Ireland: Woman denied termination dies in hospital

(149 Posts)
WidowWadman Wed 14-Nov-12 00:42:25

FFS - how is that defensible in any way shape or form? My thoughts go out to her family.

WidowWadman Wed 14-Nov-12 00:42:46
5madthings Wed 14-Nov-12 00:48:17

Oh dear god that poor woman and her family.

Fucking barbaric to leave her to suffer like that, what a waste of life sad

caramelwaffle Wed 14-Nov-12 00:53:12

That is heartbreaking.

And yes. What a waste of life.

Condolences to the family.

Darkesteyes Wed 14-Nov-12 00:53:23

That is manslaughter IMO.

bellabelly Wed 14-Nov-12 01:00:04

Absolutely horrific. That poor woman. Bad enough if this had happened when it was thought that the baby might survive but when they KNEW there was no chance of that, why prolong her suffering? My heart goes out to her husband.

5madthings Wed 14-Nov-12 01:04:24

I agree dark at the very least it us death through medical negligence. The drs treating her (or failing to treat her) shoukd be struck off.

Honestly i am lost for words, it is beyond rational thought that they left her to suffer and die like that. The fetus was not viable, her life was at risk. The law in Ireland does allow for abortion in cases like this.

I hope her family get justice.

skyebluesapphire Wed 14-Nov-12 01:14:31

That is disgraceful :-((

chipmonkey Wed 14-Nov-12 01:22:50

5madthings, in the case of the foetus not being viable, that actually doesn't entitle an Irish woman to a termination. You either carry the baby to term or go to Liverpool.
In the case of the mother's life being at risk, constitutionally there is a case for terminating but despite this, there are no laws in place to allow for it and women have had to travel abroad even when their lives were at risk.
And in this case, they didn't even seem to realise that this poor woman's life was at risk! So now mother and baby are both dead. No sense in this at all.sad

5madthings Wed 14-Nov-12 01:26:10

I didnt realise that chip thankyou for the clarification.

Its a disgrace that this woman was essentially left to die. I am appalled, utter utter waste of life sad

chipmonkey Wed 14-Nov-12 01:27:40

And as for "This is a Catholic Country" Speak for yourself, mate!angry

ravenAK Wed 14-Nov-12 01:30:06

That poor woman, & her poor family. Appalling. angry.

Yourefired Wed 14-Nov-12 01:31:37

Agree with darkesteyes as to the criminality of this. Not sure what statute contravened in irish law, but I hope family persue through the courts.

FriggFRIGG Wed 14-Nov-12 01:41:48


So they knew the foetus wouldn't survive,but they let the mother die,in agony,in order to keep the foetal heart beating a few more days?

I am lost for words.

What a barbaric country,that could allow this to be law.

Darkesteyes Wed 14-Nov-12 01:53:37

Its barbaric. My thoughts and sympathies go out to her family.
I seem to remember a case back in the late 80s where a 14 yr old Irish girl who was a victim of rape had to come to London or Liverpool (cant remember where) and ive got a hazy memory of that singer Dana speaking out and trying to stop the young girl from leaving the country to have a termination.
Its a distant memory from watching the news when i was a teen myself (about the same age as the girl) Im pro choice by the way. If ive got this Dana thing wrong MN feel free to delete it. Its a memory from a long time ago.

Darkest you're right, it was the X case (she miscarried so didn't have to travel in the end)

X case

Very famous case in Ireland.

I can't find a link where Dana specifically spoke out about that case but she's highly pro life and I guess it would be logical.

mathanxiety Wed 14-Nov-12 02:50:20

Clearly an incompetent medical team. If the baby had no hope then a D&C should have been done. And abortion is legal in Ireland in case of risk to the mother. However, the circumstances in which risk to the mother can be assessed and what may follow are unclear.

If you are in labour and dilated, with sac broken and fluid leaking, with no progress in 24 hours you are taken for a cs iirc, not left with amniotic fluid draining away with the concomitant risk of infection. She should have had ABs much earlier and a D&C heartbeat or no heartbeat. There was a clear risk to the mother.

I hope the bereaved husband sues the hosp and individual doctors for every penny they are worth. This was a terrible case.

I hope it will be an impetus for clarity and compassionate regard for the life of the mother on the part of legislators, because situations like this happen.

mathanxiety Wed 14-Nov-12 02:53:07

This is why the right to choose is so important.

Doctors can and will disagree but this woman asked for a termination knowing something wasn't right with her body.

It would be tragic if she'd had the right to choose and insisted she didn't want a medical termination (as some people do), but it doesn't bear thinking about that she was asking for this and was refused. Poor woman, she must have been terrified.

tribpot Wed 14-Nov-12 06:55:02

The argument in mathanxiety's link seems to be that termination is only permitted if the mother's life is in danger. I guess it may not have been apparent that it was in danger at the time (merely that she was being left to suffer a distressing miscarriage in horrific and prolonged pain - so that's okay then hmm).

This is why religion should be an individual, and not a state, matter. A law like this has no place in modern Europe.

MmeLindor Wed 14-Nov-12 08:46:56

Just read this on twitter and cried for the poor woman.

How could they do this to her?

In the case of a 'missed miscarriage' a termination of the pregnancy must be not only allowed but also the recommended treatment.

Hope that it brings a rethink of the laws in Ireland.

BarbecuedBillygoats Wed 14-Nov-12 08:58:56

I dont like how we're a suing society
But I hope he sues their arses until they have nothing

msrisotto Wed 14-Nov-12 09:00:22

What Tribpot said:
This is why religion should be an individual, and not a state, matter. A law like this has no place in modern Europe.

samandi Wed 14-Nov-12 09:15:38

Tht's terrible. Ireland is so backwards in many respects.

So much for being pro life sad

That poor woman and her poor family, what a hideous situation, so easily preventable.

kissyfur Wed 14-Nov-12 10:09:58

Absolute disgrace and definitely manslaughter IMO. Poor woman

Lottapianos Wed 14-Nov-12 10:13:33

Sickening. How Ireland can be considered a modern country and a member of the EU with laws like this in place, I don't know. That poor woman and her poor husband.

'Ireland is so backwards in many respects'

Agree. So glad I don't live there anymore.

Barbaric and tragic, but wholly preventable. How anyone could argue that this course of action is right is beyond me.

Eve Wed 14-Nov-12 10:22:45

'Ireland is so backwards in many respects' Agree. So glad I don't live there anymore.

Me to..

when I get asked that question, I describe the people of Ireland as having the

'do as I say , don't do as I do' attitude.

so many people happy to dictate how others should live their lives, but lots of double standards.

