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Survivors of Symphysiotomy are still waiting 10 years on.

It has been over 3 years from when I first wrote about the horrors of symphysiotomy in Ireland here on my blog. Back then many people had no idea what it was, or why it happened or the horrendous effect it had on the women it was preformed on. That changed when it was featured on Prime time.

The reason it was featured was that it was then 10 years from when the Survivors of symphysiotomy had been promised a review of their cases. The Article here dated 24/06/2003 show those women sharing their stories.

Symphysiotomy survivors demand inquiry – irishhealth.com.

Some of those women are no longer with us and while we have seen the government promise a bill to amend the statute of limitation to allow for redress there is no sign of it reaching the final stages as the end of the working period for the Dáil draws near, despite The Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Bill 2013 passing Second Stage on 17 April.

So the Survivors of Symphysiotomy put out the word they would be demostrating today and http://tradeuniontv.ie/ were there to cover it.

Survivors of Symphysiotomy

19 June 2013
SoS driven to demonstrate: 8 and 1/2 weeks later, our Bill STILL hasn’t come before the Justice Committee. The Minister for Justice doesn’t seem to be making himself available, so the Bill has yet to be tabled. We are holding a DEMO – our first – this coming Wednesday, 26 June, at 11 a.m., outside the Dail. Please bring banners, buggies and above all, bodies! Let’s shame this Government into doing the right thing by survivors of symphysiotomy.

Ireland is indeed being haunted by the many wrongs it allowed to happen, hopefully those ladies will not be made to wait any longer.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Chairman says health of mother and not just life needs protection

Chairman says health of mother and not just life needs protection .

The legal situation should be addressed “urgently” to ensure that not only the life but the health of the mother can be protected in pregnancy, the chairman of the review team said.

Prof Sabaratnam Arulkumaran was asked whether, to ensure another woman did not die in circumstances similar to those in which Savita Halappanavar had died, the law should permit termination of pregnancy where there was a threat to the health and not just to the life of the mother.

He replied: “Yes.”

More women could die in Irish hospitals in a manner similar to Savita Halappanavar unless legal clarity is provided for doctors on when they can intervene to terminate a pregnancy, the HSE report into her death has warned.Savita Halappanavar report: Tragic. Devastating.
Savita Halappanavar (left of photo) with children at Galway’s St Patrick’s day parade.The girl with the diamond smile
Dr Katherine Astbury advised Savita Halappanavar and her husband that a termination might have to be considered after a diagnosis of sepsis was confirmed. Photograph: Eric LukeTermination was denied at first because clinicians believed their ‘hands were tied’
Sabaratnam Arulkatumaran (left), Chairperson, and Dr Philip Crowler, National Director for Quality and Patient Safety, at the publication of the HSE clinical review report into the death of Savita Halappanavar on Thursday. Photograph: Eric LukeSerious gaps remain in what we know about operations in the hospital
“Failing to devise and follow a plan of care for this patient” is a fairly damning indictment of the healthcare professionals who looked after Ms Halappanavar. Photograph: Eric LukeMedical view: Focus on basics of care likely to help save lives

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“There are certain conditions a pregnant mother might have which can suddenly escalate – for example in this particular situation from an infection that is very localised but which spreads to the whole body and is sepsis.

“With severe sepsis the mortality rate is about 40 per cent, and if she goes into septic shock the mortality rate can be as much as 60 per cent. This can be in a very short period of time which means that [if] intervening is at a later stage it is difficult to bring the patient back to normality and to control.

Medical community
“So what we are saying is the medical community have to discuss with the legal profession if you really want to say the chances of making sure someone survives; this needs discussion.

“We don’t want another death happening because there is some ambiguity about how they interpret the law.”

He also said there were situations where a mother’s health only was threatened but which could escalate rapidly into a situation where her health would be permanently damaged.

“If you have infection, by the time it comes to sepsis and severe sepsis the fallopian tubes might be injured, she can become sub-fertile, she might have [later] an ectopic pregnancy. Life-long she might have pelvic inflammatory disease. I mean, how much are you prepared to take before considering termination of pregnancy?

