😀

  14. TonGuE-tWisTeD

    On priests and homosexuality:

    There is a priest who had to leave for several days. So he looked for another priest to fill in for him in the confession box. He called every priest he knew. None were available. He finally called a Rabbi.

    The Rabbi said “I don’t know, our religions are very different.”

    The priest said “It’s okay you line the sin up with the punishment on this chart.”

    The rabbi gave in and decided to fill in. The next few days the rabbi listened to confessions and helped the people.

    The third day a man came in and said “Father forgive me for I have sinned.”

    Rabbi: How have you sinned?”

    Person: I had anal sex.”

    The rabbi was stumped for that sin was not on the chart. So the rabbi asked the man to wait. The rabbi asked everyone what the punishment was for anal sex. Finally the altar boy walked in.

    The rabbi asked, “What does the father give you for anal sex?”

    The altar boy replied “Usually two cookies and a glass of milk.”

  15. leytenian

    LOL, funny..I do miss Benigno..

  16. Prudence

    Hi! It’s nice meeting you at iBlog4! Hope to meet you again in other blogging events 🙂

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