By DENISE GRADY JAN. 30, 2014
Daniel Davidson, in a system to help him use his laptop, had an appointment to treat his pelvic pain canceled because of a ban. Rajah Bose for The New York Times
After months of protest from doctors and patients, a professional group that certifies obstetrician-gynecologists has lifted a ban it imposed in September and now says its members are free to treat men.
The decision, announced Thursday by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was a reversal of its September directive, and followed partial concessions the group had made in November and December in an effort to mollify critics.
Board members refused to be interviewed, butissued a statement in which the executive director, Dr. Larry C. Gilstrap, said: “This change recognizes that in a few rare instances board certified diplomates were being called upon to treat men for certain conditions and to participate in research. This issue became a distraction from our mission to ensure that women receive high-quality and safe health care from certified obstetricians and gynecologists.”
The uproar began last fall soon after the board, based in Dallas, posted on its website what it called “a more expanded version of the definition of an obstetrician-gynecologist.” A notice in a red box near the top of its home page stated that members were “expected to practice consistent with this definition,” and warned, “Failure to do so may result in loss of certification.”
The directive prohibited treating male patients, except in certain circumstances like circumcising newborns, treating transgender people or helping couples with infertility or genetic problems. The board also said members had to devote at least 75 percent of their practice to obstetrics and gynecology.
Doctors take such requirements seriously. Although board certification is voluntary and not required by law, doctors need it to work because most hospitals and insurers insist on it, as do many patients.
In an interview in November, Dr. Gilstrap said the board’s action in September was meant to protect patients and the integrity of the specialty because some gynecologists were practicing other types of medicine, like treating men for low testosterone or performing liposuction and other cosmetic procedures on women and men. And some, he said, ran ads offering those services and describing themselves as board certified, without specifying that their certification was in obstetrics and gynecology, an omission that could mislead patients into thinking they were certified in plastic surgery or some other specialty.
The first reaction against the September directive came from gynecologists who were screening men at high risk for anal cancer, using techniques similar to those used to detect cervical cancer in women. Few doctors had expertise in screening men for anal cancer, those gynecologists said, and they feared the ban would interrupt patient care and interfere with a major government-funded study aimed at finding out whether screening for precancerous growths can prevent the cancer.
The board initially refused to change its position, but in November, it relented on that point and gave members permission to continue screening men for the cancer.
More protests erupted. Doctors, patients and physical therapists implored the board to make another exception, this time for gynecologists who had expertise in treating men for chronic pelvic pain, a poorly understood condition that can be severe enough to leave patients unable to work.
RECENT COMMENTSJHL 23 hours agoAs a practicing Gyn who also performs other services, I applaud ABOG's decision to reverse its policy on not treating men. I am...
Ian Sankey 23 hours agoI actually know 2 Gynecologists and I can say for a fact they'll never treat other men, we've joked about this many times while discussing...
Bill 23 hours agoThey should move the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology out of Texas. Texans have crazy notions about women, sex and reproductive...
At first, the board denied the requests. Then, in December, it saidgynecologists could continue to treat men already in their care for pelvic pain, but they were not allowed to take on new cases.
The board’s troubles were still not over. On Jan. 10, a lawyer wrote, threatening to sue unless the prohibition against treating men was withdrawn. The lawyer, Tom Curtis of Nossaman LLP, based in Irvine, Calif., suggested that the ban violated antitrust laws. His client was Dr. David Matlock, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Los Angeles who performs a variety of cosmetic vaginal operations and also does liposuction on men and women. In an interview, Dr. Matlock said 4.7 percent of his patients were men.
A lawyer for the board replied to Mr. Curtis on Jan. 21, stating that the group was considering another revised definition — one that would delete the prohibition on treating men. The lawyer, Stephen L. Tatum, of Cantey Hanger LLP in Fort Worth, asked that Mr. Curtis “consider the revised definition before taking any further legal action.” Mr. Curtis provided copies of the correspondence to The New York Times.
