Education And Debate

Commentary: Surgery is not what it seems

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 07 February 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:462
  1. Lainie Friedman Ross, assistant directora (
  1. a MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

    The decision by Dutch doctors to repair surgically the hymens of young women to mimic the virginal state is described as a case in which cultural values conflict with medical ethics. But this may not be an accurate description. Repair of the vaginal introitus is a low risk procedure that can be done as an outpatient procedure under local anaesthetic. It allows young women to bleed from intercourse on their wedding night. But …

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