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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

beginnings Wed 14-Nov-12 11:59:08

Theala I think you misunderstood my post. I agree with you. I too was a teenager in 1992. In fact, I was the same age as she was. I marched. I wrote to my TDs, I had stand up rows in college with every member of SPUC and Youth Defence who dared to get in my way. But what we can't get away from is that it is the majority of our apathetic generation who have let this situation go on. We did warn them. Every fucking sensible person in the world warned them and still for reasons that are beyond my comprehension the situation is allowed to persist. We live in a democracy for fuck's sake. Why on earth has this situation persisted??? I just don't understand why we can't force a change.

AThingInYourLife Wed 14-Nov-12 12:00:03


IANAL, but there is no clear legal position here.

The 8th amendment to the Irish constitution (1983?) gives a foetus equal rights to its mother. That obviously means a pregnant Irish woman's right toile is severely compromised.

About 20 years ago, after the X case (where a suicidal 14 year old who had been raped by her uncle was refused leave to travel to England for a termination) the Supreme Court said that in the situation of a serious threat to the life of the mother (not just a threat to her health) she was entitled to an abortion in Ireland.

The pro-lifers went apeshit and have been blocking all attempts to legislate for that judgment.

So, in theory, Irish women have a very limited legal right to abortion. In practise it is a serious criminal offence to perform an abortion and Irish doctors are terrified to do it.

Curtsey Wed 14-Nov-12 12:00:07

Regarding terminations in the case of ectopic pregnancies, etc. - Fintan O'Toole has written about this here

gussiegrips Wed 14-Nov-12 12:00:55

But, she wasn't even seeking a termination. She was in need of medical help.

This is a disgrace, this sort of death should not happen in the West.

It shouldn't happen anywhere else either - but, for women far away from free healthcare it is, tragically, inevitable that a miscarriage can cause a fatal infection . This woman was on a hospital ward - being denied basic care. A vet would treat an animal better than this woman.

That is criminal.

I look forward to seeing the investigation into the clinical decisions, the culture of the hospital, the policies that were in place - and the legal and moral responsibilities of everyone who had involvement directly or indirectly.

Though, that will be of little comfort to those who loved her.

CalmingMiranda Wed 14-Nov-12 12:01:26

Seeker - yes, the pro-lifers and the CC have blood on their hands because this is the outcome, the logical and predicatable outcome, of what they demand and believe in.

However, they merely influence and lobby the government. Those with responsiibility for this blood are those that give in to demands for women to be disposable.

This is the logical, predicatable outcome of thei venal weakness. NO government with a mandate to protect thier citizens in a fair and equal manner should allow for the possibility of this.

CalmingMiranda Wed 14-Nov-12 12:03:35

Is there an Irish minister who should be made aware of this thread? As an example of the views of women and mothers, catholic and non-catholic? Pro-choice and anti-abortion?

stargirl1701 Wed 14-Nov-12 12:03:41

The Catholic Church in Ireland aren't too far away from The Taliban IMO. The shame of the Magdelene (sp) Homes in the past and this lingering influence on the legislature. Shocking. Bloody shocking.

rhetorician Wed 14-Nov-12 12:03:50

curtsey you are so right! and the same fuckers would come out and vote in a gay marriage referendum too. I feel very mixed about this: I am strongly pro-choice, and clearly if she had been in almost any other jurisdiction, she would be recovering - and would have gone on to have other children. But I am a bit uncomfortable about the reporting - this is (whilst undoubtedly true and I've no reason to doubt her husband or family) an uncorroborated story; at no point was this an 'abortion' or a 'termination', it was a miscarriage that could have been speeded up with medical intervention - and there was no reason not to provide that intervention, other than the ideology prevailing in that hospital (which is well known to be very pro-life). I worry that the storms of protest will compromise the legal case. There was clearly mismanagement of her case.

CheerfulYank Wed 14-Nov-12 12:07:00

Why in the world did they not realize she was dying??

cafebistro Wed 14-Nov-12 12:10:45

This is disgusting sad. I gave birth to DC2 in Galway hospital and luck enough to have a very straight forward pregnancy. It's unbelieveable to think that women still have no right to choose abortion in a country so developed as Ireland.
I feel so sorry for her husband.

verylittlecarrot Wed 14-Nov-12 12:11:33

Bella, perhaps the doctors didn't realise that her life was in danger. Perhaps the sick, desperate, miscarrying, pleading, suffering and obviously infected woman they were charged to care for somehow looked like a safe bet to ignore until the decision was taken out of their hands.