On Thursday, the board announced its decision. The ban on treating men is gone, as is the requirement that members devote at least 75 percent of their practice to obstetrics and gynecology. Now, the board says members must devote “a majority” of their practice to the specialty.
David Margulies, the head of a public relations firm and a spokesman for the board, said in an email that the threat of a lawsuit had nothing to do with the board’s decision, and that “the changes were in the works prior to correspondence from Mr. Curtis.” Mr. Margulies said the board had begun considering the issue in November, after a New York Times article described doctors’ worries about patients at risk for anal cancer.
Stephanie Prendergast, a physical therapist in San Francisco and a past president of the International Pelvic Pain Society, a professional association, said by email that the ban on treating men had interrupted treatment plans for men with pelvic pain, and that Thursday’s decision was “a victory for patients.”
Male, presumed dangerous
August 18, 2012
by Debra Jopson
As a young man eager to get into a boom industry with a robust future, Craig d'Arcy spent several years as the only male studying childcare alongside more than 100 women at TAFE and university in Newcastle.
Early in his career, his childcare centre boss told him parents had highlighted in yellow on their child's enrolment form they wanted no male worker to go near their offspring. Two decades on, as founder of the national Males in Early Childhood Network Group, d'Arcy has heard about centres that ban men from changing nappies and is used to people thinking those who want to work with the young are either gay or have evil intent.
So he easily recognised the vein of fear about male contact with children that popped up when two men went public recently about their embarrassment over airline staff moving them away from unaccompanied minors.
''The stereotype is that men are predators who are looking for opportunities to abuse young children,'' says d'Arcy, who is co-ordinator of a Mullumbimby preschool and has six children of his own. ''There seems to be that automatic assumption.''
Most of the 2900 men who make their living caring for under-fives butt up against these assumptions regularly in a way that their 100,000-plus female counterparts do not, he says.
''It's a very common story,'' d'Arcy says.
Most paedophiles are relatives or trusted family friends but, as more perpetrators are caught awareness grows and, with it, a fear that can become out of proportion to the danger.
A Newcastle University lecturer on family issues, Richard Fletcher, knows of a school principal who wanted to cancel a program allowing grandfathers to run playground activities for children when one of the men had too much to drink, spooking the staff.
An underlying attitude that ''men are dangerous and we can't manage them'' also grips staff on some maternity and neonatal wards, where fathers ask to sleep near their partners and newborns, says Fletcher.
Anecdotally, in at least one Sydney babysitting co-operative, parents made it clear that they did not want a father to turn up alone to care for their children.
Predator fear has been woven into numerous airline policies. Virgin Australia's was revealed when a flight attendant asked firefighter Johnny McGirr to move away from two young boys, saying it was policy that men should not sit with unaccompanied minors. McGirr said he felt stripped of respect.
Nurse Daniel McCluskie said he felt he had a sign above his head that said ''child molester'' after he was shifted from his seat on a flight from Wagga Wagga to Sydney because of Qantas policy. He must pass annual checks on his suitability to work with children, but the policy apparently does not take that into account.
When the Herald asked Qantas about the origins of its policy, the company re-issued a statement saying its policy was consistent with those of other airlines around the world, is designed to minimise risk and that it reflects parents' concerns and the need to maximise children's safety.
Virgin Australia, which introduced its policy seven years ago, has now employed an organisational psychologist to conduct a review. It will include, in quaint Virgin-speak, ''researching guest feedback''.
''I understand why airlines have policies, but there is a more subtle way to enforce them than to march up to a guy and make him feel like a paedophile when he just sits in a seat,'' says crime novelist Michael Robotham.
As the father of three daughters aged 12, 15 and 18, he blames the 24-hour news cycle for the heightened perception that males are inherently dangerous to children.
''Only a month ago, I had a pool party for my 12-year-old's birthday. She had all her girlfriends there. There were 11- and 12-year-old girls jumping around the pool in bikinis. I wanted to take photographs, but in the back of my mind I was thinking: Can I take photographs?''
