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"You Need To Calm Down" And Other Degrading B.S. Women Hear From Doctors

Saturday 31 March 2018


From Mother Jones:


Maya Dusenbery
Maya Dusenbery
(Mother Jones illustration)

“You Need to Calm Down” and Other Degrading B.S. Women Hear from Doctors

A new book exposes how women still can’t get equal medical care.

By Kate Harloe
March 30, 2018
Copyright ©2018 Mother Jones and the Foundation for National Progress. All Rights Reserved.

In the early 1960s, researchers noticed that women seemed to have lower rates of heart disease than men—but only until menopause, when women’s estrogen levels dropped. At that point, their levels were similar. To get to the bottom of the discrepancy,they set up the first-ever study to test hormone supplements as a preventative treatment for heart disease. In the study, researchers enrolled 8,341 men—and exactly zero women. It would be some 30 years before a comparable clinical study wouldlook at how hormone therapy impacts women,in women.

Maya Dusenbery’s new book, Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick, is a seemingly endless catalog of examples like these, which, taken together, lay out the myriad ways in which sexism affects the medical care that women receive. It’s full of horrifying personalstories as well: Consider Maggie, who, asa senior in college, spent 48 hours trying to convince doctors that she was in excruciating pain, barely able to breathe. Her vitals were normal, so a doctor told her, “You need to calm down. I think you’re having a panic attack.” Over two days in and out of the ER, doctors blamed her pain on her being a “stressed-out student,” a “dramatic personality,” and “a drug-seeker looking for prescription painkillers.” By the end of those two days, doctors realized that Maggie was not suffering from anxiety. One of her organs had ruptured, and she was going into septic shock.


Full article…



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