If so, they bet on her life and she lost.

(and it is obscene that she had to be in such danger for her to receive medical care)

Or perhaps they knew she had septicaemia and knew her foetus was inevitably going to be lost and they still prevaricated until it was too late for her.

Perhaps because the Irish constitution has left them hugely exposed to prosecution by failing to legislate properly to protect the woman's life, to protect doctors who are responsible for saving her life. Perhaps they wanted to do the right thing but were fearful of prosecution.

Or perhaps they did feel, as militant anti-abortion supporters do, that it was better to risk her life than do the right thing.

I don't know which. But if legislation was in place to protect women's rights then there wouldn't have been any question about how this scenario would have played out. And that poor woman would be with her family, grieving her own loss but alive to rebuild her future.

Glitterknickaz Wed 14-Nov-12 12:11:33

It's horrendous.
It was clear this foetus stood no chance of survival, that she was miscarrying.
Now there have been two deaths, one of them entirely unnecessary.

rhetorician Wed 14-Nov-12 12:12:27

the developing septacaemia seems to have begun before the foetus died - but this is the critical information and we don't have a detailed enough knowledge of the timescale. Please note: I am appalled and outraged by this, but I think there's a lot of wild speculation (and yes, people from both sides jumping all over the scant details of the case) - it's hard to know whether, for example, the phrase 'medical termination' was used, and by whom, and what they meant by it.

yummymummytobe1 Wed 14-Nov-12 12:14:04

That poor family, my thoughts are with them.

In the modern world it would appear that there are still countries that deny women choice. This beggers belief how can those in the Republic of Ireland condone such outdated and outmoded ideals. Shame on those that do and may this awful situation haunt you forever.

I hope the family sue, I would want that if something like this was to happen to me in the future.

Glitterknickaz Wed 14-Nov-12 12:14:07

Actually that terminology needs to be looked at as well.
My induced labour after my daughter was already dead and had been for two weeks was still noted as a termination in my medical notes.

stillorsparkling Wed 14-Nov-12 12:15:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CrikeyOHare Wed 14-Nov-12 12:18:41

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

AnyaKnowIt Wed 14-Nov-12 12:20:23

Even if the woman had lived, why should she have spent days in pain miscarrying when she could have had a termination. The foetus wasn't going to survive either way.

kige Wed 14-Nov-12 12:23:47

Manslaughter IMO. The only thing to consider is who is responsible for the manslaughter - the govt or the doctor. Whoever is responsible should be prosecuted.

AmberLeaf Wed 14-Nov-12 12:24:24

What a disgrace.

Spot on Crikey Ohare

stargirl1701 Wed 14-Nov-12 12:24:52

Can this be fought under Human Rights legislation? Ireland is a member of the EU - are they also signatories to the European Court of Justice?

camaleon Wed 14-Nov-12 12:30:46

"This was not negligence. This happened as a direct result of the state of the law in Ireland. Agree with all posters upthread who make the point that THEY WERE WARNED this could and would happen."
I am not sure about this. She was not looking for a termination. A termination was the only possible medical treatment to allow her to survive. In any case, what is legal and what a doctor should do are different things. If instead of a pregnant women we were speaking about the legal cover for a doctor to perform torture, we would clearly see how the legal cover is not enough

CalmingMiranda Wed 14-Nov-12 12:31:47

StillOrSparkling: what is the best way to get this story to the people in Ireland who only have the limp media version, and to let the Irish gvt know how they are being viewed internationally?

camaleon Wed 14-Nov-12 12:32:33

Yes this case could potentially finsih in the European Court of Human Rights and, while they have taken a very soft approach to the antiabortion laws in Ireland in the past based on something they call 'margin of appreciation' this case may make them change their mind

DyeInTheEar Wed 14-Nov-12 12:34:44

she had asked for a medical termination a number of times over a three day period, during which she was in severe pain. But he said these requests were denied because a foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told at one point: "This is a Catholic country."

It's the sort of thing that you'd read about the Taliban doing or something a moron in the Tea Party / far right America would endorse.

She was begging for her life for THREE days.

Well done medical staff involved & pro lifers in Ireland - I now consider you in the ball park as the men who shot a young girl for having the temerity for wanting an education because you put your religious beliefs ahead of (female) life.

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