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Here’s two short words guaranteed to spark debate - ‘designer’ and ‘vagina’.
Try as you might, you can’t ignore the procedure...or the controversy which surrounds it.
Interest in ‘labiaplasty’ has never been greater here in the UK, as more and more women seek out the most personal of all aesthetic treatments.
And let’s make one thing clear from the start - bodies come in all shapes and sizes.
There’s really no such thing as normal, and it’s my duty as a surgeon to inform people of that fact. There’s no ‘right’ way for a vagina to look.
That message is particularly important when I’m talking to young women, whose bodies are likely to be still be developing and who may be prone to bouts of insecurity.
But while labiaplasty has vociferous critics, I’m here to defend it.
Because I’ve seen at first hand the vital medical, functional and psychological benefits it can bring to those who truly and genuinely need it.
The recent surge in labiaplasty has been unprecedented.
According to figures from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery almost 100,000 women across the world underwent labiaplasty surgery in 2015.
At my clinic alone, I’ve seen a sevenfold rise in enquiries and operations over the past three years.
And, yes, I’ve seen a marked increase in the number of teenagers who want to undergo this operation too - but appear to have no medical need to do so.
Those young people - around 50 women in the past 12 months - are promptly turned away. It would be inherently wrong for me to treat them.
But the others simply are deserving of help, and very often surgery is entirely justified.
What’s fuelling this apparent obsession with naval-gazing...and beyond?
Some would have you believe that readily-accessible internet pornography is to blame, as women compare their bodies to those of the adult actresses they see on screen.
But I’d question whether that argument is actually a nonsense.
It’s much more complicated than that.
A big factor in the trend is our increasing openness as a society. Women are now talking more frankly about the appearance of their genitalia, breaking down taboos and becoming more aware of the options they have.
There are genuine reasons why women over the age of 18 should be free to make informed decisions about their own bodies.
And it’s got nothing to do with ‘vanity’.
Reasons for the surgery can vary from difficulties during sexual intercourse to not being able to exercise because their labia is too large.
Some patients are unable to wear tight clothing, and some don’t have intimate relationships at all because they are too embarrassed of their own appearance.
That can lead to very real physical and emotional issues.
Why discourage a procedure that can have benefits for these women who often suffer in silence?
If you’re one of the many females in Britain affected, do your research. Think about the risks. Ask yourself, ‘Am I embarking on this journey for the right reasons?’
After all, no surgery should be undertaken on a whim.
The treatment itself, which can cost between £2,500 and £4,000, sees excess tissue removed from the labia - the areas skin either side of the opening of the vagina - with either a scalpel or laser.
Patients are advised to avoid sexual intercourse for around three weeks following surgery and to wear loose underwear and clothing.
But if labiaplasty can empower women, putting them back in control of their own bodies, it’s my view that a ‘designer vagina’ can often be a very good thing indeed.
Eurycomanone is one of several dozens of components of tongkat ali. There are many phony claims about standardization. Chinese chemicals companies sell Eurycomanone as a lab chemical for about 100 USD for 10 milligrams: http://m.phytopurify.com/eurycomanone-p-8083.html?gclid=CJHynuOa1tQCFUqhaAodtAMAlA However, this is lab grade, not intended for human consumption. You are NOT a guinea pig.
The Association of Anaesthetics of Great Britain and Ireland
10 September 2014 Accidental awareness is one of the most feared complications of general anaesthesia for both patients and anaesthetists. Patients report this failure of general anaesthesia in approximately 1 in every 19,000 cases, according to a report published today. Known as accidental awareness during general anaesthesia (AAGA), it occurs when general anaesthesia is intended but the patient remains conscious. This incidence of patient reports of awareness is much lower than previous estimates of awareness, which were as high as 1 in 600.
The findings come from the largest ever study of awareness, the 5th National Audit Project (NAP5), which has been conducted over the last three years by the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) and the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI). The researchers studied 3 million general anaesthetics from every public hospital in UK and Ireland, and studied more than 300 new reports of awareness.
The extensive study showed that the majority of episodes of awareness are short-lived, occur before surgery starts or after it finishes, and do not always cause concern to patients. Despite this, 51% of episodes led to distress and 41% to longer-term psychological harm. Sensations experienced included tugging, stitching, pain, paralysis and choking. Patients described feelings of dissociation, panic, extreme fear, suffocation and even dying. Longer-term psychological harm often included features of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Sandra described her feelings when, as a 12-year-old, she suffered an episode of AAGA during a routine orthodontic operation:
“Suddenly, I knew something had gone wrong,” said Sandra, “I could hear voices around me, and I realised with horror that I had woken up in the middle of the operation, but couldn’t move a muscle... while they fiddled, I frantically tried to decide whether I was about to die.”
