My daughter has sex with her best friend. Should I tell her mom?

I am an anesthetist in a busy multi-surgeon plastic surgery practice. One of the surgeons began offering a “tongue bifurcation” procedure in which the tongue is split down the middle, creating a lizard-like appearance for patients interested in body modification. I find that I have a deep dislike for this operation, to the point that I would like to refuse to participate in it. However, this means that one of my partners would be stuck with work or, worse, a procedure might have to be canceled and postponed, much to the chagrin of the patient and the surgeon. I also acknowledge that I voluntarily participate in other body modifications such as breast implants, rhinoplasty and gender affirmation surgery. Is it reasonable for me to draw a line? Masked name

People who seek that lizard look does something to their bodies that, in most states, they are free to do. No third party is harmed. So ask yourself on what basis you are not participating in their surgery. If your revulsion stems from an aesthetic disagreement, does that mean you think all the other surgeries you do result in aesthetic improvements? Is it your business if customers choose to make themselves less attractive to you?

The most obvious reason for not participating in this procedure would be an excessive risk of complications. The American Dental Association advises against splitting the tongue, considering it an invasive procedure “with negative health sequelae” – including severe bleeding, infection and nerve damage – “that outweigh any potential benefit “. It’s unclear how the association calculates the benefits. People who want split tongues don’t try to appeal to you or me; they are presumably trying to look cool or otherwise appealing to members of a particular subculture. Buttock augmentation can concern a larger whole, but it too can involve various risks: infection, capsular contracture, sciatic neuropathy, fat embolism. And if you were generally opposed to surgery performed without a medical objective, you would surely have a whole range of other procedures in mind as well.

Is there a principled distinction to be made here? May be. Reliable data on serious complication rates should be available. (In England, an appeals court agreed that one case involved “serious bodily harm,” and two official medical bodies cited the risks of haemorrhage and nerve damage.) If he turns out that the risks of adverse consequences are really are substantially higher for this procedure than for the others your practice offers, you would have a strong “first, do no harm” argument not only for abstaining but also for discourage your colleagues from continuing to provide the service. But if you do find yourself making this case, make sure it’s more than a “yuck” response disguised as a security issue; you don’t want to speak with a forked tongue.

For 48 years I regretted my behavior in abandoning a pregnant girlfriend. But I did not do anything. Do I now?

We dated for the last few weeks of our senior year in college. When she found out she was pregnant, I urged her to have an abortion, as I didn’t want the responsibilities of fatherhood or marriage. She had no interest in abortion and in the ensuing argument told me she never wanted to see me again. I used it as a get out of jail card, left town for a graduate scholarship and never saw or spoke to her again.

In the half-century since, I have made desultory efforts to find her, to no avail. (She had a very common name and left no obvious trace.) Now I think I found her. I would like to write to her to apologize for being a self-absorbed coward and abandoning her when she needed support the most. But she might not appreciate such a move so late in the game. She made no effort to contact me, and neither did her child (if the pregnancy produced one). Should I reach out? Masked name

About Christian M.

Check Also

Wego and the Azerbaijan Tourism Board sign a new partnership in the Arab travel market

There has been increased demand for this favorite destination for MENA travellers. With its great …