Lottapianos Wed 14-Nov-12 10:25:41

'when I get asked that question, I describe the people of Ireland as having the 'do as I say , don't do as I do' attitude'

Yes to this. 'Do what you're told'. Having your own opinions, living your own life and being different are generally not tolerated.

Theala Wed 14-Nov-12 10:33:41

'Ireland is so backwards in many respects' Agree. So glad I don't live there anymore. Me too

Me three. Except I'd quite like to be there now so I could try to organize a giant march for this poor woman and to agitate to get the law changed so this doesn't happen again.

It's a fucking disgrace of a country so it is*.

My best friend's baby was anencephalic. The doctors advised her that it would never survive outside the womb. In her grief and fear, she had to organise going to England herself for a termination or face another face months of carrying a child she knew would die. That should never have been allowed to happen.

*in this respect, I will conceede it has other good qualities.

Theala Wed 14-Nov-12 10:36:11

^four, not face

Theala That's horrible sad

Lottapianos Wed 14-Nov-12 10:42:04

Theala - your poor friend. That is barbaric sad

Theala Wed 14-Nov-12 11:09:02

Yes, it was really horrible and traumatic for her. It makes me angry every time I think of it.

summerflower Wed 14-Nov-12 11:37:54

This is appalling, and I think it indicates how blurred the boundaries are on miscarriage and abortion. Reading mathanxieties link, it seems to be the case that if you are having a miscarriage, it has to proceed naturally, unless there is risk to your own life? I think that is barbaric and a different issue than choosing to end a pregnancy, iyswim, though I don't want to get into a debate about it on this thread. This case is a tragedy, which could have been avoided.

However, I also think there was medical negligence in this case, as the law seemed to have been interpreted as 'we can do nothing for as long as there is a foetal heartbeat' whereas what the Supreme Court decision in the link suggests is that they could have acted earlier, given the potential and then very real threat to the mother's life. In other words, the medical interpretation of the law was wrong; and I agree that this means the law needs to be clarified or re-thought.

summerflower Wed 14-Nov-12 11:39:55

Apologies, I had not realised there was a second page of this thread. Theala, I hope my post did not come across as any way insensitive after yours. I was talking about the OP. I'm sorry.

Theala Wed 14-Nov-12 11:43:16

don't worry about it, summer. I didn't think your post was insensitive.

mayorquimby Wed 14-Nov-12 11:44:14

Don't know enough about medicine so could anyone assist with the following questions
1. Was the condition she died from the result of leaving the foetus in the womb or is it a risk/result if the procedure they carried out?
2. Would they have had to perform this same procedure if they'd been in a position to grant her request at the first time if asking?
3. Is there an inherent risk to a woman's life under these circumstances routinely?
4. In what way does the delay increase risk ROTC?

Thanks to anyone who can help

mayor - not a medic either, but as I understand it they didn't perform a procedure - that's the issue. She was miscarrying and developed septacemia (blood poisoning). I read that there was amniotic fluid leaking and she was vulnerable to infection, so it was a known risk, but not certain.

There is an inherent risk to pregnancy and miscarriage, yes.

I don't know what ROTC means, sorry!

But basically, if you're miscarrying, it is dangerous and you can develop infections. A lovely mate of mine who is strongly anti-abortion miscarried at 21 weeks and refused many times to have a medical termination because she was so hoping the baby would make it, and I know her hospital in the US were desperately worried about the risks to her health. sad

dublindee Wed 14-Nov-12 11:53:52

I think the issue here is that the medical professions are treating this by the letter of the law re a foetus/baby's right to life. But this is not about abortion. Even if it was, due to high risk of septicaemia as she was fully dilated with amniotic fluid leaking they could have induced her was never about absorption - the woman was having a miscarriage. At 17 weeks the pregnancy was not viable do surely the well wing oc the mum should have been their main concern???

I have nothing against Galway and I'm not a close-minded Dub either (Da was from the midlands although Ma born in Dublin she spent all her childhood in the South-East) but I do wonder if this would have happened in the Coombe/Rotunda/Holles St???

grimbletart Wed 14-Nov-12 12:03:03

So, their cruel and indefensible laws have led to two deaths, not one.

Well done Ireland. Well done religion. Not.

dublindee Wed 14-Nov-12 12:03:41

Apologies for the typos folks am on my iPhone!

mayorquimby Wed 14-Nov-12 12:21:45

Sorry ROTC was an iPhone autocorrect when I meant to put etc.

The reason I ask the questions are just with regards suggesting criminal action on the part of the doctors etc.

Fwiw I'd hold off on blaming them initially (obviously more info could come out) because they may well have simply been following legal or medical procedure for Ireland.
In which case you'd be criminalising the specific doctors for having been randomly assigned a patient when they may have done exactly what every other doctor would have within the given system.
By all means the hse and the legislation should be attacked, but I think focussing on the individual doctors may be a way of sidetracking off the main issue.

grimbletart Wed 14-Nov-12 12:35:19

That's what you risk happening when you allow religion to dictate your laws.

Themumsnot Wed 14-Nov-12 12:41:31

Another awful reminder of how much Ireland hasn't really changed beneath the surface since I left in the 80s despite all the Celtic Tiger posturing.
That poor woman.

KRITIQ Wed 14-Nov-12 12:43:08

ROTC is "Reserve Officer Training Corps" - the fast track of bright students to military officers with the military picking up part of the tab for university - in America. (That's for the curious - where the autocorrect would have come up.)

Absolutely ghastly case from top to bottom. I can only hope that this will light a rocket under the arses of Irish citizens and their Government to ensure there is clear guidance on cases like this. Even better, a review of what is an archaic law. I'm wondering if there is something in the European Human Rights legislation that would apply here - for challenging the acceptability of the law on abortion in Ireland.

I hope the husband can sue for an eye watering sum of compensation from the Irish government and the licenses of those medical practitioners involved in her case, who failed to act in the interests of her welfare, be revoked.

Ireland, Poland and a number of European countries have the head in the sand approach to abortion, basically exporting it to be "dealt with" by other countries that do permit safe and legal abortion. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm thinking there surely has to be some grounds here under European legislation or through the European courts. The regressive and restrictive laws in some countries disproportionately disadvantage women in economic and health terms. Anyone who knows about these things able to offer a view? Thanks.

Themumsnot Wed 14-Nov-12 12:45:31

There is a protest at the Irish Embassy in London tonight if anyone is in the area.