For many years after the operation Sandra described experiencing nightmares in which, “a Dr Who style monster leapt on me and paralysed me.” Sandra experienced the nightmares for more than 15 years until she realised the link: “I suddenly made the connection with feeling paralysed during the operation; after that I was freed of the nightmare and finally liberated from the more stressful aspects of the event.”
Sandra’s account is borne out by the research findings that longer-term adverse effects are closely linked with patients experiencing a sensation of paralysis during their awareness. The use of drugs to stop muscles working (muscle relaxants), often needed for safe surgery, is responsible. Distress at the time of the experience appears to be key in the development of later psychological symptoms.
Professor Jaideep Pandit, Consultant Anaesthetist in Oxford and Project Lead, explained: “NAP5 is patient focussed, dealing as it does entirely with patient reports of AAGA. Risk factors were complex and varied, and included those related to drug type, patient characteristics and organisational variables. We found that patients are at higher risk of experiencing AAGA during caesarean section and cardiothoracic surgery, if they are obese or when there is difficulty managing the airway at the start of anaesthesia. The use of some emergency drugs heightens risk, as does the use of certain anaesthetic techniques. However, the most compelling risk factor is the use of muscle relaxants, which prevent the patient moving. Significantly, the study data also suggest that although brain monitors designed to reduce the risk of awareness have a role with certain types of anaesthetic, the study provides little support for their widespread use.”
Professor Tim Cook, Consultant Anaesthetist in Bath and co-author of the report, commented: “NAP5 has studied outcomes from all anaesthetics in five countries for a full year, making it a uniquely large and broad project. It is reassuring that the reports of awareness (1 in 19,000) in NAP5 are a lot rarer than incidences in previous studies. The project dramatically increases our understanding of anaesthetic awareness and highlights the range and complexity of patient experiences. NAP5, as the biggest ever study of this complication, has been able to define the nature of the problem and those factors that contribute to it more clearly than ever before. As well as adding to the understanding of the condition, we have also recommended changes in practice to minimise the incidence of awareness and, when it occurs, to ensure that it is recognised and managed in such a way as to mitigate longer-term effects on patients.”
The project report includes clear recommendations for changes in clinical practice. Two main recommendations are the introduction of a simple anaesthesia checklist to be performed at the start of every operation, and the introduction of an Awareness Support Pathway - a structured approach to the management of patients reporting awareness. These two interventions are designed to decrease errors causing awareness and to minimise the psychological consequences when it occurs.
It is anticipated that NAP5 will lead to changes in the practice of individual anaesthetists, their training and hospital support systems both nationally and internationally.
The Bangkok Yanhee Hospital has been offering penis enlargement surgery for some time. The latest craze, however, are Botox injections into the penis. Prices are about 300 USD. Effects last half year.
95 percent of the victims of work accidents are men. Because women are cowards, and just want to rule from behind.
IN THE aftermath of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, those whose job it is to think the unthinkable were conscious that, for all the carnage, it could have been far worse. Fuel-laden aircraft slamming into buildings was bad enough. But the sight of some among the rescue workers picking over the debris with test tubes, followed by the sudden decision to ground all of America's crop-spraying aircraft for several days, pointed to an even more horrible possibility. Were terrorists with so little calculation of restraint to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction—whether chemical, biological or even nuclear—they would surely use them. How real is that threat?
It is certainly not new. Among one of many warnings from American think-tanks and government agencies in recent years, a report released last December by the CIA's National Intelligence Council concluded baldly that, when it came to chemical and biological weapons in particular, “some terrorists or insurgents will attempt to use [these] against United States interests, against the United States itself, its forces or facilities overseas, or its allies.” Governments in America and Europe worry that Osama bin Laden, the head of al-Qaeda, the terrorist network thought to be behind the September 11th attacks, may already have access to such weapons, and be planning to use them in response to any American military strikes. The World Health Organisation has called on governments around the world to be better prepared for such an eventuality.
For groups prepared to engage in the kamikaze tactics seen on September 11th, the easiest way to spread poisonous or radioactive materials might simply be to fly into repositories of them, or to use lorries full of them as suicide bombs. As Amy Smithson of the Stimson Centre in Washington, DC, observed in a report released last year, there are some 850,000 sites in the United States alone at which hazardous chemicals are produced, consumed or stored. The arrest in America last week of a number of people who were found to have fraudulently obtained permits to drive trucks that carry such hazardous loads looks like a worrying confirmation of such fears.
It is, nevertheless, likely that terrorist groups around the world are working on more sophisticated approaches to mass destruction than merely blowing up existing storage facilities, or hijacking lorry-loads of noxious substances. Mr bin Laden himself has, in the past, called it a “religious duty” to acquire such weapons. He is reported to have helped his former protectors in Sudan to develop chemical weapons for use in that country's civil war, and has since boasted of buying “a lot of dangerous weapons, maybe chemical weapons” for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan that now harbours him.