He no longer pulls out the camera at the beach: ''I feel I should be able to but I think society is saying I can't.''
Robotham's latest novel, Say You're Sorry, about two 15-year-old girls who go missing during their summer holidays, connects to deep fears about violated children. But he does not agree with helicopter supervision of children or the men in their lives.
''Even though I write the sort of novels that involve young girls in jeopardy, I am a complete realist when it comes to the crux of the matter. Crime statistics show that per head of the population, there is no marked increase in violent crime, child abuse and other attacks than there was 10 to 20 years ago. When there is an incident where someone tries to pick up a child, there is saturation coverage. Twenty-four hours a day, the stories dominate the headlines and the public has the perception that every second child will be snatched off the street and we have to be ever vigilant [because] our child could be next.''
Thus, when he found a four-year-old girl lost in a shopping mall, he quickly looked around for the first woman who could help because of the possibility that he would be considered a paedophile, he says.
At his Mullumbimby preschool, d'Arcy ensures a colleague is watching while he assists any child who has a toileting accident, or comforts them following a fall.
''Over time, I've learnt how to protect myself. Whenever I meet a new family my standard spiel is: I am married. I have my own children. I'm saying to them: I'm normal. I'm here for the right reasons.
''It's about being aware of that. It's something your female colleagues don't have to think about. You have to prove yourself as a male and build up trust.''
He is lobbying the federal Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs to work on lifting the proportion of men working with very young children above the 2.6 per cent it is now.
It is good for children to see men nurturing, caring, teaching and working with their female colleagues, he says.
And eventually men might be spared the experience of the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, whose account of a past flight was recalled by Forbes magazine writer Joshua Gans this week.
Johnson was delighted when the British Airways flight attendant announced he had to move away from the two restless, difficult children beside him.
''A man cannot sit with children,'' she declared.
Whereupon the children stymied his escape by declaring: ''But he's our father.''
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/male-presumed-dangerous-20120817-24dtz.html#ixzz241KqG6Hc
The Liberal Sisterhood of the Plundering Hacks
by Michelle Malkin
Hey, remember when Nancy Pelosi and a gaggle of Democratic women vowed to eradicate Washington’s culture of corruption? Tee-hee. Instead of breaking up the Good Ol’ Boys Club, Capitol Hill’s leading liberal ladies have established their very own taxpayer-funded Sisterhood of the Plundering Hacks.
This week, the names of two of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s gal pals surfaced in a mortifying, Animal House-style scandal. If the allegations of whistleblowers pan out, DHS may soon be known as DSH: The Department of Sexual Harassment.
According to FoxNews.com’s Judson Berger, DHS chief of staff for Immigration and Customs Enforcement Suzanne Barr put herself on voluntary leaveafter details of her lewd behavior were disclosed as part of an ongoing discrimination and retaliation lawsuit. In “newly emerging affidavits,” Berger reported, “one of the employees claimed that in October 2009, while in a discussion about Halloween plans, the individual witnessed Barr turn to a senior ICE employee and say: ‘You a sexy (expletive deleted).’”
Striking a blow for equal opportunity pervs everywhere, Barr “then looked at his crotch and asked, ‘How long is it anyway?’ according to the affidavit.”
Barr is accused of numerous other acts intended to “humiliate and intimidate male employees.” Yet another account from the lawsuit detailed Barr’s vulgar text messages to a colleague while on a boozy trip to Colombia. On the same junket, Barr allegedly offered to perform oral sex on another DHS employee. Barr, a lawyer who previously served as Napolitano’s director of legislative affairs when the DHS secretary was governor of Arizona, had no law enforcement experience before ascending the federal ranks.
A few months after Barr followed Napolitano to DHS in 2009, another crony tagged along. Dora Schriro, who served as director of Arizona’s Department of Corrections under then-Gov. Napolitano, was appointed by her BFF to head the Detention and Removal Operations office despite zero experience in that critical homeland security policy area. The suit claims that Schriro had a “longstanding relationship with (Napolitano)” that resulted in preferential treatment.