No, in Ireland doctors are allowed to perform an abortion if the woman's life is in danger.

There's an article in the Guardian (front page, you can't miss it), if you're interested. It's pretty similar to the one linked in the OP, TBH, but just gives a few more basic points.

I agree that the main focus of the thread (on the abortion issue, not the individuals) is probably more useful, though.

TeaAndHugs Wed 14-Nov-12 12:46:19

Sick. Other people's religious beliefs should never take precedence over someone's life.

The really tragic thing is that abortion to save the mother's life is legal under Irish law, but doctors are scared to act because there are no guidelines about when they can intervene without risking prosecution.

Sounds like there are several protests happening, in Ireland and in London, to ask the Irish govt to sort out the unclear abortion law. Anyone going to one?

AbigailAdams Wed 14-Nov-12 12:46:25

Further to math's link Here is one where Irish doctors are saying ther is no medical need for terminations to save a woman's life. hmm I suspect Savita Halappanavar (and lets name her because she is a person) thought differently.

She requested a termination. Her life was in danger. It should have been granted. It wasn't.

bureni Wed 14-Nov-12 12:54:27

Ireland has always been governed by the church who instill their rules by fear, its a backward country that will hopefully change now that it is practically governed from Brussels and hopefully it take take itself out of the 18th century and get with the program a little. Thousands of women have been forced to live in workhouses in Ireland over the years through being raped and have their children removed from them,this countries laws need a total rethink leaving their antiquated and backward religion behind them.

sashh Wed 14-Nov-12 13:10:16


The cervix works to keep a pregnancy in and infection out during pregnancy.

When the cervix is fully dilated it is easy for an infection to get in. It's basically the same as having a deep cut that is open to the air.

Savita's cervix was fully dilated for at least three days. Had the contents of her uterus been emptied, naturally or by D and C then her cervix would have closed cutting off the route of infection.

You know, something I find terrifying about this is, in the past people would have been so thankful and amazed to be able to do what we can do today, medically, to help a woman who is dying during pregnancy.

Devoutly Catholic people in times past would have been immensely thankful to find out how to help a woman who was clearly miscarrying and dying.

It's only now that the Church and the anti-abortion lobby have decided to define an ever-expanding range of things as 'abortion', including it seems helping a woman who's miscarrying not to die, that we've lost sight of that.

sashh Wed 14-Nov-12 13:33:51

I think many of the prolifers don't think. It's all poor baby being killed, no thought about the situation at all.

It's the same with the ones who say you can have an abortion if you have been raped. Well it takes a year or longer to go from the report to the court so at what point do you let a woman have an abortion? What if her rapist is never cought?

EmmelineGoulden Wed 14-Nov-12 13:47:53

When I was pregnant in the US and thought I was miscarrying at 12 weeks I called my doctor. She asked me a few questions - none of which seemed to me to be about saving my baby. It was only after everything was over that I realised I was right. She hadn't been focused on saving the pregnancy, in fact she hadn't really cared aout the life of the foetus at that point, she had been focused entirely on making sure I wasn't about to die. Although I was shocked while it was happening, in retrospect I was hugely relieved and it made me feel better about trying again.

I just can't imagine how awful it must be to be a patient somewhere where you aren't the focus of treatment. Where you don't have bodily autonomy. Where your medical team don't actually care, medically, about you. Where you can be put at risk of suffering and death because of someone else's foul ethics.

Can you see it happening to men - "We know you need this drug to survive, but we only have one dose and there are several other patients currently in vegatative states who would need the drug if they woke up, so we're not going to give you the drug until they're dead. Just in case. Don't worry. it's all part of God's plan."

TeiTetua Wed 14-Nov-12 14:10:27

The BBC story has this note:

"The Irish Supreme Court ruled that the mother and child have an equal right to life... However, no government has enacted legislation to give certainty to doctors as to when terminations can be carried out and under what circumstances.

Politicians privately admit this is due to a belief on their part that people in the Irish Republic don't want abortion in Ireland as long as there's a British solution to the country's abortion problem."

So there you are. She should have headed off to England and got her problems sorted out there.

summerflower Wed 14-Nov-12 14:26:28

>>No, in Ireland doctors are allowed to perform an abortion if the woman's life is in danger.<<

The point is that this was an incomplete miscarriage, surely, with all the attendant risks. Different from an induced abortion, I would have thought.

Yes, absolutely, summer. I was just saying in response to mayor claiming that the doctors may have been following legal procedure. They may have thought that's what they were doing, but they weren't.

mayorquimby Wed 14-Nov-12 15:01:29

Well the problem is that the x case has never been legislated for, the medical profession appear to sing off a different hymn sheet and its not quite clear if the threat to the mothers life was apparent.
I don't know what legal advice has been given to doctors or what sort of guidelines they're taught in their training, so it is quite possible that they've been mislead or left high and dry by a system and a society which has continuously used the boat to England as our get out for not tackling the issue of abortion so we can remain on our high horse.

As I've said more info may emerge which shows the doctors to have acted horrifically as individuals, but for the moment it would appear to be a situation which is also failing medical practitioners.

Even given this I'm not sure a referendum to legalise abortion would pass.

It has been legislated for, mayor - what do you mean? confused

It was apparent the mother's life was in danger. Miscarriage is dangerous.

I'm sorry, but I don't follow your post at all and a bit of me is quite angry you would write that this is 'the' problem: to me, 'the problem' is that a woman has died after she was refused potentially life saving treatment, because she does not have power over her own body. That is 'the problem' here.

mayorquimby Wed 14-Nov-12 15:27:13

What legislation covers the termination of pregnancies where the mothers life is in danger?

As I said, I think the articles cover it, mayor. Sorry, not going to look it up but I'm sure it wouldn't be in all the papers if it wasn't true.

mayorquimby Wed 14-Nov-12 15:34:59

Case law based on the interpretation of the constitution allows for it but I'm not sure any legislation has been enacted. Hence my point that the problem for doctors is that they've been left in legal and medical limbo because we as a society has failed to address the issue of abortion because we've passed the buck and relied on the boat over to England.

If there has been legislation then that's my mistake but as far as I'm aware there's not.
Doctors know that there's a case that says where the mothers life is in critical danger an aborttion is permitted, but nothing has been defined as to what constitutes such a threat etc. and so doctors are unclear as to their legal exposure if they were to perform such a procedure

AnyFucker Wed 14-Nov-12 15:49:03

MQ, I am not understanding your point. Or perhaps I am not understanding your question.