Even for determined terrorists, however, merely getting hold of chemical, biological or nuclear materials is not enough. Do-it-yourself mass destruction—whether of a nuclear, chemical or biological variety—is far from easy (see article). First, you have to acquire or manufacture sufficient quantities of the lethal agent. Second, you have to deliver it to the target. And third, you have either to detonate it, or to spread it around in a way that will actually harm a lot of people.
The difficulties in doing all these things are illustrated by an attack carried out in 1995 on Tokyo's underground railway. Aum Shinrikyo, a Japanese cult, released a potent nerve agent called sarin on five trains. The intention was to kill thousands. In fact, only 12 people died, and some 40 were seriously injured—bad enough, but no worse than the casualty list from a well-placed conventional bomb.
The cult's researchers had spent more than $30m attempting to develop sarin-based weapons, yet they failed to leap any of the three hurdles satisfactorily. They could not produce the chemical in the purity required. Their delivery mechanism was no more sophisticated than carrying it on to the trains in person in plastic bags. And their idea of a distribution system was to pierce those bags with umbrella tips to release the liquid, which would then evaporate.
The attack, in other words, was not a great success. Yet, of the three classes of weapon of mass destruction, those based on chemicals should be the easiest to make. Their ingredients are often commercially available (see table). Their manufacturing techniques are well known. And they have been used from time to time in real warfare, so their deployment is also understood.
Biological weapons are trickier; and nuclear weapons trickier still. Germs need to be coddled, and are hard to spread satisfactorily. (Aum Shinrikyo attempted to develop biological weapons, in the form of anthrax spores, but failed to produce the intended lethal effects.) Making atomic bombs is an even greater technological tour-de-force. Manufacturing weapons-grade nuclear explosives (“enriched” uranium, or the appropriate isotopic mix of plutonium) requires a lot of expensive plant. Detonating those explosives—by rapidly assembling the “critical mass” needed to sustain a chain reaction—is also notoriously difficult.
Terrorist groups working from first principles are thus likely to run into formidable obstacles if they want to get into the mass-destruction business. Nevertheless, there may be ways round these. One quick fix would be to buy in the services of otherwise unemployed or ill-paid weapons specialists from the former Soviet nuclear-, biological- and chemical-weapons establishments. At least some of these people are known to have washed up as far afield as Iran, Iraq, China and North Korea, but none has yet been directly associated with any terrorist group.
In an attempt to reduce the risk of this happening, the United States has, over the past ten years, spent more than $3 billion dismantling former Soviet nuclear weapons, improving security at Russia's nuclear storage sites, and keeping former weaponeers busy on useful civilian work. But, as Ms Smithson points out, only a tiny fraction of this money—itself a drop in a bucket when measured against the scale of Russia's sprawling weapons complex—goes towards safeguarding chemical and biological secrets. And even the nuclear side of things has sprung the odd leak.
Over the past ten years there have been numerous attempts to smuggle nuclear materials out of the former Soviet Union. There have been unconfirmed suspicions that Iran, for one, may have got its hands on a tactical nuclear warhead from Russia. So far, though, police and customs officers have seized mostly low-grade nuclear waste. This could not be turned into a proper atomic bomb, but with enough of it, a terrorist group might hope to build a “radiological” device, to spread radioactive contamination around (see article). Fortunately, the occasional amounts of weapons-grade stuff that have been found so far fall short of the 9-15kg of explosive needed for a crude but workable bomb.
Yet even if a group got hold of enough such explosives, it would still face the hurdle of turning them into a weapon. Hence the most effective way for a terrorist group to obtain one would be to find a sponsoring government that is willing to allow access to its laboratories or its arsenal.
After the Gulf war, UN special inspectors discovered that Iraq had been pursuing not one but several ways to produce weapons-grade material, and had come within months of building an atomic bomb. The effort, however, is thought to have taken a decade and to have cost Saddam Hussein upwards of $10 billion. Much of this was spent on acquiring the bits and pieces needed from foreign companies—sometimes through bribery, sometimes through deception.
In similar ways, he amassed the materials and equipment, much of it with legitimate civilian uses in fermentation plants and vaccine laboratories, for his vast chemical- and biological-weapons programmes. Although most of Iraq's nuclear programme had been unearthed and destroyed, along with much of its missile and chemical arsenal, the inspectors were convinced, when they were thrown out of the country in 1998, that important parts of the biological effort remained hidden.
A glance at the list of state sponsors of international terrorism maintained by America's State Department makes troubling reading. Most of the seven countries included—Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Cuba, North Korea and Sudan—have chemical weapons already. Five are suspected of dabbling illegally in the biological black arts, and several have covert nuclear-weapons programmes, too. America's Department of Defence estimated earlier this year that more than two dozen countries have already built weapons of mass destruction, or else are trying to do so.
