Friday, July 01, 2011

Surgeon who mutilated woman's genitals jailed for only two years

And the "regulators" should be in jail as well. The NSW Government can't explain why a doctor banned from obstetrics was able to continue working for them in that field -- performing operations which left many women mutilated. Dr Graeme Steven Reeves is alleged to have mutilated or sexually abused as many as 800 patients. The NSW Medical Board ruled in 1997 that Graeme Stephen Reeves "suffers from personality and relations problems and depression that detrimentally affects his mental capacity to practise medicine". The board ordered him to stop practising obstetrics, but he defied the ban and took up a position in 2001 as a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist for the Southern Area Health Service, working at Bega and Pambula hospitals

A DOCTOR who indecently assaulted two patients, removed a woman's genitals without her consent and committed fraud, has been sentenced to at least two years jail.

NSW District Court Judge Greg Woods sentenced the 60-year-old doctor, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to a minimum of two years and a maximum of three and a half year years.

In March, a jury found him guilty of maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on widow Carolyn DeWaegeneire with intent to cause her grievous bodily harm in 2002.

"I have to live with what happened to me 24-7," Ms DeWaegeneire told the NSW District Court last month.

She told Judge Greg Woods that the doctor had cut off her entire genitals, "the very core of my being".

She said the operation occurred exactly one year after the death of her beloved husband from cancer.

The doctor was found guilty of indecently assaulting two women but acquitted of inappropriately touching three patients, in April, at a judge-alone trial.

Two months earlier, the doctor pleaded guilty to obtaining a financial advantage by deception, involving his breaching a ban by carrying out obstetric procedures.

Ms DeWaegeneire, who has given permission for her name to be published, was a 58-year-old widow when she sought treatment for a small patch of discoloured skin on her labia, later identified as a form of pre-cancer.

The jury accepted that the doctor told her he was going to remove a lesion but never mentioned taking anything else, including her clitoris.


Lesbian housing. Is this legal?

What about Victoria's strict anti-discrimination laws? I guess they can be "bent" for favoured groups

AS an older lesbian, Thelma Tapp was becoming anxious about ageing. She had heard stories of discrimination and homophobia inside nursing homes. But thanks to a new social housing project in Brunswick it is likely she will not have to face it.

The housing, for lesbians aged over 65 experiencing housing stress, is believed to be the first of its type in Australia. It was developed by the Matrix Guild of Victoria and the Victorian Women’s Housing Association.

The three, two-bedroom units in a complex in Albert St are wheelchair accessible, making them suitable for ageing tenants.

Thelma (not her real name) and two other women will be able to rent the units for one quarter of their income for as long as they wish. On the open market, the units would fetch about $350 a week - the equivalent of Thelma’s entire income.

A workplace injury has left her unlikely to work again and she had been homeless for 18 months, so the prospect of affordable long-term accommodation was a huge relief. “I’ve been given this wonderful opportunity and for the first time in 18 months I can finally call somewhere home,” she said.

Matrix will also put her in touch with other lesbians living in the inner-north. “I’m not going to be lonely,” she said. “It’s just been life changing.”

Matrix Guild housing convener Anneke Deutsch said its mission to provide affordable housing to older lesbians began years ago in response to reports of discrimination in aged-care facilities.

“When older women are vulnerable and reliant on people who might be homophobic doing personal care, often women prefer to stay closeted than be out,” she said. “We started off wanting to have an aged-care facility, but that’s a huge amount of work and we found most older lesbians wanted to live in their own homes.”

There are no statistics on the number of number of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people over 65 in Australia. But given they make up about 10 per cent [Bollocks! More like 2%] of the population, there would be about 240,000, based on 2002 figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Ms Deutsch said housing stress was common among older lesbians because many had acquired little wealth. Ms Deutsch hoped the Brunswick project, dedicated to former member Heather Chapple whose $300,000 bequest helped fund the project, was the first of many.


Toddlers as young as two ready for sex education, says new guide

PARENTS are being urged to start talking about sex with their children from the age of two. A new sex education guide by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society says discussing sex is not going to make kids go out and "do it". [Really? The expansion of sex education in British school has coincided with an upsurge in teen pregnancies there]

"Talk soon. Talk often" author Jenny Walsh, of La Trobe University, writes that talking about sex with young people actually had the opposite effect. "We can be so worried about getting it right, perfectly right, that we end up saying nothing at all," Ms Walsh wrote.

The booklet says many parents are still nervous talking about sexuality, including topics such as bodies, babies, love and sexual feelings. It recommends talking to children as young as two about sex and continuing until they are 17. From birth to two years old it is important to start using the right names for body parts, the guide says.

It also covers everything from what you should do if you find your child "playing doctors" to how to approach masturbation.

Family Planning Victoria welcomed the new sex education guide. "We would say that old idea of sitting down and having a talk is absolutely not the way to do it," FPV deputy CEO Elsie L'Huillier said. "There should be a whole process where the issue of sexuality comes up as a natural conversation. It's not a highly stressful 'Let's sit down and talk'."

She said some parents still felt embarrassed to discuss sexuality issues with their children, but it was changing. "There's a reluctance or taboo in some families about being frank about sexuality. It's a big jump for them," she said.