It is clear in all medical training that a woman suffering an incomplete miscarriage (which Savita did as she was in agony and symptomatic for at least 3 days) with an open cervix is at risk of infection and the sequel of septicaemia if the remaining tissue in her uterus is not removed.

IMO, the medical team caring for her broke their Hippocratic Oath, which to me, in the first instance means "to do no harm". The "threat" is well documented in medical literature, a quick google will take you straight there.

KRITIQ Wed 14-Nov-12 15:55:58

Which means that there is an URGENT need to clarify that legal position.

If what you are suggesting is true, you could have a doctor who performs a termination, believing this is necessary to save the life of the woman, but is later prosecuted for carrying out an unlawful abortion.

You could have another doctor who refuses to perform an termination on a woman whose life is clearly at risk, but will hide behind the opacity of the law to defend his inaction, even where the patient dies.

It's quite simply not acceptable to have a situation where it is basically up to the discretion of the doctor whether they intervene to save a patient's life or leave them, knowing the result is that quite likely they will die.

I refuse to accept that any doctor, even a doctor in the Irish medical establishment, is ignorant of data on the mortality rates for women not given essential, emergency treatment in the event of an incomplete miscarriage. If they say they "didn't know the clinical risks," then they didn't have the competence to be practising medicine, frankly.

AnyFucker Wed 14-Nov-12 15:59:21

Precisely, kritiq. I am not an obstetrician, but I know this. We all know this. I object to someone throwing doubt on these facts

TBH, I don't think it is possible to clarify the legislation in any humane way, because the legislation is already fucked up.

But yes, it's impossible the medics didn't know this stuff.

TeiTetua Wed 14-Nov-12 16:05:23

Maybe I'd be wiser not to get involved, but as I see it:

We're seeing this from hindsight, where the woman was denied a termination, developed an infection, and died. But the doctors couldn't predict the future. They knew that the woman was in danger, but they didn't know what would happen. Maybe "most" women in that situation wouldn't get infected, or could be cured. Whereas if they did the termination, they'd be killing the foetus, for sure and certain. And even if under the circumstances the doctors wouldn't be prosecuted, they'd still have to face the rest of the staff at the hospital, in a society where (officially) abortion is illegal and abhorrent--"This is the doctor who performed an abortion when s/he didn't absolutely have to." Of course the doctor could point to the patient who recovered, but if events turned out that way, there'd be no way to prove that her life had been saved. She might have recovered anyway.

It's a miserable ethical situation for the medical staff. They ought to be backed up by a law and a society that lets them do the right thing, but I can't see that coming.

But they said they knew the foetus could not survive.

It is difficult, I agree, but that to me makes it worse, and not better.

This sort of event is inevitable if you enact laws like Ireland's.

AnyFucker Wed 14-Nov-12 16:15:56

There are medical tests (not banned by religion) that will tell you that someone's infection is developing along a worrying route. They would have known the likely outcome of what they were doing (actively denying her the correct treatment) would be her death.

TeiTetua Wed 14-Nov-12 16:27:05

AF--that's an emotional response and maybe also a logical one, but legally irrelevant. If there were someone who's terminally ill, you can't say "Let's kill them because their death removes danger from someone else, and it's all right because they only have a short time to live anyway". People have rights as long as they're alive, and in Ireland they say a foetus has rights equal to a person. We don't agree with that, but it's the way things are there. In their system, they had to let the foetus survive as long as it could, and then get on with saving the mother, if possible.

TeiTetua Wed 14-Nov-12 16:28:29

Sorry, I said "AF" but I was really addressing LRDtheFeministDragon's statement "they said they knew the foetus could not survive".

AnyFucker Wed 14-Nov-12 16:35:03

<phew > I was just sat there trying to frame a reply to you in the context of what I said. And failing miserably.

I think I would fail miserably at a totally reasoned argument here, tbh because I feel so viscerally that what happened here was wrong and barbaric, and there is absolutely no getting away from an emotional response to that.

AbigailAdams Wed 14-Nov-12 16:50:06

They knew the foetus wouldn't survive. They knew there was a real and impending risk of infection and therefore a threat to her life. They did nothing. And they let her suffer in the meantime. And they let her die.

KRITIQ Wed 14-Nov-12 17:03:10

I know this probably isn't a great analogy, but maybe it's somewhat similar to the following scenario.

There has been an earthquake. A building has collapsed and two people are trapped under the rubble.

Doctors have assessed the condition of the first person and determined that their condition is poor, worsening by the hour and their prospects of survival are virtually non-existent.

They have also assessed the condition of a second person, who is very ill, but could quite likely be saved if they are able to get them out from under the rubble and treat them.

However, because of how they are positioned, moving the rubble from the 2nd person will almost certainly mean that the first person, whom they know will die soon whatever they do, will almost certainly die immediately.

Do you remove the rubble to save the second person, who risks dying the longer you delay extracting them? Or, do you wait until the first person's heart has definitely stopped beating to remove the rubble and save the second person?

At any point, of course, the rubble could shift and both people could die immediately. This risk increases the longer you delay the rescue. The chance of the second person surviving specifically increases the longer you delay the rescue.

What do you do?

grimbletart Wed 14-Nov-12 17:28:56

Comment to Channel 4 News tonight by pro-lifer Ruth Cullen.

"It is also vitally important to acknowledge at this time that Ireland, without induced abortion, is recognised by the UN and World Health Organisation as a world leader in protecting women in pregnancy and is safer than places like Britain and Holland where abortion is widely available."

Epic fail then in this case sad

AnyFucker Wed 14-Nov-12 17:41:05

kritiq, the only answer I can make to your thought-provoking analogy is ...

what do you do ?

"you change the law so that only natural disasters, that cannot ever be foreseen, have the power to put people in the position of having to make that terrible decision"

AnyFucker Wed 14-Nov-12 17:44:18

Is Ruth Cullen opining then, that letting women take their chances with septicaemia is safer ? confused

TeiTetua Wed 14-Nov-12 17:45:19

I tend to just shrug at those artificial ethical dilemmas. Maybe it's more moral not to have an answer.

Anyway, if there's any creative outcome from this tragedy, it might be to wake people in Ireland up to what their laws and their attitudes lead to.

AnyFucker Wed 14-Nov-12 17:46:21

Amen TT

grimbletart Wed 14-Nov-12 17:53:11

Dunno AF - I rather think she is flailing around and grasping at any nearby straws.

EmmelineGoulden Wed 14-Nov-12 18:09:56

I don't find it a good analogy because I don't think a foetus is person. But accepting that the law in Ireland does, I think the analogy would be better if the question at the end isn't "what do you do?", but rather "Is it murder to take actions intended to save person one when those actions will kill person two?"