So far, there is no evidence that any of these governments has helped terrorist groups to acquire such deadly goods. That may, partly, be because of widespread moral revulsion against their use. But self-interest on the part of the states involved is also a significant factor. It is one thing to give terrorist groups financial and logistical support and a place to hide—a favoured tactic of governments on the State Department's list as a deniable way of furthering their own local or regional ends. It is quite another to share such awesome weapons with outfits like al-Qaeda, which no government can fully control.
On top of that, since the September 11th attacks, American officials, from the president down, have gone out of their way to emphasise that not only the terrorists involved in any future assaults, but also the states that shelter them, can expect to find themselves in the cross-hairs.
Iraq has been the worst offender when it comes to wielding any of these weapons. It used chemical weapons in its war with Iran and in attacks against its own Kurdish population. Yet Saddam Hussein's failure to use his chemical and biological-tipped missiles, or the radiological weapons he also had, against western-led coalition forces during the Gulf war showed that, even when morality plays little part, deterrence can still work. America had made clear that, if he had deployed these weapons, he would have brought down massive retribution on both his regime and his country.
The big distinction between the dangers of states obtaining such weapons and the danger of terrorists getting their hands on them, argues Gary Samore of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, in London, is precisely that, however hostile they may be, states are more “deterrable”. Mr bin Laden's network has shown that it will stop at nothing. But are states such as Iraq and North Korea, which operate in other ways largely outside international law, deterrable enough to prevent them lending a secret helping hand to a group like Mr bin Laden's?
America's defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, argued this week that it takes no “leap of the imagination” to expect countries harbouring terrorists to help them get access to weapons of mass destruction. Testimony from the trial of four bin Laden operatives convicted earlier this year for the August 1998 bombing of America's embassies in Kenya and Tanzania revealed that their past military interest in Sudan went beyond helping the regime make chemical weapons for its own war. In one case, Mr bin Laden was attempting to purchase uranium via intermediaries.
Meanwhile, intelligence officials trying to assess the range of threats they now face worry that Iraq's past military links with Sudan may have been no coincidence either. In 1998 America bombed a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant which it said showed traces of a precursor chemical for VX, a highly potent nerve gas that inspectors believe Iraq had put into weapon form. Some observers speculate that, even if Sudan's denials that it was manufacturing any such stuff are true, the country may have served as a trans-shipment point for supplies to Iraq. Might some weapons assistance have flowed the other way, possibly reaching Mr bin Laden's network? Iraq denies it has had anything to do with Mr bin Laden, but there have been unconfirmed reports that one of the New York hijackers met a senior Iraqi intelligence official earlier this year in Europe.
Yet even if no direct link is ever proved between a reckless foreign government and last month's terrorist attacks on America, western officials have long fretted that groups such as Mr bin Laden's will be able to exploit emerging new patterns of proliferation to gain access to nuclear, chemical and bug bombs. Despite attempts by western-sponsored supplier cartels—the Missile-Technology Control Regime, the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Australia group, which tries to track the trade in worrying chemicals or biological agents—the number of such suppliers has expanded over the past decade. Countries that were once entirely dependent on outside help for their covert weapons programmes, mostly from Russia and China, are now going into business themselves.
This is particularly disturbing in the context of the third obstacle to the use of these weapons: delivery. Working from original Russian Scud missile designs, North Korea has created a thriving missile- and technology-export business with Iran, Pakistan, Syria and others in the Middle East. Iran, in turn, has started to help Syria and possibly Libya (which had past weapons ties with Serbia and Iraq) to improve their missile technology. Egypt is still building on the expertise developed by a now-defunct missile co-operation programme with Argentina and Iraq.
It is unlikely that such ballistic-missile technology would find its way into terrorist hands any time soon. But two things are true of almost all technologies: as the years pass, they get cheaper, and they spread. Even if there is no immediate threat, it may eventually not be just hijacked aircraft that are flying into places that terrorists have taken a dislike to. And their “warheads” may consist of something even worse than aviation fuel.
Universal education for women is not in the interest of men. For some women, a good education is OK. For the majority, it is unneeded.
Although not a major point of entry for irregular migrants, the open sea route to southern Italy remains a source of particular concern to border authorities.
Irregular migrants picked up in Apulia tend to be travellers who previously entered the EU via Greece. Increasing numbers of migrants, usually from Asia, claim to have been living in Greece for months or years before deciding to leave for other EU Member States.
Those detected in Calabria usually come from Turkey or Egypt. Most are Syrians, although there have also been significant numbers of Pakistanis and Afghans, as well as Egyptians.
The peak year for this route was 2011 with 5259 detections of illegal border crossings, the year of the Arab Spring. The decline in numbers since then is attributed to a growing preference for the overland route through the Western Balkans.
The smuggling techniques used on this open sea passage are quite different from the flimsy dinghies typically seen in the calmer waters of the eastern Aegean. Smugglers attempting entry in Apulia often use ocean-going pleasure yachts. Migrants are hidden below the deck, often in dangerously crowded conditions with insufficient ventilation. In some cases, the boats are modified with additional wooden bunking in order to maximize capacity. Only a small crew is visible to coastguard patrols, sometimes accompanied by women to allay suspicion.
