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Decisions about death versus incontinence/impotence

© Peter Zohrab 2015

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(Open Letter to the Health Ministry's Prostate Cancer Working Group)


I am writing to raise a matter which is of concern to me. The general issue is that the professions routinely make decisions about matters which are within their powers, but not within their competence.

As a Men’s Rights Activist, I am concerned that medical practitioners do, as a matter of fact, make judgments about the quality of life of men who are incontinent or impotent, whereas it is actually not within their medical competence to make value judgments of that kind.

What I am referring to is the fact that decisions about PSA tests, Digital Rectal Examinations and biopsies, etc. are made by weighing up the potential benefits of such procedures against the potential side-effects, such as incontinence and/or impotence. Although medical practitioners routinely do, in fact, carry out this weighing-up process, my point is that it is solely the right of the patient to decide for himself how much he values life itself, on the one hand, as against continence and/or potency, on the other hand.

The medical practitioner has no moral right to decide, on the patient’s behalf, whether he is better off dead or impotent/incontinent.

Moreover, medical students get taught Feminism (i.e. anti-male bias) in Medical Schools these days, and the Feminists also taught the medical profession (with the Cartwright Report) that women are a force to be feared – but no one has yet taught the medical profession that they need to take a pro-male stance.

I would like to make the comparison with breast cancer. I would guess that no medical practitioner would ever tell a woman that she ought not to get her breasts screened, in case she had to get a mastectomy. Yet medical practitioners are perfectly happy to use the risk of incontinence and/or impotence as a reason to argue against a PSA test and/or a DRE.

Therefore, I am writing to request that the Prostate Cancer Working Group take care, when overseeing development of a decision support tool to help men and their GPs make shared decisions about prostate cancer testing and treatment, to make it clear that the assessment of risk is dependent on the value-judgments that the patient himself (not the doctor) makes about death versus incontinence/impotence.


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Peter Douglas Zohrab

Latest Update

16 June 2017