A few plum posts here, a few plum posts there. Pretty soon, the sleaze piles up.
But DHS has nothing on the public relations slush fund created by Obamacare — and forked over to Obama on-air surrogate Kiki McLean. The longtime Democratic operative and self-described “true D.C. insider” heads up the global public affairs division at Porter Novelli, which secured a $20 million contract to peddle Obamacare to the public. The firm claims it struck gold after a “competitive bidding process.” But members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have called for probes into that and other shady business-as-usual PR contracts. And HHS, headed by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, is dragging its feet on meeting information requests.
Such obstructionism is nothing new to Sebelius, whose tenure as Kansas governor is still the subject of an ongoing criminal court case against Planned Parenthood and the Sunflower State’s health officials. Last year, the plaintiffs discovered that health bureaucrats presided over the “routine” shreddingof “documents related to felony charges the abortion giant faces.” Sebelius doggedly fought transparency motions in the proceedings for years.
Are Obama’s female inspectors general watching out for taxpayers any better than their male counterparts? As the boys in my family like to say: negatory.
Interior Department acting IG Mary Kendall is knee-stocking-deep in a conflict-of-interest scandal, which alleges that she potentially helped White House officials cover up their doctoring of scientific documents that led to the fraudulent, job-killing drilling moratorium of 2010.
Acting Department of Justice IG Cynthia Schnedar, a longtime employee and colleague of now-Attorney General Eric Holder, has an ethics imbroglio all her own. As I reported in June, she worked under Holder in the 1990s and co-filed several legal briefs with him. Schnedar recklessly released secret Fast and Furious audiotapes to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix before reviewing them. The tapes somehow found their way into the hands of the local ATF office. Both remain targets of congressional probes.
Over on Capitol Hill, Democratic women are too preoccupied with their own nest-feathering and backside-covering to police the Obama administration:
California Democratic Rep. Laura Richardson, a tax dodger and loan defaulter, received a House ethics wrist slap two weeks ago after investigators concluded she had “improperly pressured her congressional staffers to work on her campaign, verbally abused and intimidated them, used taxpayer-funded resources for personal and political activities, and obstructed the investigation,” as the Los Angeles Times summed it up.
Fellow California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters still hasn’t faced an ethics trial over her meddling in minority-owned OneUnited Bank. The financial institution, in which her husband had invested, received $12 million in federal TARP bailout money after Waters’ office personally intervened and lobbied the Treasury Department in 2008.
Nevada Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley faces a formal House ethics investigation into charges that she abused her position to benefit her husband’s business interests.
And investigative author Peter Schweizer exposed House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and her husband’s smelly insider deals involving the initial public offering of credit-card company Visa.
Out: Drain the swamp. In: Last one in is a rotten egg. Kick off your pumps and 3, 2, 1 … cannonball!
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Airline sex discrimination policy controversy
Three airlines, British Airways, Qantas and Air New Zealand, have attracted criticism for controversial seating policies which discriminate against adult male passengers on the basis of their gender. The companies refuse to allow unaccompanied children to be seated next to adult males on their flights, leading to criticism that they regard all men as a danger to children.
The policies resulted in protests against the airlines and criticism by civil liberties and children's charities. British Airways ended its discriminatory policy in August, 2010 following successful legal action undertaken by Mirko Fischer, himself a victim of the policy.
British AirwaysBA banned men from sitting next tounaccompanied children on flightsIn March 2001, it was revealed that British Airways had a policy of not seating adult male passengers next to unaccompanied children, even if the child's parents are elsewhere on the plane. This led to accusations that the airline considered all men to be potential paedophiles and women to be incapable of such abuse. The issue was first raised when a business executive had moved seats to be closer to two of his colleagues.
A flight attendant then asked him to move because he was then sitting next to two unaccompanied children which was a breach of BA company policy. The executive said he felt humiliated as a result, stating "I felt I was being singled out and that I was being accused of something." British Airways admitted that staff were under instructions to keep men away from unaccompanied children whenever possible because of the dangers of male paedophiles.
