Hospital takes down ad on uterus removal following social media outcry

A hoarding put up by a private hospital in the city that has drawn wide-spread criticism.  

An advertisement by a private hospital in Ernakulam announcing advanced laparoscopic surgery for uterus removal, which came under attack on social media over the past couple of days, was removed by the hospital authorities with an apology.

‘Goodbye Uterus’, said the advertisement, in which a young woman was seen thanking the organ for a daughter. The advertisement apparently suggested that women could go in for surgery after the organ’s childbearing functions are over. The hoarding was on display at least at two prominent places in the city.

Responding to a query from The Hindu, members of the Travancore-Cochin Medical Councils (TCMC) said while the advertisement seemed to be misleading, nothing could be formally said about the issue which demanded discussion by the ethics committee of the TCMC.

K. Mohanan, member, disciplinary committee, TCMC, said the advertisement was a sheer violation of medical ethics. “It is good that the hoarding has been removed. No hospital can issue such an advertisement that gives an impression that an organ in the body can be removed without a cause,” he said.

The TCMC had strongly dealt with unethical advertisements earlier too, said Dr. Mohanan. Action was taken against a hospital in Kollam that had advertised not only about doctors in the hospital, but went beyond highlighting a doctor. The hospital apologised and removed the advertisement.

“Advertisement by medical care centres that goes beyond the ‘common decency’ can come under the purview of the disciplinary committee,” said TCMC president Rani Bhaskaran.

“TCMC can be notified of such wrongful deeds or any other medical malpractice through an email to the registrar (registrar.tcmc@kerala.gov

.in),” said R.L. Saritha, director, Health Services, and chairperson of the disciplinary committee of TCMC.

Senior cancer surgeon K. Chitrathara said any surgery, including the removal of uterus, followed a treatment guideline. “Doctors go by clinical examination and diagnostic tests to see if a particular case calls for uterus removal,” she said.

Unnecessary uterus removal could bring in abrupt menopause in women and it could trigger other health issues too, said Dr. Rekha, an Ayurvedic physician. “Menopause is a gradual, natural process that takes over a year during which the body and the mind get adapted to the decline of the monthly periods,” she added.

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Printable version | May 2, 2021 10:27:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/hospital-takes-down-ad-on-uterus-removal-following-social-media-outcry/article26515747.ece

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