“At what point is this going to give permanent injury to the woman, or what point might it escalate to death.”

He said too much responsibility was on individual doctors to interpret when it was legal to intervene, leading some to wait until the foetal heart stopped to be sure they were acting within the law.

“Even until the last minute they are waiting for the foetal heart to disappear before the termination would be considered. Some might have done it much earlier … so it seems to be a little bit individual, even within Ireland. So we must have some definitive meanings as to when you think this should be done.”

His patient
If Savita had been his patient in the UK she would have been offered a termination on Sunday, October 21st, the day she went into hospital. “If it was my case I would have terminated the pregnancy,” he said.

We need to get the 8th amendment repealed to safe guard women’s health.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The personal is political: my family’s childcare role-reversal

Today in the Irish Times the wonderful Anthea McTeirnan talks about family life.

The personal is political: my family’s childcare role-reversal – .

Not for us a stay-at-home mother prone to outbreaks of baking and bathos and a thrusting, briefcase-carrying, disciplinarian dad. We were going to do things differently. And we did. Sort of.

In 1995, just as our second son reached 18 months, a job came up in the sports department at The Irish Times. I was a freelance journalist, and this was a full-time, permanent, pensionable job, previously occupied only by men. I got it.

Swap roles
So we decided to swap roles. I was to be the main wage earner, Kevin was to go part-time and do the bulk of the childcare.

While choosing to have a stay at home Dad is still seen as strange, it’s not to me as my Dad became the stay at home parent when I was about 10, and my Mam was the one who went out to work, he did everything the 5 of us needed, all the school runs, volunteered in the school, parents association. One of my early memories of having my hair done was his big strong gentle hands trying to get my mane into a pony tail and swearing when the bobbin snapped.

He did a great job with the 5 of us, both my parents did. His mother brought him up with the belief hands had no gender and he surprised more then a few people when he’d change my terrycloth nappy himself as a baby rather then hand me off to my mother. There was no such thing as ‘women’s work’ growing up, there was just the things which needed doing in the house as part of being a family, which means caring and sharing it all.

In Ireland we have not statutory paternity leave or shared parenting leave after the birth of adoption of a child. It is something which I know we need. We need a better division of child care and labour in the home rather then the default thinking being it is automatically ‘women’s work’, and that starts with sharing the work load from the beginning.

It will also mean when an employer is looking at two candidates for a job who are in their late 20s to late 30s, a man is just as likely to need time off when having children as a woman might.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Survivors of symphysiotomy exception bill accepted.

It was almost a decade a go that the then Minister for Health Mr Micheal Martin promised there would be a review of the procedure of Symphysiotomy in Irish hospitals.

Last night saw a bill accepted by the Dáil, which removes the time limit for those women who were abused and left suffering for the rest of their lives so that they can now seek out redress. Many women didn’t know what had happened to them, it was their first child. They were failed by the hospitals and often their own GP over the years who didn’t treat them properly or explain what was done to them.

This was done to over a 1,000 women and about 200 remain still. Why was it done?
Contraception was not legal here until 1984, and there is a limit to the number of C sections a woman may have, so to get around that symphysiotomy was used.

Contraception was banned as Ireland was considered a Catholic country.
Again catholic dogma resulted in substandard of care of women in Irish Maternity hospitals leaving them in agony.

Why did women put up with it? Because they were told to, often the term to offer up your suffering would be used when it came to ‘women’s issues’ and ‘The Curse’. To this day Irish women are hesitant to talk about OB/Gyn issues and reproductive issues, this needs to change, we need to be better informed and to share our stories.

