Doyle Byrnes, a nursing student, loves her some placenta.  In fact, she loves placentas so much, she struck a pose with at least one — without the placenta owner’s permission — and posted her shining, toothy, visage on Facebook mocking a stranger’s bloody afterbirth.

Doyle Byrnes got in trouble for her placenta posing and, of course, in her best Sarah Palin imitation, Byrnes blamed her school, and not herself, for her expulsion:

One of four nursing students dismissed from Johnson County Community College, in Kansas, for posting on Facebook photos of themselves in a lab with a human placenta has sued the institution and several faculty and staff members in federal court, The Kansas City Star reported. The former student who sued, Doyle Byrnes, argued that her instructor had given her implicit permission to post the photos and that the college had violated her due-process rights in dismissing her.

Doyle should go back to grammar school.  “Implicit” permission isn’t “explicit” permission — and one should never “imply” anything anyway, under any circumstance, when one is involved in the medical profession.  If you don’t know the difference between the memeing of implicit and explicit, you have earned your expulsion from nursing school.

A dean at the school calls it “a lesson hard learned.”

According to the complaint in U.S. District Court in Kansas, Byrnes was a good student and was attending a lab course off-site at Olathe Medical Center on Nov. 10 to examine a human placenta. The lab session was supervised by Johnson County Community College nursing instructor Amber Delphia.

One of the seven students in the group asked Delphia for permission to photograph the placenta so they could share their experience on Facebook.

Delphia, according to the lawsuit, merely said, “Oh, you girls,” and did not tell them not to do it or that it could result in discipline.

Four students had themselves photographed with the organ, which had no identification linking it to a particular woman. Byrnes’ photo showed her smiling broadly, wearing a lab coat and surgical gloves and leaning over the placenta in a tray.

Should we hold Doyle Byrnes accountable for her bad taste in medicine?  After all, in the late ’70s, Saturday Night Life wrote a skit for live television called “Placenta Helper” that mocked the afterbirth eating movement and the animated Hamburger Helper glove.  The skit never aired.

Here’s a search performed this morning for “placenta” on Amazon — demonstrating how you can now purchase a wide array of mainstream beauty and self-improvement products that push placenta:

In light of the hidden placenta pocking our public and private lives, is posing with a placenta on Facebook such a bad thing?  Did the school overreact by forcing Doyle Byrnes from the nursing program over an afterbirth?  How soon will candied placenta be on the corner deli candystand?  Can we be that far away from Shit My Placenta Posted On My Facebook Wall?


  1. I laughed out loud reading the last sentence, David. The absurdity of it all is sad to me. Good point about implicit and explicit.

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