Marie Stopes International Australia CEO Maria Deveson Crabbe said there was no right age to start sex education - it depended on individual families. "I think it is important to recognise that these topics have been stigmatised, but there is no point in burying our heads in the sand." She said sex education was important because poor knowledge of sexual health and decision-making can have long-term impacts.


One Australian State rebels on proposed national curriculum

THE Baillieu government is staging a rebellion against the national curriculum, with state Education Minister Martin Dixon vowing Victoria will not relinquish control over "critical areas" such as languages.

A defiant Mr Dixon said the "current draft" of the national curriculum for languages would "drive down the standards of languages education in Victoria" if it was implemented.

The national curriculum for languages is being developed on the assumption that only 300 to 400 hours would be spent studying a second language between prep and year 6 - about half the hours recommended by the Victorian Education Department.

The states last year agreed they would "substantially" implement the national curriculum in maths, English, history and science by 2013. A national curriculum is also being developed for the arts, geography and languages. They will be rolled out after the first four subjects are implemented.

But Mr Dixon said last night the Coalition would not relinquish jurisdictional authority over critical areas of the national curriculum such as languages education. "The Commonwealth government must wake up and stop pushing Victoria towards the lowest common denominator in education," Mr Dixon said. "We will continue to demand Victoria's high standards form a minimum baseline for national reform."

The rebellion comes as the federal government announced Victoria would receive less than a quarter of the "reward funding" that will go to New South Wales and Queensland under a national agreement to lift literacy and numeracy, because it set itself more ambitious targets than other states.

"Already we have seen national reform in literacy and numeracy reward low aspirations and punish those who aim high as Victoria has done - with more than $21 million cut from Victoria's reward payments by Julia Gillard this week," Mr Dixon said.

In a submission to the national curriculum authority, Victoria said there was "widespread concern" among language teachers that the hours allocated for learning languages in the draft paper were less than the state guidelines. The Victorian Education Department recommends some 150 minutes a week in primary school, which works out to 700 hours before year 7.

The state curriculum authority also questioned why Hindi - one of the world's most widely spoken languages - was not one of the 11 languages included in the national curriculum. It said it was not clear how the 11 languages were selected and considered there was also a strong argument for the Australian sign language, Auslan, to be included.

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, which made the submission on behalf of government, independent and Catholic schools, also criticised the curriculum for using too much jargon. It said specialist terms, such as "ideational functions", "rhetorical organisation" and "heritage learners", would be unfamiliar to many.

The criticism comes after the NSW Board of Studies castigated the national curriculum authority for "ignoring" classical languages and failing to address an "alarming" decline in languages education brought about by a focus on literacy and numeracy.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority said the "indicative hours" were only intended as a guide for the curriculum writers. "No decision has been made about how many hours will be spent in the classroom."


Ambulance men tell Geelong mother her dangerously ill baby 'just needs cuddles'

A SIX-month-old baby is lucky to be alive after paramedics told her mother she "just needed some cuddles" despite suffering from a collapsed lung, pneumonia and bronchiolitis.

Baby Mia Hicks-Fitzgibbon spent five days fighting for life at Geelong Hospital in Victoria last week, after her quick-thinking mum, not satisfied with the diagnosis, drove Mia to hospital herself after paramedics left.

Ambulance Victoria is now investigating the paramedics over the incident, the Geelong Advertiser said.

Baby Mia's fight for life began on Friday, June 17 at 10.30am when her mother noticed the little girl was struggling to breathe and had a fluctuating temperature. A worried Ms Hicks dialled 000 and within 15 minutes a Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance arrived at her Norlane home.

Ms Hicks said the paramedics checked Mia over, but left a short time later, satisfied she was all right. "They said 'there's nothing wrong with her, she just needs to stay home and just needs some cuddles'," Ms Hicks said.

Unconvinced, Ms Hicks decided to drive Mia to hospital herself. "As soon as (the ambulance) left, I said 'no, we're taking her in'," Ms Hicks said. "Her breathing was just wrong, she was sucking her stomach right in and she was really trying."

After arriving at the hospital about 11am, Mia was immediately admitted to the children's ward and placed on a resuscitation machine. By Saturday, her condition had worsened and she was moved to intensive care.

"Her heart rate was up to 230 beats per minute when it should only be 120 ... she had a gastric tube in her nose, an oxygen tube in her nose, she was on a drip, and the doctors ordered an X-ray and an ECG (electrocardiogram)," Ms Hicks said. "It was so scary."

Doctors found Mia had a partially collapsed lung and diagnosed her with pneumonia as well as bronchiolitis; the inflammation of the lungs' smallest air passages.

Ms Hicks told of her anguish as Mia clung to life in hospital. She was finally deemed well enough to go home on Wednesday last week. "It was an emotional roller-coaster, I was in tears because all I wanted to do was hold her but I couldn't," she said.

"I asked the doctor what would've happened if I hadn't brought her in (to hospital) myself, and he said 'she wouldn't be here' ... I would've lost my daughter." A hospital source backed Ms Hicks' story, saying staff agreed the paramedics had made a "shocking miss".

Ambulance Victoria last night confirmed it had received a formal complaint from Ms Hicks, and had launched an investigation.

Barwon Health spokeswoman Kate Nelson said the hospital could not comment on the specifics of the case, only confirming the baby had been a patient at the hospital.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Lesbian housing? There's plenty of angry spinsters in Nursing homes nationwide. Of course in their day there weren't Lesbians, just Librarians.