AnyFucker Wed 14-Nov-12 19:05:07

me too, GT

chipmonkey Wed 14-Nov-12 19:10:08

Lots of us in Ireland already awake, thanks TT.

Agree, emmeline, about the issue with that analogy.

I have to say, I also think there is a huge issue about death that is occuring inside someone's body and poisoning her. That is a specifically female issue - any analogy to the death of a person (or if you're anti-abortion, a person outside the womb) is going to be missing an important part because in this situation, by insisting this women could not have a medical termination, they were insisting she should experience everything that went with having her baby die inside her.

That is not someone else's choice to make.

AnyFucker Wed 14-Nov-12 20:11:32

There is no male equivalent to this, is there ? I cannot think of one anyway. Ergo, men have no say in it. None at all.

No, there really isn't. Imagine if men who had prostate cancer were refused surgery because it might affect their future children. Never going to happen.

(I am aware that the loss of a pregnancy is not comparable to cancer: I am simply unable to find any other analogy. Please excuse that. I'm not trying to compare the two; I'm trying to say they are not thinkable comparisons.)

summerflower Wed 14-Nov-12 21:16:56

I'm struggling to see why this is being framed in terms of Savita being denied a medical termination/abortion. She was miscarrying, the miscarriage was inevitable, if the cervix is open or your waters have broken before viability, it is called an inevitable abortion - in other words, it was happening anyway. She was denied an appropriate medical response to the inevitable abortion she was experiencing, she wasn't denied an abortion.

To say that she was denied a termination suggests that she wanted to end the pregnancy and the foetus had a chance. It did not. The doctors (wrongly) brought their views on foetal personhood into the clinical decision making when they were treating a clearly septic miscarriage, and failed to provide appropriate clinical intervention. Savita wanted appropriate medical intervention.

Does that distinction make sense? It is bothering me, because even the MN link in the top right hand says 'Woman refused abortion dies'. No, she was having an inevitable abortion (miscarriage), which had started, was progressing and she was refused appropriate treatment.

Why does it matter? Because women have miscarriages, they are natural, we can do nothing about them, we rely on the medical profession to treat them as a medical emergency when necessary. Miscarriage (and its treatment) should be separate from the pro-life/choice debate.

grimbletart Wed 14-Nov-12 22:22:53

I agree in principle Summerflower that this should have been a straightforward medical emergency decision, but the problem is that, if the reports are correct, the clinicians did not treat it as a medical emergency but made it an abortion issue when they told her that they could not give her the treatment she asked for i.e. to give her the treatment that would bring the miscarriage to a speedy conclusion.

This was, they said, because Ireland is a Catholic country and they could do nothing because the foetus's heart was still beating. So, it is not the media or mumsnetters making it about abortion it was the doctors themselves.

summerflower Wed 14-Nov-12 22:48:10

Of course, grimbletart, I agree with that. You are right, it was the doctors in question who (wrongly, imo) turned it into an abortion issue, but the media and MN are colluding with that, if you like. It is medical negligence which ended in tragedy, because the doctors saw it as an abortion issue, but if we start debating it as an abortion issue - i.e. on their terms, I think that could obscure the clear medical negligence.

I don't know, I am struggling to explain what I mean.

AnyFucker Wed 14-Nov-12 23:20:33

It's very difficult to articulate, because too much emotion gets in the way, for me that is true.

I think I get what you mean summer.

I think, if this woman had been somewhere where abortion was legal, we would never be referring to it as 'abortion'. We'd be sad for her loss and we'd see this as the medical procedure at the end of her miscarriage.

It seems utterly disrespectful, to me, of the emotional sense of a 'baby', that they decided to term this an 'abortion' issue when apparently she wanted the baby but knew she was miscarrying.

chipmonkey Wed 14-Nov-12 23:51:57

I think the problem is really that there is no legislation.
I find it absurd for example that if a person is in an accident here and there is no brain activity, that care is withdrawn, so that the person stops breathing and the heart stops beating.
However, in the case of a foetus/baby with anencephaly, here the woman is expected to carry that baby to term or until it dies and by dying, they mean the heart has stopped beating, regardless of the fact that the baby can never have any brain activity.
There really is just no logic in that.

We have had referendum after referendum. But all the people can change is the constitution. It is up to government to make the laws and time after time, they have delayed and fudged until their government term ends and they can pass the whole sorry mess to another goverment. Until their is another high profile case after which they usually just hold another referendum.

In poor Savita's case, it seems to me that constitutionally there was provision for her to have a termination but no medical legal guidelines for the doctors. So they went with "there's still a heartbeat" rather than "this foetus isn't viable and the mother's life is at risk.

With both ds3 and dd, they were born at 32 weeks and 28 weeks respectively. I had crash sections which were done to save my life. So my obs took ds3 and dd out of my body when they were viable but tiny in order to save me but these doctors wouldn't take Savita's baby out in order to save her life because the baby wasn't viable?? It makes no sense at all.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 15-Nov-12 00:04:12

Powerful post chipmonkey.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 15-Nov-12 00:12:08

Chip - you are right, it makes no sense. It lacks both wisdom and compassion.

bureni Thu 15-Nov-12 00:22:54

Chip, there is legislation, its basically our way or the highway. These bastards think they are a law onto themselves in every walk of life, it is one of the most corrupt governments I have ever seen. They need knocked down a few pegs or six and if they fail to comply simply stop bailing the bastards out on a daily basis.

chipmonkey Thu 15-Nov-12 00:25:01

I do think that people have been too complacent though. Because we do export the issue to the UK and a lot of women quietly take Ryanair flights to the UK because mostly it's not a medical emergency and she has a little time to plan.
But here, there was a medical emergency and no law to provide for it.

chipmonkey Thu 15-Nov-12 00:30:04

But not proper, clear-cut legislation, bureni. I don't recall any white papers, any bills being passed. This woman needed an act having been passed, saying that as the pregnancy was not viable, and her life was in danger, that she was entitled to have that foetus removed without delay. But there's nothing.

bureni Thu 15-Nov-12 00:59:36

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

sashh Thu 15-Nov-12 02:10:11

Miscarriage (and its treatment) should be separate from the pro-life/choice debate.

It should be, but the Pro Life stance isn't. This is why women in Mexico are in prisson for murder after a miscarriage, it is up to the woman to prove she didn't induce it - not an easy thing to prove.

