It sounds like what NCOT is proposing is that she should have been declared mentally unfit to give consent for medical procedures (due to depression/anxiety?), so even though she gave consent for a colectomy, it should not have been performed.
Interesting point, but nah, I hadn't taken it that far in my mind.
I was thinking more along the lines of cosmetic or, more controversially, gender reassignment surgery patients who have to have counselling beforehand. It is, I presume, possible for them to be declared mentally unfit for surgery, but in these instances they tend to desperately want surgery. I'm no legal eagle, so I don't know what their rights are if they are denied; whether they can appeal, find another surgeon who will agree to operate, or whatever. I wouldn't go as far as overriding patient consent, so that hypothetical scenario of a situationally depressed person with UC being turned down for surgery wouldn't come about
But I am convinced that counselling would be a good idea before any
elective, permanently disfiguring surgery: that certainly goes for having a permanent stoma. However, the counselling should be rigorous and not half-assed. If it's just going to be mushy, feel-good crap, then it's not worth it. Ideally, it would identify those most likely to have psychological issues with a stoma.
Because if there's one thing I am sure of and it's this: I am not alone. I am not even in a tiny minority. I suspect there's a large number of ostomates who feel the same way as I do, but would feel too embarrassed or unwelcome to partake in an ostomy community. Basically us ostomates are expected to put on a brave face, to see the silver lining, to be grateful for our lot. Well, I don't 'do' putting on a brave face: miserable face, yes. Brave face, no. Sod that. There are times when putting on a brave face is admirable, but it can also be a cowardly act.
I have, at various times, felt every negative emotion under the sun towards my stoma. I have also felt a sense of pity towards it: it is not a living thing, but talk about
being forced into a desperately unnatural role. The small bowel was never meant to be protruding out of your stomach; I instinctively feel this.
Anyway, as ever, I'm wandering far off the beaten track. Back to the original topic, I do think colectomy can have a profound effect on some people (quite possibly for the neurotransmitter reasons Guardian mentioned). If we can recognise the importance of counselling before cosmetic surgery, we should be able to recognise the importance of it for other types of elective surgery as well.
Thanks, everyone, for your replies. There were some interesting points made. @Bad gut - Nah, a large intestine transplant has never been done. The large intestine isn't considered 'necessary for life' (insert expletive here). It is also a highly vascularised organ (lots of blood vessels), which presumably would make it difficult to attach. A few small intestine transplants have been done, though, if you're interested.
Er, I will answer other people's questions tomorrow if you really want to know... but you probably don't :-/
Hugs back to the ones who gave me hugs. *hugs*
And now I've finally knackered myself out. *collapses*