The “rectum surgery scandal” in Cebu has been getting a lot of attention, and rightfully so, as the doctors behaved abominably in making fun of the man who had to have a long, cylindrical metal object surgically removed from his nether regions following a night of passion with a stranger. Seems that Mr. “X” hooked up with a dude who shoved a body spray container up his anal orifice, maybe with or maybe without consent, it’s not actually clear. This by itself was a bad enough situation.
Problem was, some wise guy took a video and uploaded the procedure in YouTube, including the apparently spontaneous celebration of the surgical team after the successful removal of the foreign object. The sight of the doctors and nurses whooping it up was disgusting, with the head surgeon apparently spraying the contents of the canister all around to show that, contrary to earlier speculations, it was not empty.
Public outrage, as reported in the Inquirer, led Congresswoman Riza Hontiveros-Baraquel to file House Resolution 524 asking for a probe (ooops!) and :
directing an investigation by the committees on civil service and professional regulation and civil, political and human rights on the rectal operation performed on a patient by doctors and nursing staff at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.
The surgery caught the public’s attention after it was captured on video and uploaded in YouTube, a popular video-sharing website. The video featured the removal of a canister from the patient’s rectum as the doctors and nurses inside the operating room were jeering and cheering.
The patient claimed that he did not consent to a video of his operation.
The resolution described the incident as “discriminatory, degrading, abusive and humiliating” as the medical attendants involved “displayed a blatant disregard for human dignity and human rights.”
It also noted that the patient was “not only a victim of discrimination and stigma but of sexual abuse and hate crime as well.” Hate crimes are defined as those committed against persons on the basis of race or gender.
True, the physicians and nurses appeared vicious and unfeeling in their glee, and the incident raises serious issues of breach of privacy and sexual abuse and could even be characterized as a “hate crime”. Certainly, it’s a violation of the Hippocratic Oath never to do deliberate harm to any person. But before we all get on our moral high horses, consider the following.
First, the surgical team saved the guy’s life, even if, in the process, he was made to look like an ass (sorry, couldn’t resist that one). It’s no excuse for what they later did, but give the doctors and nurses credit for a job well done. Without their timely intervention, he was a goner for sure. Having a metal container up your anus is not something to be taken lightly.
Secondly, while we’re on a witch hunt, why not go after the guy that did the act in the first place ? If anyone is guilty of sexual abuse and using a “proxy penis”, as explained by columnist Rina Jimenez-David, it was the fellow who had a tryst with the victim. He too should be held accountable.
Thirdly, and I’m going to get into big trouble for saying this and I know its not politically-correct, but the whole situation is not without an element of humor, albeit sick. Paradoxically, while its no laughing matter, its funny. I mean, how many times have we heard the phrase “shove it up your/his/her their ass(es)” ? Well, here’s a real life situation where somebody actually did. And, thankfully, it would appear that, physically at least, the victim seems none the worse for the wear. He was apparently a consenting participant in the original sexual encounter. Things got out of hand, but hey, if you live on the edge, something like this is bound to happen, sooner or later. If its not AIDS, it would be something else.
And what of its national significance ? Think of the many moral and practical lessons this has engendered, on many levels. For the kiddies, there’s the danger of putting foreign objects in your bodily orifices. For the adventurous adults, this gives the concept of “safe sex” a whole new meaning. For the docs and nurses, this will teach them to be more caring and sensitive to their patients’ sufferings and tribulations. For us as a nation, we can have some momentary distraction from the food crisis and corruption scandals, although the analogy is kind of hard to miss. Our political leaders have been sticking it up our collective rear ends for decades.