This issue again came to prominence in 2005 following complaints by Michael Kemp who had been instructed to swap seats with his wife when on a GB Airways flight. The flight attendant informed him that for an adult male stranger to be sitting next to a child was a breach of the airline's child welfare regulations. This case was considered even more bizarre than other instances as the girl's parents were on board the flight but such a policy still applied.Michele Elliott, director of the children's charity Kidscape stated that the rule "is utterly absurd. It brands all men as potential sex offenders".
The most high profile victim of the policy was politician (and later London Mayor) Boris Johnson, who criticised the company after they mistakenly attempted to separate him from his own children on a flight. He stated that those who create or defend such policies "fail to understand the terrible damage that is done by this system of presuming guilt in the entire male population just because of the tendencies of a tiny minority", linking such discrimination to the reduced number of male teachers and therefore lower achievement in schools. Like others, Johnson also raised the policy's flaw in ignoring female abusers and branded airlines with such policies as "cowardly" for giving in to "loony hysteria."
British Airways defended the policy, stating it had been implemented as a result of requests from customers. The company claimed that it "was responding to a fear of sexual assaults."
Court caseIn January 2010 businessman Mirko Fischer from Luxembourg sued the airline for sex discrimination following an incident where he was forced to change seats as a result of the policy, thus separating him from his pregnant wife. Fischer stated "I was made to feel like a criminal in front of other passengers. It was totally humiliating." On 24 June 2010, Mr Fischer was successful in winning compensation from British Airways with the company admitting sex discrimination in Mr Fischer's case. BA paid £2,161 in costs and £750 in damages which Fischer donated to child protection charities. BA said that the "policy was now under review". In August 2010, British Airways changed its policy and began seating unaccompanied minors in a nondiscriminatory manner near the cabin crew.
Qantas and Air New ZealandMen remain barred from sitting next to accompanied children on Qantas planesIn November 2005, it was revealed that Qantas and Air New Zealand have seating policies similar to that of British Airways. The policy came to light following an incident in 2004 when Mark Wolsay, who was seated next to a young boy on a Qantas flight in New Zealand, was asked to change seats with a female passenger. A steward informed him that "it was the airline's policy that only women were allowed to sit next to unaccompanied children".
Mr. Wolsay, a shipping manager, stated he felt the policy "totally discriminatory", and the New Zealand Herald suggested to the airline that the implication of the policy was that "it considered male passengers to be dangerous to children". New Zealand's Green Party stated that the policy was discriminatory and reported the matter to the Human Rights Commissioner. On learning of the policies several protests occurred including a 22 hour tree top protest by double amputee Kevin Gill in Nelson. He stated that the policy could be the thin end of a wedge with men soon banned from sitting next to children at sports events and on other forms of public transport. Gill also raised the issue of what would happen if the policy had been race based and targeted ethnic minorities rather than men.
The publicity given to the issue in 2005 caused other victims of the policy to publicly describe their experiences. For example, Bethlehem fire officer Philip Price revealed he had been forced to switch seats in 2002 on an Air New Zealand flight to Christchurch.
Cameron Murphy, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, criticised the policy and stated that "there was no basis for the ban". He said it was wrong to assume that all adult males pose a danger to children. The policy has also been criticised for failing to take female abusers into consideration as well as ignoring instances of children who commit sex offences. As with the British Airways case, critics such as school headmaster Kelvin Squire made the link between such policies and wider problems in society such as the shortage of male teachers, with others drawing parallels with the case of Rosa Parks.
Some have defended the policy however, with NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People Gillian Calvert stating that there were more male sex offenders than female and thus "in the absence of any other test, it's one way in which the airline can reduce the risk of children travelling alone". She believes that the likelihood of an attack was rare but not impossible claiming "it's only a few men who do this sort of stuff, but when they do it they diminish all men". Air New Zealand spokesman David Jamieson said the company had no intention of reviewing the policy and admitted that it had been in place for many years.