In Chile an ectopic pregnancy cannot be removed before the fallopian tube bursts because it is classed as abortion and is illegal.

Bad enough if this had happened when it was thought that the baby might survive but when they KNEW there was no chance of that, why prolong her suffering?

Because is you only allow abortion when the mother's life is in imminent danger that's what the law says you have to do.

Pro lifers convenently forget the miscarriages, the ectopic pregnancies, the foetuses that die in the womb.

I've said this before and I'll say it again. It is almost beyond belief that a woman in Saudi Arabia (and other Arabic countries) has more rights over her body than a woman in Europe.

mathanxiety Thu 15-Nov-12 02:46:05

A friend of mine in the US found out via ultrasound that the foetus she was carrying could not live once born due to medical issues. Her doctor advised a termination and she went to the local priest to see what his tuppence worth was. He said go ahead and have the pregnancy terminated -- this was a foetus with no chance at all of surviving beyond having its cord cut. She went ahead and brought the baby to term anyway, and it died shortly after birth.They held a funeral. Priest was great, supported them all the way, and they felt he would have visited in the hospital if she had terminated. He had been very surprised she went ahead to birth.

mathanxiety Thu 15-Nov-12 03:16:30

I agree with you Summerflower. This was terrible medical practice. The foetus had no hope at all. From the article I gather they didn't start ABs until way too late. Infection is a well known risk when amniotic fluid is leaking and dilation has occurred. That is why women are given CS's a lot of the time -- you can't be left dilated.

I hope those so called doctors will be tried for manslaughter at the very least, and stricken from the register.

I also agree with you , Chipmonkey. There is too much spinelessness and too much complacency here. Maybe this senseless death will be a turning point? How about Enda Kenny putting his money where his mouth is and risking it? He has been vocal where the church is concerned. Time to get vocal with the medical establishment now.

<as an aside, I think I know Ruth Cullen, or at least I did about 25 years ago shock>

chipmonkey Thu 15-Nov-12 10:31:26

There was a woman on Ryan Tubridy this morning saying that she was in a comparable situation with a miscarriage. The pregnancy was found to be molar but there was still a foetal heartbeat and again doctors here waited till there was none. shock I find that shocking, a molar pregnancy is cancerous and should be removed ASAP surely?

And, in the case of an ectopic here, the foetus is removed, with or without a hearbeat. So using a heartbeat as the defining criteria is madness.

I hope Enda will come to his senses and do something about this.

I hadn't actually thought about this in terms of ectopic pregnancies. That's a terrifying thought, if it was ectopic would they still refuse to remove it? Even though there is no way it would be viable and leaving it would almost definitely kill the mother?

GrimmaTheNome Thu 15-Nov-12 11:20:58

>Even though there is no way it would be viable and leaving it would almost definitely kill the mother?

very rarely an ectopic goes to term ( wiki ). This is unfortunately used as an argument by extreme 'every foetus is sacred' dogmatists even though the vast majority of ectopics won't be viable and it's a major cause of death in countries where its not treated.

Grimma I didn't realise they ever made it to term. I've known a few people almost die because of ectopics though, and the thought that some people would have been happy to let that happen based on a very small chance, that makes me feel ill.

stleger Thu 15-Nov-12 11:31:11

(Hi chipmonkey!) I am as horrified by this as everybody else I know. I am not sure it is a pro abortion/pro life issue - it reminds me of the hysterectomies in OLOL, if the 'consultant playing God' is true. In the short term, hospital ethics committees should be called in and clarify hospital policies. I hate to think what fudge of a mess the politicians will come up with in the long term.

chipmonkey Thu 15-Nov-12 12:59:21

MurderOfGoths ectopic foetuses are removed on a regular basis in Ireland. I know several woman who've had ectopics pregnancies.

chipmonkey Thu 15-Nov-12 13:02:29

I actually read a US forum where a woman was seriously considering not allowing doctors to remove her ectopic pregnancy based on what some loons on the forum were telling her!
But I have never heard of someone taking that stance in Ireland.

Poor woman, chip. sad

I think there is such a huge, huge difference between an individual woman - who may make dangerous or unwise choices, but it is her body - and society legislating to take the choice away.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 15-Nov-12 13:30:24

>I have never heard of someone taking that stance in Ireland.
yes -the point was that ectopic pregnancies (despite being vaguely possibly viable) are terminated regardless of foetal heartbeat. So the molar pregnancy mentioned should have been too; and so should Savita's once the doctors had given no hope for a viable pregnancy.

mathanxiety Thu 15-Nov-12 15:31:31

The Irish medical establishment is incredibly arrogant. The RC church isn't a patch on the little jumped up johnnys gods running around ob and gyne wards in white coats.

Of course they get it from the schools they attend, but they go unchallenged by the pols and that has to change. If they are working in public hospitals and treating public patients they are essentially civil servants and their attitude should reflect the servant bit. 'Civil' wouldn't go amiss either.

mathanxiety Thu 15-Nov-12 15:39:20

Using the foetal heartbeat as the acid test or threshold is pure medical incompetence. Everything else pointed to D&C and administration of antibiotics.

I cannot for the life of me understand why they didn't start antibiotics sooner, at the 12 hour point at the latest, given that she was dilated and leaking fluid. Are they rationing the fecking medicine? By the time she started shivering she already had an infection, which is a completely predictable and not one bit unusual consequence of labour failing to progress either in a live delivery of a stillbirth or a miscarriage.

Many years ago (late 60s) my mother returned to Ireland having given birth in the UK. She gave the baby up for adoption. A nun commented that Ireland was a very Catholic country but not a very Christian one. Wise woman.

I know a woman (friend of a friend) whose baby was found at 20 weeks not to be viable. She was a serous Catholic (baby very much wanted) and they consulted various bishops, and she terminated the pregnancy. There was no chance the baby would have lived, undoubtedly if it had been a question of handicap, however serious, she would have continued.

I wonder what the inevitable enquiry will say?

AbigailAdams Thu 15-Nov-12 16:48:35

Really the Catholic Church does not care about women. At. All.Nun excommunicated for allowing a termination on a woman whose pregnancy was threatening her life. This priest would rather the woman had died (along with the foetus, presumably) than the pregnancy terminated. This is in another supposed westernised country FFS.

Abortion Rights
Time for Change in Northern Ireland

AnyFucker Thu 15-Nov-12 18:46:36

The Catholic Church hates women.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 15-Nov-12 18:50:52

>The Catholic Church hates women.

I'm not sure that's quite accurate - but it does seem to have a problem with women who don't stay in neat boxes of saint, nun or mother.

