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Controversial doctor claims that babies go into "mental shock"

February 15, 2020

Last year physician Eugene Gu tweeted that pain associated with circumcision causes some babies to go into "mental shock." There is no support for such a diagnosis, and Gu's controversial background makes it reckless that anyone would cite him as a medical authority.

 

Shock is a critical medical condition that is brought about by a sudden drop in blood flow throughout the body. The circulatory system fails to maintain adequate blood flow, sharply curtailing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to vital organs. Signs and symptoms of shock include low blood pressure; over-breathing; a weak, rapid pulse; cold, clammy, grayish-blueish skin; decreased urine flow; and a sense of great anxiety and foreboding. [2] 

 

The term "mental shock" can be applied to someone who has psychological anguish or discord, which could occur in cases of psychological disorders or severe depression. Mental shock implies inadequate perforation of the brain tissue. Typically a patient with this condition would be severely dehydrated or would have bled out. A newborn wouldn’t fit this criteria in the slightest, and mental shock is not caused by a physical injury.

 

"Neurogenic shock" is another type of shock that has been falsely attributed to circumcision. Neurogenic shock may occur after damage to the central nervous system, such as a traumatic brain injury or injury to the spinal cord. [3]

 

Eugene Gu is a controversial physician with a notorious history in both his professional and personal lives. In 2015, he gained national prominence when he was subpoenaed to appear before the U.S. Congress because his research group used tissue from aborted fetuses to conduct experiments. [4] 

 

Vanderbilt University Medical Center placed Gu on probation in 2017 - after three years of a surgical residency. The university released him in 2018. In its decision the university cited a "lack of sufficient improvement in performance and conduct". A letter from VUMC stated that the "significant areas of concern [were] in patient care, communication, and medical knowledge." [5] Consequently Gu does not have a medical license.

 

Back in 2011 Gu's ex-wife accused him of domestic violence. Shortly after his release from VUMC a former girlfriend accused him of sexual harassment, claiming that he had become too aggressive on a date. She also accused him of using a sock-puppet account - @MaryLauryMD - to pose as a female doctor infatuated with himself. 

 

"Mary posted pictures that were actually Gu’s, and posted things about Vanderbilt that no one other than Gu would have known. The hospital where Mary claimed she worked didn’t list a doctor under her name. When Allison finally tweeted at Gu to stop tweeting as Mary, the account was immediately deleted." [7]

 

Gu claimed that his ex-girlfriend had harassed him, but he admitted to using the sock-puppet account. [6] When the allegations of domestic violence came to light, other physicians reconsidered their earlier support for Gu. Some accused him of creating additional aliases whose sole purpose was to defend the embattled physician. [4]

 

Gu follows in the footsteps of intactivist icon Paul Fleiss, the osteopath-turned-pediatrician who was convicted of bank fraud and money laundering in support of his daughter Heidi Fleiss, a.k.a. the Hollywood Madam. As we documented in 2018, Fleiss provided questionable medical advice, and he was disciplined by medical authorities for his role in the death of a 3 1/2 year-old girl. [8] Like Fleiss, Gu has admitted to acts of deception. Unlike Fleiss, he hasn't played a role in anyone's death. At least not yet.

 

 

 

[1] Eugene Gu; Twitter post; January 11, 2019; 11:54 AM 

[2] William C. Shiel, Jr., MD; "Medical Definition of Shock"; MedicineNet; Reviewed December 27, 2018

[3] Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD; "Medical Definition of Neurogenic Shock"; MedicineNet

[4] Ankita Rao; "Who is Eugene Gu?' Vice; July 12, 2018

[5] Ben Leonard; "VUMC does not renew contract of Duke Med alum who kneeled against white supremacy"; June 1, 2018

[6] "Dr. Eugene Gu Accused of S‌ex‌u‌al As‌‌s‌a‌ult and ‘To‌rme‌ntin‌g’ Ex-Girlfriend on Twitter"; NextShark; July 12, 2018

[7] Laura Yan; "The strange case of Eugene Gu"; The Verge; March 5, 2019

[8] "The intactivist hero who committed bank fraud and money laundering for the Hollywood Madam"; Circumcision Choice; January 16, 2018

 

 

 

#Shock #MentalShock #NeurogenicShock #EugeneGu #Vanderbilt #VUMC

 

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