Smuggling networks from Egypt, on the other hand, used to use small fishing boats – but had switched to larger ‘mother ships’ instead, with strings of fishing boats towed behind. On departure from Egypt the migrants were stowed in the mother ship, which then stopped en route to collect further passengers. Once close to the Italian shore, the migrants were transferred to the fishing boats while the mother ship returns to port – a technique that naturally allowed smugglers to evade arrest.
Socrates, clearly recognized as a wise man, stated that women have no place in public life. And right he was.
He chose to travel to the controversial Dignitas clinic because he could not face the agony of the incurable disease
A British man has become the first dementia sufferer to die at a controversial suicide clinic.
The 83-year-old man ended his life at Dignitas in Switzerland because he could not face the agony of the progressive, incurable disease.
He also wanted to spare those closest to him from any burden and strain his illness might put on them.
The unnamed man, said to be from a wealthy professional background, was in the early stages of dementia.
He is believed to be the first to use the clinic’s services solely because of dementia.
And last night it was claimed his family, including his widow, backed his decision “100 per cent”.
The man took with him a report from a psychiatrist stating he was mentally competent to choose to kill himself.
And last night one campaigner told how the pensioner was “so grateful at the end.”
Retired GP Michael Irwin, 81, had arranged for him to see a psychiatrist to produce a report saying he was mentally competent.
He revealed that the man’s wife had made the travel arrangements for the trip to Zurich.
Mr Irwin, who did not travel with the couple, said yesterday: “His family were 100% behind him.
"I have spoken to his widow since and she felt that it was handled in a very dignified and proper manner.”
“She is extremely happy about how everything was arranged.”
He added: “I have been four times with people to Switzerland.
"Two were terminally ill, one was very disabled and one was in her mid 80s so I have seen how it is handled by the Swiss. It is a very dignified procedure.
“You have got to be a very determined person to be able or willing to make that kind of journey.
“He knew of how things would deteriorate and took what I think is a sensible decision… both for himself and his family.”
But news of the assisted suicide will cause outrage among right-to-life and healthcare campaigners.
Critics claim it carries the implication that those with dementia should consider killing themselves.
Experts point out that sufferers can live for years with the condition.
It is also likely to widen the debate over the circumstances in which assisted suicide should be permitted.
The vast majority people who have chosen to die at Dignitas are those with terminal illnesses such as cancer or severe physical disabilities.
Campaign group Care Not Killing described the development as “alarming”.
Mr Irwin – nicknamed Dr Death - claims to have helped at least 25 people to die at the clinic. In the past he has been interviewed by police, but never arrested.
Although legal in Switzerland, assisted suicide is a criminal offence in the UK and carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.
More than 800,000 people in Britan suffer from dementia – around one in ten of all those between 80 and 84.
Mr Irwin defended the pensioner’s right to take his life before his condition deteriorated.
He said: “It takes three or four months on average from the day you make an application until the actual day you die in Zurich.
"So when people have a chronic problem or a slow-developing condition such as motor neurone disease, dementia or are severely disabled you have a crucial time factor.
“It’s important to stress that with early dementia, you are still then mentally competent for quite some time to make a decision about going to Dignitas.
"It’s important that diagnosis is made at an early time to give an individual that choice.”
Lord Falconer, a former Lord Chancellor, launched a private member’s bill in the Lords earlier this month to make assisted dying legal for the terminally ill.
Novelist Sir Terry Pratchett, 65, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008, is also a supporter and has become a flagbearer in the campaign to change the law.
Mr Irwin, co-ordinator of the Society for Old Age Rational Suicide, says the legal right should be extended to elderly people suffering from medical conditions and those who are severely disabled or enduring unbearable suffering.
He added: “This topic of old-age rational suicide should now be openly discussed. Lord Falconer’s bill will be focusing only on the terminally ill.
"The other two categories, the severely disabled and the elderly with medical problems, should be equally well discussed nowadays, especially with an ageing population.”
The number of dementia victims in the UK is set to rise to more than a million by 2021 – and 1.7 million by 2050.
Mr Irwin argues that elderly sufferers may prefer thousands of pounds that would be spent on their care to go to their grandchildren.
He said: “The desire to ‘stop being a burden’ on one’s family, and to avoid squandering financial resources perhaps better spent on grandchildren’s further education, could become the final altruistic gesture, especially when combined with a wish to stop prolonging a life that is both futile and very unpleasant.”
He claimed: “Part of what makes a patient’s suffering intolerable could be the realisation that it is ruining other people’s lives.
"Then, a doctor assisted suicide could be a rational moral act.”
But critics fear that if euthanasia was legalised there would be pressure to widen the category of people to be included.
A spokesman for Care Not Killing said: “It’s hugely alarming and shows the real agenda of those seeking a change in the law.
