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Worldwide Ace » Pain Free – On Catheters, Human Rights, and Vegetarianism

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Pain Free – On Catheters, Human Rights, and Vegetarianism

4 September, 2009 (14:58) | Social Commentary

Urethral catheters.

In high school, I had some serious jaw surgery. They removed a sliver of bone from my upper jaw and reattached it, leaving me bloated and recovering for over a month. Because of the invasive nature of the procedure, they used a full anesthetic and installed a catheter.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a catheter is a plastic tube shoved into your urethra so that if you pee, it’s swept directly into a bag. It’s a relatively important piece of equipment, because otherwise you might spray the surgeons or otherwise foul up the operation.

Thankfully, I was already under when they installed the tubing, saving me vast pain. I was not, however, anesthetized when they removed it. I have never had a more painful experience than that. My dick hurt when I peed for a couple days after.

Police in Lawrenceburg, Indiana are being sued after forcefully instaling a catheter in suspected drunk driver Jamie Lockard. Lockard had already passed a breathalyzer, but for some reason the officers didn’t trust their own equipment. In order to install the catheter for a urine sample and take blood for testing, they handcuffed and strapped him to a gurney.

In most states, police require a warrant to draw bodily fluids or compel DNA samples involuntarily, but legislators in Texas recently passed a law making it legal in certain cases to perform such tests without a warrant. The police in Indiana did obtain a warrant which compelled blood and urine samples, but it isn’t specifed whether the warrant was shown to Lockard or not prior to his testing, a matter which ultimately

It’s understandable why Lockard might be angry about being arrested and forced through these tests after his breathalyzer came back under the legal limit. The results of further testing also showed he was under the legal limit. Despite his innocence, he was charged with obstruction of justice–a seemingly petty and unnecessary pursuit.

If Lockard had been shown the warrant and still resisted, the forced testing and the obstruction charge might both have been warranted. Either way, I wouldn’t wish the pain of a catheter on anyone, least of all someone who doesn’t need one for surgical reasons.

livestockCatheters might not be so bad if only we had a way of completely shutting down pain receptors. I’m not talking about shutting them down temporarily as with anesthesia, but permanently.

Scientists have begun working on developing “pain-free” animals as an ethical source of meat. Since the primary complaint of many vegetarians is suffering, genetically engineering an animal that is unable to feel pain would at least make that argument moot.

There is, however, one major complaint about such a maneuver: animals would not be able to tell if they were hurting themselves.

In addition to the examples cited in the New Scientist article, Leprosy works in a similar fashion, deadening pain receptors and allowing people to seriously damage themselves with no knowledge. When infected, Lepers suffer from skin lesions, which reduce sensitivity in the region and aloow for further damage without realizing it.

The techniques explored en route to genetically engineering “pain-free” livestock isn’t the be all end all solution to complaints from vegetarians and humane society members. They may, however, lead to a better understanding of how pain works and better anesthesia and pain treatment.

As amazing as some of this research is, there’s no way to use it to stop the forceful insertion of catheters or reduce the pain involved. It’s sad that at the end of the day, it seems better to comply with the stringent demands of a police state than to stand up for our rights as human beings.

Especially when my penis and a plastic tube are involved.