The Survivors of symphysiotomy, did not give informed consent, they were not told which procedure and why and the repercussions of it. I am glad the bill has been accepted and more people know of what happened, when I first wrote about symphysiotomy 3 years ago most people had no idea what it was, hopefully now we are aware we will try and make sure that women living here in Ireland never suffer such abuses again at the hands of health care professionals.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The 8th amendment needs to be repealed for the sake of the health and lives of women.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/savita-halappanavar-death-report-finds-foetus-not-mother-was-main-focus-1.1345890

The Health Service Executive report on the death last year at Galway University Hospital of Savita Halappanavar has found there was an overemphasis by hospital staff on the welfare of Ms Halappanavar’s unviable foetus and an underemphasis on her deteriorating health.

The final draft report says: “The investigating team considers there was an apparent overemphasis on the need not to intervene until the foetal heart stopped, together with an underemphasis on the need to focus an appropriate attention on monitoring for and managing the risk of infection and sepsis in the mother.”

Miscarriage management in this country is based on catholic dogma, which was wedged into our constitution in 1983. If a woman is miscarrying and it is unavoidable and the fetus will not survive, they do not intervene if there is a fetal heartbeat, unless the life of the woman is in imminent danger.

Never mind her physical, mental or emotional heath. She will be left to miscarry (often with out pain relief which may effect the dying fetus and be said to hasten the miscarriage) until her life is at risk or the fetal heart beat stops. In other countries once it is found that the miscarriage is un avoidable and the fetus will not survive women are offered to have the pregnancy ended rather then put them at further risk to their health.

If we had the same model if miscarriage management as other western countries, no woman would be left to suffer and miscarry in such a cruel fashion. X Case legislation will not deal with the risks to the health of women only risk to the life of women in the cases of suicide. The 8th amendment needs to be repealed for the sake of the health and lives of women.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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HSE unoffical DNA record to be destroyed.

So the HSE kept all the new born screening cards also know as the heel prick test, the one which has information such as date of brith, name and a spot of blood from every child born in Irish hospitals from 1984. And opps they shouldn’t have.

They got given out to by the data protection commission and are looking at only keeping them now for 10 years and destroying the old ones. You can how ever request your own one or that of your children by filling in a forum but it must be done by the 31st of March.
The forum can be dl from here http://newbornscreening.ie/ or you can ring 1850 24 1850 to request they be posted to you.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

13 - 1

This appeared in my social media feeds over the last week, I’ve tried to track down who’s work it is, as it is a wonderful piece. If you know, do let me know.

It succinctly makes the point about single mother’s which I mentioned in my piece about The Snapper and Ireland’s attitudes to “unmarried mothers” and unplanned pregnancy..

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Another XCase Date, 21 years on and still no legislation.

http://www.thejournal.ie/twenty-years-on-a-timeline-of-the-x-case-347359-Feb2012/

6 February 1992: X and her parents traveled to England and arrangements were made for an abortion to take place in London. On the same date, the Attorney General obtained an interim injunction stopping the teenager and her parents from leaving the country or arranging the termination of the pregnancy. Once they were informed of the injunction the family returned to Ireland.

The AG’s order was based on Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution, more specifically on the 1983 amendment that puts the right of the unborn child’s right to life on an equal footing of the mother’s right to life.

Whelen has since said that he had no choice but to seek the injunction as he had a duty to uphold the Constitution. He told an RTÉ documentary that his problem was “stark” after being contacted by the DPP.

This weeks has been filled so far with the abuses of women and children by the state and the church, be it children in industrial schools, children abused by priests, children put up for adoption who can not never find out their parent’s names, women put into laundries and used as slave labour or women driven abroad to have children and to have them adopted.

We have had 90 year of being our own country and honestly it seems to be little more then a litany of abusing and ignoring those who need compassion and care.

We still have people who are being mistreated in asylum holding places, old people’s homes, children’s care homes, and those in care due to disabilities.

In all my born days, despite the struggles watching the Dáil proceedings today, for the first time I find myself wanting to live in a different country.

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Up to 30 abortions a year to save the lives of mothers via @independent_ie

Up to 30 abortions a year to save the lives of mothers via @independent_ie.

UP to 30 abortions are carried out in Ireland each year.

The master of Dublin’s Rotunda hospital, Dr Sam Coulter-Smith, told the first day of hearings of the Oireachtas Health Committee on the contentious issue that between 20 and 30 abortions a year are carried out to save the mother’s life.