AnyFucker Thu 15-Nov-12 18:54:28


TeiTetua Thu 15-Nov-12 18:57:14

>The Catholic Church hates women.

No no no. They put one up on a pedestal to show how much they love women.

Blessed be the fruit of thy womb, eh.

HalloweenNameChange Thu 15-Nov-12 19:17:38

I was doing some research when the anti choice loons were trying tot ake over my country 2 weeks ago....

I found this regarding ectopic pregnancies. it's the most upsetting thing I had read in a long time. I am genuinely concerned a pregnant women will find it and risk her life on its advice

chipmonkey Thu 15-Nov-12 19:54:12

Abigail that is a very telling article, isn't it?

"You can't do evil in order to do good" says the bishop but where was the evil? If that nun had not intervened, then mother and baby would both die, if she intervenes only one dies. Where the fuck is the evil?

I also think that celibacy in the church is at the root of this ridiculous prioritisation of theology over common sense. A bunch of men, who never have and will never have pregnant wives dictating to women from the lofty heights of the Vatican. The reality of your losing your wife and the mother of your children because of a rigid adhesion to dogma will never affect them.

rempy Thu 15-Nov-12 20:28:45

Well, if those doctors really felt that being Irish and Catholic was such an almighty obstruction to doing their job properly, they could have asked an English team to go over there to do the procedure - given that it sounds like she was too ill to travel.

I'd have gone - I'd have paid my own airfare. This is so totally, totally unnecessary. I'm heartbroken that my profession has been so utterly utterly immoral.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 15-Nov-12 20:39:27

I would counter the bishop with Edmund Burke's words:
'All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing'

'Evil' isn't the term I'd use here exactly but doing nothing and thereby letting two die sure as heck shows no ethical sense.

grimbletart Thu 15-Nov-12 21:17:05

Halloween: that is the most evil article I think I have read on the issue.
Why did I know before I had scrolled to the end that it was American? Though I suppose we have our own share of "wasn't me wot did it" medical bandits here. "The foetus just sort of died on me. Whoops, shit happens".

It reeks of rank hypocrisy. So, it's OK to do something that you know is likely to lead to the foetus dying as long as you don't actually kill it. So what they are saying is that it doesn't really matter if the foetus dies, as long as it is collateral damage. That means it is not the death of the precious unborn life that concerns them; it is the need to square their own conscience i.e. they can go to bed at night saying "well, I didn't mean to kill it, it just unfortunately happened to die".

I can think of three words to sum up people with this attitude "cowardly, hypocritical bastards".

Doesn't matter if the woman suffers in agony with a doomed ectopic pregnancy or days of pain and distress with an unavoidable miscarriage, or nine months of hell carrying her rapist's issue..after all she's only a bloody incubator. What does her pain, her health, her grief matter as long as these doctors have their bloody consciences clear. Wonder what their precious God would say about their rank hypocrisy?

As for the analogy they use about leaving one person to die in a burning car if they can't save two and not shooting them. I think that if I had got to be left to die in a burning car I would bloody beg for a bullet rather than being left to suffocate on fumes or fry.

That article is toxic and disgusting.

HalloweenNameChange Thu 15-Nov-12 21:34:11

it had me in tears grimble. sad

HalloweenNameChange Thu 15-Nov-12 21:36:48

The worse thing is, that a woman researching it will be trying to save her pregnancy. Sad and devastated to be losing a child in the fist place and then she is given hope that could kill her by "doctors" id like to see their degrees

summerflower Thu 15-Nov-12 23:30:44

Going back a bit on the thread, LRD, I think you are right, I think that is partly what bothered me - this is being reported as that Savita was refused an abortion, whereas she was actually refused the medically recommended, life-saving treatment for a miscarriage which was not complete. This was a wanted baby, she was already miscarrying, she didn't want an abortion, she wanted an induction, which, from everything I have read, should have been performed as a matter of course, no question.

The Guardian headlined the story 'woman refused abortion after miscarraige', which is really medically a nonsense - until relatively recently, the word abortion was used to denote either induced or spontaneous pregnancy loss. The problem is that the rhetoric of abortion is so emotionally loaded that it clouds the issue.

I have been through so many different thoughts on this since reading all the posts here and thinking it over, I am not sure I can say anything worthwhile any more. One of the things I was wondering was whether, if medical professionals induced labour at 32 weeks say, in exactly the same circumstances and the baby died during labour, this would still be seen as abortion? I doubt it. The difference here is that a 17 week old foetus would not be viable outside the womb, but the risks to the mother are the same. Except it was not viable inside the womb as she was miscarrying anyway. So inducing labour would not have been not feticide. Another thought, how do we know that the foetus did not die of the same septic infection they did not treat?? I mean, that's one sure way to kill a foetus, isn't it? Not to treat the mother and then she gets infected and dies. How is it going to survive that? Whatever way you look at it, it's medical incompetence, and I don't think they should be allowed to dress it up in any kind of ethical or moral debate.

I also want to know why in, three days, no-one thought to seek guidance from either the Irish College of Obstetricians or a court, if they were that worried.

It is heart-breaking that no-one in this hospital thought to do more, to question, to stand up and say this is wrong.

I think it is part of the anti-abortion brigade's rhetoric creeping in, isn't it? Everything must be about 'abortion' rather than all the varied things than happen. Like those poor women in the US and in parts of Latin America, where you are at risk of being accused of having had an abortion if you miscarry.

I agree with you they should have sought guidance. But it also should never have come to the point where someone has to think 'how much danger is this woman's life in ... is it worth the risk'.

Something that always strikes me, with this and with (for example) foetuses that have conditions incompatible with life, is, is it fair to put them through the pain? We know foetuses feel some pain. If the foetus is never going to live, is it fair to make it go through pain just so we can say it died outside the woman's body, not inside? Obviously it should be a very personal choice, but I think forcing a woman not to have an induction isn't necessarily even being humane to the foetus.

I realize this shades into arguments about euthanasia and becomes complicated (if you are anti-abortion), but it still seems relevant.

Btw, grimma, that quotation is spot on.

chipmonkey Sat 17-Nov-12 11:13:01

A retired senior obstretician from Galway has said that these doctors should have known they could intervene. Can't link to the article from here but it's as I thought.
Debate on the Late Late show last night and one Pro-lifer saying again that there's no situation when a termination will save the life of the mother. Where do they find these people???