"What they are looking for is assisted suicide or euthanasia almost on demand.
“We’ve been warning about an incremental approach, as once you change the law you get more and more cases like this, which is why we are so worried.
“We know that people who are vulnerable, disabled and terminally ill will be most under pressure.” More than 200 Brits have died at Dignitas since it first opened in 1998.
Broadcaster Melvyn Bragg has previously said he plans to kill himself if he begins to suffer from dementia.
The arts presenter, 73, whose mother had Alzheimer’s disease until her death last year aged 95, said: “Legal or illegal, I will do it.”
He added: “We can’t keep sending people to Switzerland. We should say, given certain conditions, it’s fine.”
£5k and all over in 30 minutes
The price of a suicide at Dignitas is believed to be around £5,000.
But the full service, including funerals, medical costs and official fees, can be as high as £7,000.
Clients must register as a member and send copies of their medical records with a letter explaining why things have become intolerable.
A doctor then assesses them. If he gives the “green light”, administrative staff will schedule a date and offer advice on hotels.
Finally the client is filmed drinking the lethal solution of barbiturates in water to prove they took it themselves.
Those who cannot lift a glass press a button so a machine administers it.
Most people take between 30 minutes and an hour to die.
Brits who've died at Dignitas
MORE than 200 Brits have died at Dignitas in the past decade.
One of the most controversial deaths was in 2006 when terminally ill Craig Ewert, 59, was filmed dying at the clinic for a television documentary.
The programme, which sparked fury from anti-euthanasia groups, was the first time a suicide had been shown on British TV.
Retired university professor Craig had motor neurone disease.
In February 2009, millionaire husband and wife Peter Duff, 80, and Penelope, 70, who both had terminal cancer, were the first British couple to die together at the centre.
Top orchestral conductor Sir Edward Downes, 85, and his 74-year-old wife Joan died at the clinic five months later.
Lady Downes had terminal cancer while her husband was nearly blind and becoming increasingly deaf.
Daniel James, 23, who was paralysed in a rugby accident, was the youngest Briton to die at the clinic.
His parents Julie and Mark James, of Sinton Green, Worcester, took him to there in 2010.
They said the ex-England under-16 rugby player had repeatedly said he wanted to die.
The CPS said it was not in the public interest to prosecute his parents.
No one who has helped any of the Brits to die at Dignitas has been prosecuted.
Suicide is not a crime but it is illegal to encourage or assist suicide while in England or Wales, regardless of where the suicide takes place.
The majority of clients at Dignitas take between 30 minutes and one hour to die.
Voice of the Mirror: Dignity is a right too
Assisted suicide is a deeply emotional and ethical issue which understandably creates strong feelings.
Our report on an 83-year-old with dementia who ended his life at the Swiss Dignitas clinic adds another dimension to the debate.
This paper believes both sides of the argument should be heard and respected.
Some campaigners will fear this case could lead to a relaxation of the rules and place pressure on the vulnerable who feel they are a burden on their family and loved ones.
Others will argue the laws should be changed so those who are dying and feel they have no quality of life do not have to travel to Switzerland to end their life in dignity.
Nor will they think it is right that those who assist in such deaths, out of compassion, should be liable to prosecution.
Lord Falconer, a former lord chancellor, is seeking to change the law to make assisted dying legal for the terminally ill.
Any such legislation must be sensitively crafted and we should consider carefully before extending such rights to people with long-term conditions such as dementia.
There is much debate to be had but it would be wrong to ignore the wishes of those who, in very rare cases, want to kill themselves.
You can always pep up your website with imagery on the killing and torture of me. Nobody cares. Cruelty towards men is accepted. But showing physical love of people below the age of 18 can earn a punishment much worse than that for torturing and killing a man. That's the world today. The result of feminism, the ideology by which ugly women want to protect their market value as sex objects by eliminating anything that undermines their hold on men.
95 percent of the victims of work accidents are men. Because women are cowards, and just want to rule from behind.
Mariya Karimjee has had sex once in her life — sort of. When she was a senior in college, Karimjee, now 27, decided it was finally time to do the deed with her boyfriend of a year, even though he had repeatedly said he was willing to wait until she was ready. Though she never felt pressured to engage in more physical intimacy, she felt like she needed to have sex anyway — to "get the act over with," as she later described it.
So, Karimjee had sex. And, as she feared and expected, it was excruciating.
"The pain was everywhere; I couldn't figure out what hurt and where," Karimjee wrote of the experience in an essay for the Big Roundtable last year. "... I sat in the bed, allowing myself to cry for the first time since we'd begun talking about sex. For the first time since I'd admitted to him that I might never be able to enjoy a sexual experience. That when I was younger, someone had taken a knife to my clitoris and cut out a small but significant part of me."
