Tongue splits and other loose ends

| 1 Comment

As the tongue splitting story is getting mainstream press coverage and goes around the world, I think I should post my own views to it here. And I'll also touch some interesting points as made by Phyre Bitzshe and Dimi.

First let me tell you all something, that might help you understand what I'm saying or where I'm coming from. I used to be a black and white person when I was younger - in my world it was either right or wrong, and a gray area really didn't exist. You were either for or against me, or anything that was open for discussion. Drugs - I was against. I still am but I'm not that extreme anymore. I've learned - over the years, and by talking to many friends - that there is not absolute right or wrong. Every story has more than one way to look at it.

Does this mean that I've lost my principles or don't stand by what I think and write and say? On the contrary. While I've become more moderate in my acceptance and judgement on others, I've made decisions for myself, but I am past the stage where I try to force those on others. Knowing that, my point of view hopefully will be more clear when you continue reading...

Does the idea, look or procedure of tonguesplitting gross you out?

Not in the least. Mind you, some people that I know - both personally as well as online - have modifications and some are considered extreme. Split tongues are not really shocking to me, I'm not suprised by them. If you are interested in getting it done, I suggest you do your research and think about it really well. Although it is reversible, a recent case of a forced tongue split reversal, has proven that the reversal is can be more problematic as the initial splitting. Yes, it involves blood and yes it can affect your speech. Keep that idea in mind when I get to point 3.

Does (or should) government have the right to intervene and regulate in cases where personal choices only affect oneself and your body?

I can't stress this enough, but I think government has to stay out of it. If I want to cut off my leg tomorrow (which I'm not planning to do, believe me!) I should be entitled to. However - and this is important - only if that decision does not affect others. If I cut off my leg, and I then ask for social benefits because I need help, the government should be allowed to say : you chose to do this, now you deal with the consequences. However, this is an extreme example.

So let's go to the tongue splitting topic. Does me cutting my tongue affect you? I don't think so. Does it affect you when it gets infected and needs emergency medical treatement? Yes it does. Why? Because we all pay for those medical services and me requiring them diminishes resources available for others. Keep that in mind when I get to point number 3.

What happens if a ban is instated?

As Phyre Bitzsche correctly writes, it would force those willing to do it - or get it done - into the hands of untrained and unregulated hackers. Is that what you want? I certainly don't. Banning therefore really doesn't solve anything, although it might look like the matter is resolved when it comes to legal technicalities. Does that mean that it won't be done anymore? Not at all.

I actually would like some sort of a regulation - be it only doctors performing the splits (with for instance an argon laser), or regulated and controlled piercing and tattoo practitioners as well. In either case, it would almost guarantee a controlled medical setting, that is equipped to deal with medical emergencies should they occur. Both the patient and the practitioner benefits from it.

A ban is nothing more than an invasion to the choices a human can make, creating more instead of less problems.

Link to BMEzine Risks - click on tongue splitting for details

1 Comment

Ug, I think tongue splitting is gross. No real reason except I just think it looks gross. I have no problem with people doing it though, although I sure as hell don't understand why.

One thing I think people need to keep in mind is that the tongue has the higest number of blood vessals in one place anywhere on your body, while also being in one of the dirtiest environments. It gets infected very easily and what's more those infections lead to something serious very fast because it gets into the blood so easily. So the chances of it needing serious medical attention should (when) something go wrong is very high. We're talking intravenous antibiotics and hospital stays here. I don't know exactly how this should be taken into account with this splitting thing (and peircing too, a tongue peircing basically forces bacteria into the flesh where all those blood vessals are waiting, since you can't steralise the surface of the tongue as effectively as you can skin), but it definitely should. Probably how you suggest, by regulating the procedure and keeping it safe. Certainly not by banning it.

But it's still gross :-P

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This page contains a single entry by ServMe published on May 15, 2003 10:15 PM.

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