Woman dies in Galway after being denied termination

(1000 Posts)
AThingInYourLife Wed 14-Nov-12 07:07:12

Holy evil pro-life bastards, batman

The wonder is it that there haven't been more angry

RIP Savita Halappanavar sad

LeBFG Wed 14-Nov-12 20:08:52

SO with a dilated cervix there really was no hope that the foetus could survive? Posters have mentioned ruptured membrances and carrying on til viability - I'm assuming this could never have been the case for Savita?

LineRunner Wed 14-Nov-12 20:08:56

Is it at all relevant that Ireland is an EU member state? I just cannot believe that this family's human rights were considered at all - Savita's right to life, her and her husband's right to family life... The state's ability to fail to legislate with clarity because of religious cowardice seems to have prevailed.

I stayed in hospital for 48 hours after the waters broke on iv antibiotics. I then went home for 3 days on oral abs, cervix was around 2 cm dialated at the time. I had a list of symptoms to look out for incase of infection.

I was offered an induction on medical grounds after the waters broke but as I was showing no signs of infection decided to wait. I could have stayed in hospital longer if I'd wanted to.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 14-Nov-12 20:16:22

LeBGF: read the Irish Times link. The doctor told them the baby wouldn't survive.

lebof I have incompetant cervix, so the cervix was open between 2-6 cm from 18+4 until delivery at 19+6.

You have more chance of the limbs coming through the cervix, which happened to me, or cord prolapse not to mention the high chance of the lungs and limbs not developing if the waters break so early.

Xiaoxiong Wed 14-Nov-12 20:20:41

LineRunner the ECHR has already ruled on this in 2010, stating that Ireland's abortion laws violate Article 8. You can read the judgement here - the court found that the abortion ban interfered with "the most intimate part of their family and private lives including their physical integrity".

LeBFG Wed 14-Nov-12 20:21:47

It's now abundantly clear to me, from KRITQ's summary of Chorioamnionitis, the link to the wiki page and the Curtsey's link quoting the British Miscarriage Association as well as the anedotal experiences on here, that it is normal, standard and good medical practice in these situations is to both prescribe ABs and speed up delivery of the foetus. It seems to me that both were neccesary to prevent or curtail infection, in contradiction to Cailin's posts.

What a tragedy that the ABs were given so late. And what a tradegy that the foetus wasn't eliminated earlier.

GingaNinja Wed 14-Nov-12 20:21:51

My SIL had the same situation as this poor woman - the difference being my SIL was in the UK and is hence still ALIVE after being induced at 17.5 weeks (mis underway but stalled) and then treated for the accompanying blood poisoning.

We live in Galway. DD was delivered in UCHG (the hospital concerned). I am English and when we left Leeds my GP there said I had 5 years to go back to Armley before I'd be taken off their practice list if I needed anything ie what I would regard as normal contraceptive/pregnancy care.

I have made sure my DD has a UK passport, even though she's only 3 at the moment, so that if she EVER needs to exert her reproductive rights she can not be prevented from travelling by the medieval attitude of certain sections of the Irish state. I'm not holding my breath for change.

expatinscotland Wed 14-Nov-12 20:22:17

I really feel for this lady, her husband and family. Absolutely heartbreaking to lose your child, but to know that she suffered horribly before her death and was not treated properly is tragic.

lisalisa Wed 14-Nov-12 20:22:58

I'm not sure I understand this case.

Savita was 17 weeks pregnant and had been told there was no hope for her baby. Nevertheless the doctors refused to abort it as she had presumably requested until the heartbeat failed ( which it presumably did on its own) and then she got septiceamia and passed away.

Was the septicemia related to the foetus directly? AFter it died did they not remove it quickly? Just thinking that normally if a baby dies in utero it does not usually give the mother blood poisening?

CailinDana Wed 14-Nov-12 20:23:30

Sigh. So now it's going to become a pointless debate where the pro-choice side is going to say "An abortion would have saved her ^without a doubt^" and the pro-life side saying "No it wouldn't." I would bet my life savings that the medical evidence will be on the pro-life side. Own goal for pro-choice. Great.

I sympathise with that poor man but making statements like that is playing right into the hands of the pro-life side.

LeBFG Wed 14-Nov-12 20:23:52

Grimma - I must have missed that. Fucking nutters. That's my last word.