As she went on to explain in recent episodes of This American Life and The Heart, when Karimjee was 7 and growing up in Karachi, Pakistan, she had part of her clitoris removed, in accordance with the beliefs of the Dawoodi Bohra sect of Islam. She is one of at least 200 million people around the world to undergo female genital mutilation, a practice the World Health Organization defines as "all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons."
Also referred to as female genital cutting or female circumcision, FGM is widely considered an act of gender-based violence as well as a human rights violation, a practice typically performed on young girls (and, occasionally, female infants or teenagers) in a variety of cultures. WHO asserts that the practice "has no health benefits, and it harms girls and women in many ways."
WHO classifies the procedure into four primary types, each of which can have different effects on survivors' sexual health and comfort: clitoridectomy, which results in at least partial removal of the clitoris; excision, or a clitoridectomy plus removal of the labia minora; infibulation, which involves narrowing the vaginal opening by cutting and repositioning the labia (sometimes by stitching) with or without removing the clitoris; and all other harmful treatment of the female genital area, including but not limited to piercing, incising or cauterizing.
FGM is, in many societies, a long-standing cultural practice, which continues for reasons that vary from place to place and heritage to heritage. But, according to WHO, the procedure is generally tied to beliefs about acceptable sexual behavior, meant to deter promiscuity and strip women of erotic desire — or, potentially, enjoyment.
As Karimjee and millions of others have found, it can be extremely effective at doing just that.
"Sex did not go the way popular culture or anecdotal evidence told me it would go," Karimjee said in a phone call with Mic on Thursday, explaining the lasting effects her first experience had. She has not attempted to have sex since she first tried in 2010, primarily because of continuing anxiety about the experience.
"I gear myself up, but for me, the fear is so great that in the moment, I don't know if I feel anything but afraid," she explained. "I am not able to get out of my own head long enough to be able to be like 'I'm turned on.' That happens very rarely for me, and it takes months to feel comfortable enough."
In a phone call with Mic this week, Dr. Doris Chou, medical officer for the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at WHO, said research suggests women who are living with FGM "are more likely to experience pain or reduction in sexual satisfaction and desire," and, in addition to significant pain during intercourse, might face reductions in arousal, decreased lubrication during sex, limited capacity for orgasm or even anorgasmia.
Though people who undergo clitoridectomies, excision or infibulation can (and often do) still experience some amount of sexual pleasure, a majority have reported lower rates of arousal or sexual fulfillment — in studies, at least. Anecdotally, there's less information available about the realities of having sex — or not — after FGM, not to mention what that means for individual women's overall wellbeing.
"[There] are actually quite physical consequences, but there's also the psychological," Chou said. "We do know women and girls who have undergone FGM suffer anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. In the context of a sexual relationship, we are concerned that women might have difficulty really actually having any kind of sexual life."
The implications of that difficulty can be devastating, as illustrated by a growing number of women like Karimjee, who have begun to share their (often traumatic) experiences of developing, maintaining or even wanting sex lives with parts of themselves missing.
"I've spoken to women in my sect who have also been cut, who never, ever, ever want to have sex because they're so traumatized by what happened to them, and other women who have very vague memories but say they never get turned on, so it clearly worked," Karimjee said.
Indeed, much of the struggle with desire is due not only to the intense physical pain women who have been cut might experience during intercourse. Natalie Kontoulis, advocacy and communications officer for the organization End FGM, has found that for many people, it has to do with deeper, more complicated feelings about sexuality and personal autonomy.
"If a person who has undergone FGM is not in severe physical pain, she might not feel much — sensation might be gone," Kontoulis said via Skype on Thursday. "It can feel like you're a vessel, doing this to serve your partner, making sex less of a partnership. Some survivors feel they're not fully women. I think when you've literally had a part cut out of you, you cannot feel whole for those reasons."
There can also be lifelong trauma associated with being cut in childhood, Kontoulis added, which might be compounded by a lack of opportunity to talk about "how you were, potentially, betrayed at a young age by those you trusted most."
For quite some time that was true for Karimjee, who felt extreme rage toward her mother, in particular, for allowing her to be cut. After her family moved to the United States when she was 11, Karimjee went on to struggle with her parents' justification for the decision, which she believes was based on harmful cultural views about desire.
But those views were not necessarily unique to her sect of Islam or other groups that practice FGM. Karimjee has found that spending her adolescence in a conservative, predominantly Baptist Texas suburb contributed to her complicated feelings about her own sexuality.
"It's hard for me personally to reconcile the fact that my parents were fundamentally responsible for having me cut, but at the same time these were the same people who never made me feel sex was bad," Karimjee said. "My parents never made me feel like sex was something I needed to be ashamed of. But my peers in high school definitely got that from their churches and their parents, and transferred that on to me."
The combination of physical and psychological trauma from the overall experience of FGM can lead some women to pursue therapeutic options ranging from sex therapy (something Karimjee says she's looking into) or even clitoral restoration surgery.