TeiTetua Sat 17-Nov-12 15:32:39

I would guess that they did know they could intervene. The Supreme Court decision from 20 years ago did say that the mother and the foetus both have rights, and in the absence of any clear law from the Dail since then(!!) it at least establishes something. But there's the issue of what the doctors' colleagues would say afterwards. If someone who wasn't involved says "You didn't need to do that--the woman wasn't absolutely dying and just waiting a day or two would have resolved the situation" what could the answer have been? I think in an Irish context (and Galway may not be the most advanced place in Ireland) the doctors would feel pressured never to remove a live foetus except as a last resort when the need is totally clear. But if the issue goes into attitudes that extend beyond the legal area, I bet nobody will want to talk about it.

As for the person who said "This is a Catholic country", they are probably trembling in fear in case their identity is revealed.

mathanxiety Sat 17-Nov-12 15:48:33

The need was totally clear. She was dilated and leaking amniotic fluid. The risk of infection is well known.

They were spineless and ignorant, poorly trained and badly educated doctors, and imo, they were 'trained' from a philosophical/cultural pov to see women as 'less than' men, expendable, vessels, one is as good an another, etc.

summerflower Sat 17-Nov-12 15:50:23

Agree with mathanxiety - plus, how hard was it to seek a second opinion from higher levels of decision making in the time they spent doing nothing?

mathanxiety Sat 17-Nov-12 16:01:08

No matter whether they induced or not, or whether there was a heartbeat, the foetus could not have survived if the mother got an infection, or if she died. Why didn't they start her on antibiotics sooner?

Plus, Savita was having contractions and leaking. It wasn't just a case of either a leak or contractions. The way to deal with this situation was to administer ABs and induce/D&C. Not wait and see if the sac could magically repair itself and labour stop.

TeiTetua Sat 17-Nov-12 16:06:15

The "risk" was indeed well known. But a risk is only a chance. If they'd gone ahead, they'd have been "killing a foetus" for a certainty. Or maybe they'd have called it "killing a baby". We may be horrified by the way they think in Ireland, but it's possible to understand it, and it's more than just incompetence.

As for "a second opinion from higher levels of decision making", who's to say that they didn't do exactly that. And it was "carry on". I think this was established policy and there wouldn't have been any disagreements. Or those who disagreed knew that they had to shut up about it.

TeiTetua Sat 17-Nov-12 16:08:10

Yes, that is genuine incompetence--if they were determined to leave the poor woman in that vulnerable state, why didn't they pump her full of antibiotics right away? That's inexplicable.

mathanxiety Sat 17-Nov-12 16:27:28

The foetus would have died if she had died, so why not administer prophylactic ABs? The foetus would have been killed or seriously impacted by maternal infection. Plus, a foetus whose mother is in labour, and whose amniotic sac is ruptured is not going to live either inside or outside the womb. Stopping the heartbeat 24 hours sooner than it would have stopped anyway is not killing it.

The fact that they contemplated killing the mother by taking a chance on her risk of infection indicates a misplaced priority, a terrible medical decision. They took a chance on the health and life of a mother who could have been saved in order to avoid actively terminating the foetus's existence.

chipmonkey Sat 17-Nov-12 17:15:59

TT, there is no "way they think in Ireland" There are 4.5 million of us and we don't all think as one unit. Most people I know are as horrified by this as you.

TeiTetua Sat 17-Nov-12 17:26:52

Sorry Chipmonkey. It would be better to say "the way people in authority think in Ireland". And even then, there's probably plenty of disagreement, but with a huge amount of pressure on people to follow tradition, or religion, or whatever it is. As I said, can't we imagine the doctors who would have done immediate surgery on Savita Halappanavar facing colleagues who'd have claimed they'd acted unethically?

If this is going to come out into the open and be debated, that's one possible good result. But I'd hope to hear about any pressure medical people feel to avoid anything that looks like "abortion".

Greymalken Sat 17-Nov-12 20:57:13

The Irish Feminist Network and the Belfast feminist networks have both held candle light vigils as has the Queen's university feminist society. everyone here is deeply saddened by the loss of life and are doing everything we can to bring about change. There is a law which was created 10 years ago but never ratified maybe now we will see it get passed.

GothAnneGeddes Sat 17-Nov-12 21:47:24

Just to add to what's already been said, can I put a big "citation needed" on that statement by Ruth Cullen.

Is there anyway of finding out if Ireland's maternity services really are world class?

Is it worth writing to Enda Kelly even if you are not an Irish national?*

*Technically I could be, but I've never got around to sorting out the paperwork.

chipmonkey Sat 17-Nov-12 21:58:41

It's Enda Kenny.
I think you could try contacting him. No harm in reminding him how badly our laws are regarded internationally.
But successive governments have been afraid of losing the conservative right-wing vote. Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are both pretty middle-of-the-road and have already lost any left-wing support they had.

EmmelineGoulden Sun 18-Nov-12 08:08:37

Cullen is correct that the maternal mortality ratio in the Republic of Ireland is very good. Latest figures are 6 women die per 100,000 live births. The Guardian printed a table a few years ago.

Doesn't make what happened to Savita in any way OK.

chipmonkey Sun 18-Nov-12 21:39:34

A point made on the Late Late show was that the low infant mortality rate has nothing to do with the lack of provision for termination. Italy has a lower infant mortality rate and they do allow termination.

chipmonkey Sun 18-Nov-12 21:40:05

Sorry maternal mortality rate.

GrimmaTheNome Sun 18-Nov-12 22:17:41

>the maternal mortality ratio in the Republic of Ireland is very good
That makes this case all the worse - the medical skills are available.

chipmonkey Sun 18-Nov-12 22:25:47

Grimma, I think that if the obs who delivered my last three babies had been in charge of Savita, she would probably still be alive. I really don't think he would have carried on in that nonsensical way, letting her die in pain.

mathanxiety Mon 19-Nov-12 04:39:41

That is just Irish smugness coming out. It comforts people to think this is unusual, this doesn't happen every day, most women have a good chance of coming out alive from a hospital for pregnancy related treatment. It sometimes comes across as 'we treat our women well'. Meaning 'women have no right to complain'.

It is one thing to send women home alive, but it is another entirely to send them home after experiencing the joys of the average Irish maternity ward and the not so fabulous post natal nursing care, dirty bathrooms, etc., during the busy baby season.

TeiTetua -- I would hope that more medical professionals would be taught that there is a difference between abortion and terminating a doomed pregnancy. More or better education perhaps? More ongoing professional accreditation requirements after qualifying? Or maybe they could be taught ethics in light of the fact that under the constitution the mother has an equal right to life, and sort out a code of best practices with that right in mind.

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