Abortions.

Up to 30 Abortions a year.

Up to 30 abortions a year to save the lives of women.

Up to 30 abortions a year to save the lives of women, are carried out here in Ireland.

Abortions, not procedures, not terminations, Abortions, carried out in Ireland, by Doctors.

Never again can anyone say that there are are no abortions preformed in Ireland, that Ireland is abortion free.
Anyone trying to assert that fact is engaging in double speaks and frankly lying.

Have we finally matured this much as a nation?
I bloody well hope so.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Reaction from pro-choice and anti-abortion groups

Reaction from pro-choice and anti-abortion groups.

The religious advocacy group the Iona Institute said the Government’s statement on its intention to introduce legislation for abortion next year was “not entirely clear” in relation to the issue of suicide, but that it would be “wrong and unnecessary” to allow for it in cases where there is deemed to be suicidal intent.

A combination of legislation and regulations will be introduced to comply with the European Court of Human Rights ruling in the A, B and C case, a statement from the Department of Health said today. The Government is expected to allow the fear of suicide as a ground for abortion but may not provide for rape or sexual abuse, neither of which formed part of the X case ruling.

Iona Institute spokeswoman Maria Steen said including the threat of suicide as grounds for abortion in the legislation “would not save a single life”.

“Irish law already allows the ending of a pregnancy when there is no other choice and there is a clear threat to the life of the mother,” she said.

“A decision to include a threat of suicide as a ground for abortion would also be wrong in principle because it would authorise for the first time ever the deliberate and direct destruction of unborn human life in Ireland.”

Pro-choice groups welcomed today’s announcement, but said the government must commit to a timeframe for the introduction of legislation.

In a joint statement, Irish Choice Network, Choice Ireland, Action on X, Galway Pro-Choice, Cork Women’s Right to Choose and Doctors for Choice said the proposed legislation “should only be considered a first step towards liberalising abortion laws in Ireland”.

Action on X spokeswoman Sinéad Kennedy called on the Government to deal with the issue immediately after the Dáil returns from the Christmas break.

She said it was vital that there be no curtailment of a woman’s right to access abortion on the ground that she is suicidal in the new legislation.

“We are aware that there are moves from some TDs to have this rolled back, however this is a constitutional right confirmed by the Supreme Court decision in the X Case and the European Court of Human Rights judgment in the ABC case,” she said.

The pro-choice groups have also called for a referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment to the Constitution, which gives the unborn an equal right to life as the mother.

Choice Ireland spokeswoman Stephanie Lord said it was “inhumane” that the amendment has not been repealed before now.

“There are 4,500 women that travel overseas for abortion services every year, and many more that order pills online to induce abortions at home,” she said.

“Women have a right to make the best choice for them under their circumstances, and their right to health care must also be upheld. It is now time to introduce free, safe, and legal abortion on demand in Ireland.”

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) said the decision to put a legislative and regulatory regime in place would provide clear and effective procedures which would enable women to access lawful abortion in Ireland.

ICCL director Mark Kelly said the decision sends a clear message that the Government is committed to honouring its legal obligations to implement the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of A, B and C.

“There is no good reason why the Government should limit itself to the minimum action required to implement this one judgment,” he said.

“It should seize the opportunity to thoroughly overhaul Ireland’s antediluvian laws on abortion, including by rendering lawful the termination of pregnancies involving fatal foetal abnormalities.”

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik said the “tragic death” of Savita Halappanavar emphasised the need for legislation on abortion.

“We must act swiftly to ensure that pregnant women have access to necessary life-saving medical treatment,” she said. “We have waited 20 years for this law – it is long overdue.”

Labour Women chairwoman Sinead Ahern said Labour had gone through with its promise to be the first government to act on the abortion issue and legislate for the X case.

“Six governments in this State have failed to act on the Supreme Court judgement in 1992. Labour in government has ensured that this will not be the seventh,” she said.

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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