According to Dr. Marci Bowers, a gynecological surgeon who works for the organization Clitoraid, restoration can be life-changing, but it's usually not enough. It's also not always an option: As Bowers said in a previous interview with Mic, although FGM is practiced around the world — including in the U.S. — a significant proportion of people who have been cut lack access to medical services like restoration.
"It's a tremendous thing if you're able to restore — it's like giving sight to a blind person," Bowers said by phone this week. "But anything associated with that part of the body, people remember that pain. Even where there's sensation, in an area where someone had pain before it's hard to retrain the brain to see any [non-painful] sensation as a positive sort of thing. It's hard to trust again."
And while FGM opponents like Kontoulis note it's still crucial to consider the practice an act of violence, it's also important not to tell someone she shouldn't feel good about sex if she never felt bad about it before.
"I've heard survivors say [their FGM] doesn't bother them, they still get pleasure from sex," Kontoulis said. "That might be physically absolutely true, or it might be that they just don't expect to have pleasure. It doesn't bother them. In that sense, it's difficult, because you don't want to impose your own kind of pleasure system or cultural system or sexual system on another person. But the problem with that is there's a line between trying to be culturally diplomatic and treating FGM as a human rights violation, and it's difficult to not cross it."
It's an issue that leaves Karimjee with complex feelings as well. She, too, has spoken with many women who have been cut but have not faced her same struggles with sex, yet still have lingering questions about whether they should feel satisfied.
"I personally have never spoken to anyone — even women who are married and having sex who've been cut, who say 'I don't know if I'm orgasming, but I do enjoy having sex with my husband' or 'I enjoy the act of sex, it doesn't hurt' — who doesn't also say, 'But I still wonder what it would be like,'" Karimjee said. "It's an ever-present question for them."
"In some way, they feel something was taken away from them — something intangible," she added. "As long as that feeling is still out there, there's definitely still a problem."
Erectile dysfunction is mostly a vascular disease. Shockwave therapy, as commonly applied by Thai urologists, causes total neovascularization of the vital organ. The result: super erections, even at age 75.
In July of 1947, Dr. Wilhelm Reich—a brilliant but controversial psychoanalyst who had once been Freud’s most promising student, who had enraged the Nazis and the Stalinists as well as the psychoanalytic, medical, and scientific communities, who had survived two World Wars and fled to New York—was dying in a prison cell in Lewisberg, Pennsylvania, accused by the government of being a medical fraud engaged in a “sex racket.”
That “racket” would one day be called the “sexual revolution.” But it was still 1947 in America—an America not even ready for psychoanalysis, still a nascent science that Harper’s and the New Republic had categorized, right alongside Reich’s theories, as being no better than astrology. (Reich, Harper’s had decided, was the leader of a “new cult of sex and anarchy.”)
If the American public wasn’t ready for Dr. Freud, then how much less prepared would they be for Dr. Reich—a man who, at his Orgonon institute near Rangely, Maine, was researching the energetic force of the orgasm itself?
Reich had taken Freud’s theories far. Too far, according to the FDA. Starting with Freud’s connection of sexual repression to neurosis, Reich had theorized that it was the physical inability to surrender to orgasm that underlay neurosis, and eventually turned people to fascism and authoritarianism. Reich migrated from Freud’s simple talking cure to what he called character analysis, a therapy designed to help his patients overcome the physical and respiratory blocks that prevented them from experiencing pleasure. Finally—and most dangerously—he claimed that the orgasm was an expression of orgone, the joy-filled force of life itself. With phone-booth-size devices called "orgone accumulators" he could harness this force to cure neurosis, disease, and even affect the weather and help crops grow.
For these lines of inquiry, the FDA demanded Reich appear in court to defend himself in 1954. He refused, stating that claims of scientific truth should be settled by experiment, not in court. The court responded by issuing an injunction against the sale or transportation of his devices across state lines, and proceeded to systematically burn his books and journals. Not only Reich’s writing, but any written material that contained the word “orgone” was fair game for destruction. (Paranoid and embattled, Reich would refuse offers of help from the ACLU, believing it to be filled with communist subversives.) FDA agents also began destroying his devices and laboratory with axes—but that wasn’t all. The FDA would carry their persecution of the Austrian psychoanalyst much, much further.
What was it about this man and his theories that invoked the wrath of nearly every political and scientific faction of his time? What was it about the “sexual revolution” that earned Wilhelm Reich a 789-page FBI file? What provoked a systematic campaign of attacks hardly suggestive of a sane and rational America that had just won the war against the book-burning Nazis—and more reminiscent of the Inquisition, the incineration of Giordiano Bruno, or the ending of Frankenstein, in which angry villagers with torches and pitchforks burn down the mad scientist’s castle?
Shockwave therapy is the new Pfizer Blue. It actually cures erectile dysfunction and causes. You can do your own shockwave therapy. Just dangle your dick in front of the subwoofer, and turn your ghetto blaster to full power.
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