We rely on doctors for so much.
They manage our illnesses and keep us healthy, and in exchange, we share with them things we would never share with anyone else.
Doctors know so many of our secrets and they see so many of our most intimate body parts. We trust them with our lives.
When they challenge that trust, it can be a terrifying experience.
Ethel Easter learned this first hand when she had a run-in with a surgeon. After a tip-off from another doctor, she decided to hide a tape recorder in her hair and document her own surgery.
What happens next is horrific.
Ethel Easter needed a hernia operation. When she tried to schedule it, doctors gave her the run-around. They told her she would have to wait two months.
Ethel started to panic. She needed the surgery; she couldn’t wait two months.
When she started to cry, the surgeon chastised her.
Already upset, Ethel received a tip from another doctor at the hospital who told her the doctor had left condescending and negative notes about her in her file.
So Ethel decided to do something about it. When she finally had the surgery, she recorded the entire thing.
Having surgery is an incredibly vulnerable experience. Not only is your life in someone else’s hands, but you’re bare naked, leaving your body within the trust of others.
When Ethel listened to the tape, she heard the surgeons making fun of her. They made comments about her body, her appearance, and her race.
Ethel felt violated. She felt unsafe. She couldn’t believe that her recording confirmed her worst fears.
Luckily, the surgery went well and Ethel has been able to heal physically. But the emotional damage will last indefinitely.
When confronted with the recording by local news outlets, the hospital decided not to comment.
Ethel is contemplating a law suit, but ultimately, she just hopes for the safety and respect for anyone who need surgery. She wants the comments and insults to end.
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