Xiaoxiong Wed 14-Nov-12 20:29:17

Whatever the circumstances of this particular case, it is clear that what the ECHR calls the "chilling effect" of the Irish law on abortion meant that she was not able to receive an acceptable standard of medical advice. Extract from the 2010 ECHR judgement:

254. Against this background of substantial uncertainty [about the law on abortion], the Court considers it evident that the criminal provisions of the 1861 Act would constitute a significant chilling factor for both women and doctors in the medical consultation process, regardless of whether or not prosecutions have in fact been pursued under that Act. Both the [woman] and any doctor ran a risk of a serious criminal conviction and imprisonment in the event that a decision taken in medical consultation, that the woman was entitled to an abortion in Ireland given the risk to her life, was later found not to accord with Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution. Doctors also risked professional disciplinary proceedings and serious sanctions. The Government have not indicated whether disciplinary action has ever been taken against a doctor in this regard. The Review Group Report 1996, the Green Paper 1999 and the Fifth Progress Report on Abortion 2000 each expressed concerns about the lack of legal protection for medical personnel. As to the Government’s reliance on the C case, doctors consulted by women such as the third applicant were not in the same legal situation as those in the C case who were providing opinions as regards a rape victim who was a suicide risk, a situation falling clearly within the ambit of the X case.

255. Accordingly, and referring also to McCarthy J.’s judgment in the X case (paragraph 44 above), the Court does not consider that the normal process of medical consultation could be considered an effective means of determining whether an abortion may be lawfully performed in Ireland on the ground of a risk to life.

flippinada Wed 14-Nov-12 20:29:50

Agree sabine.

Is there anything someone from the UK could do to help, apart from fulminating on the sidelines?

CailinDana Wed 14-Nov-12 20:31:47

And to clarify I never said this wasn't an abortion issue. It absolutely is. Savita should have been given an abortion regardless of any infection risk. She should not have been made to suffer for three days. She would have had that suffering with or without the infection and that that's what's wrong.

LineRunner Wed 14-Nov-12 20:32:22

Thanks, Xiao.

Cailin, I was quoting the words of the deceased woman's husband.

I am so angry at this. And sad, but mainly angry.

expatinscotland Wed 14-Nov-12 20:34:27

I'm quite sad about it, Pacific. How horrendous, to be in a hospital and not listened to and suffering so horribly. sad

CailinDana Wed 14-Nov-12 20:34:33

I know Line. And I sympathise with him totally. But there is no way of supporting his statement. And of course the pro-life side will expect him to produce rock solid evidence that the abortion would have saved her. And like I said, I would bet my life savings that the medical evidence will show that an abortion would not have "without a doubt" saved her, so his arguments and the people of those supporting him will be discredited for no good reason.

flippinada Wed 14-Nov-12 20:35:10

Pacific me too.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 14-Nov-12 20:35:26

Cailin - no, you're setting up a false argument based on a husband's emotional rather than coldly scientific evaluation. That's not what the argument is.

Pro-life - termination might not have saved her life.

thats true. But it might have done. Shit-poor argument.
That's about all the argument they've got isn't it?

Pro-womans rights - The balance of probability is that termination combined with proper attention to the womans health would have resulted in her survival. Termination would have made no difference to the outcome for the foetus - the poor mite was not going to survive. Early termination would have helped save the woman from days of agony.

CalmingMiranda Wed 14-Nov-12 20:36:04

Cailin - read the link from the Irish Times on what would have happened in a UK hospital, and why.

I do understand what you are saying, in wanting this NOT to end up as a pro-choice own goal.

But the husband of this poor woman in an intelligent professional man. Married to a dentist. He was presumably there for those days on the hospital and all the conversations with the doctors. He saw every thing that went on and heard every explanation. He has the exact timeline. He is in a better position to judge than any of us non-medicals on this thread.

Xiaoxiong Wed 14-Nov-12 20:36:27

Cailin I think you meant to say "She should not had that suffering with or without the infection" because she should have had an abortion when she needed it?

squoosh Wed 14-Nov-12 20:36:37

Here's a link to Choice Ireland

www.choiceireland.org/

and here are some Irish women's experiences of abortion.

www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend/2012/0324/1224313801571.html

CailinDana Wed 14-Nov-12 20:37:02

What I'm saying is that instead of being a debate about the fact that a woman in pain should be given an abortion simply because she is a worthy human being who deserves not to suffer, it will become a pointless back and forth about whether the abortion was necessary to save her or not, just like this thread has. It DOESN'T MATTER whether it would have saved her or not, she still should have got it. But that fundamental point will get buried, the pro-life side will smugly say "well medical evidence says it wouldn't have saved her so we're right, ner ner ner" and we'll have to swallow that bollocks because there is no way to prove that it could have saved her.

That's what my whole argument is about.

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