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Thread: Woman dies after being refused an abortion

  1. #1
    Buzz NoGuessing's Avatar
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    Woman dies after being refused an abortion

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-20321741

    This sad situation was so easily preventable as well. R.I.P. to the poor lady.

  2. #2
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    This makes me wonder if the "if the life of the mother is at risk" clause is a big lie, a sop to people of conscience who worry about women dying which will not actually be applied in horrific life and death situations like this one.

    How long do we have to keep asking how many women have to die?

  3. #3
    A woman said to write like a man. Plot Device's Avatar
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    She died of septimcemia? She had to have had a raging fever and a high blood count. But no one at the hospital noticed this for the three days that she languished in agony, begging for an abortion?

    Septicemia is something that you die at home from because you were too stubborn to go the the hospital. But once you are in the hospital the fever is easily spotted, and then discovery of the high white cell count follows quickly.

    What were those nurses thinking? What were the doctors thinking?
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  4. #4
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    This is so sad :'( R.I.P. Savita Halappanavar

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW CQuinlan's Avatar
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    Legally this never should have happened. Because of the X case here in Ireland woman are supposed to be granted abortions when their life is at risk (including suicide).

    It came about because of a young girl (14 I think) was raped and wanted to be allowed an abortion after she said she would kill herself if they forced her to carry to term.

    This doesn't even stop or prevent women here getting abortions as many will just go to England and have the procedure there. All it does is put woman like this in danger.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plot Device View Post
    She died of septimcemia? She had to have had a raging fever and a high blood count. But no one at the hospital noticed this for the three days that she languished in agony, begging for an abortion?

    Septicemia is something that you die at home from because you were too stubborn to go the the hospital. But once you are in the hospital the fever is easily spotted, and then discovery of the high white cell count follows quickly.

    What were those nurses thinking? What were the doctors thinking?
    Yea her husband said they refused because of Ireland is Catholic Country, in the eyes of God the foetus was still alive.

    "This is a Catholic country," was what Irish doctors told Savita Halappanavar after she learned she was miscarrying her pregnancy and asked for an abortion to avoid further complications. She spent three days in agonising pain, eventually shaking, vomiting and passing out. She again asked for an abortion and was refused, because the foetus still had a heartbeat.

    Then she died.

    She died of septicaemia and E Coli. She died after three and a half days of excruciating pain. She died after repeatedly begging for an end to the pregnancy that was poisoning her. Her death would have been avoided if she had been given an abortion when she asked for it – when it was clear she was miscarrying, and that non-intervention would put her at risk. But the foetus, which had no chance of survival, still had a heartbeat. Its right to life quite literally trumped hers.


    They only discovered the scepticaemia in the autopsy.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...ecessary-death

    Quote Originally Posted by CQuinlan View Post
    Legally this never should have happened. Because of the X case here in Ireland woman are supposed to be granted abortions when their life is at risk (including suicide).

    It came about because of a young girl (14 I think) was raped and wanted to be allowed an abortion after she said she would kill herself if they forced her to carry to term.

    This doesn't even stop or prevent women here getting abortions as many will just go to England and have the procedure there. All it does is put woman like this in danger.
    If they can afford to come to England but you have to pay for the abortion as the NHS will not pay for it due to agreements with Ireland. You also need to pay for travel and accommodation. Not all women can afford too.

  7. #7
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    I foresee a big lawsuit arising over this one.
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  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW CQuinlan's Avatar
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    If they can afford to come to England but you have to pay for the abortion as the NHS will not pay for it due to agreements with Ireland. You also need to pay for travel and accommodation. Not all women can afford too.

    There are charities in England that exist solely for this reason such as the London-based Abortion Support Network (ASN). Also, getting to England isn't expensive. Most woman can afford it with little saving involved. However, the main danger this presents is that women are forced to wait longer to receive treatment and the longer they wait the more health problem/complications can arise.
    Last edited by CQuinlan; 11-14-2012 at 04:33 PM. Reason: Clarifying quote

  9. #9
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    At some point Ireland is going to have to stop exporting its abortions to the United Kingdom. It gets to feel sanctimonious about being strictly anti-abortion while avoiding most of the consequences, this sad case excepted.

    Ireland needs to join the 21st century on this one.

  10. #10
    Buzz NoGuessing's Avatar
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    If there's one good thing about this, well after talking to an Irishman on another forum he said there is no way parliament can avoid the religion/abortion debate anymore, which they have been doing because it's such a toxic political issue. He says the population has secularised significantly in the past decade.

    Hopefully he's right.

  11. #11
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    I can't even say anything about this right now. It's too upsetting.
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  12. #12
    A woman said to write like a man. Plot Device's Avatar
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    I was in Ireland for just one summer back in the early 1990's. I have gained a very limited perspective on Ireland concerning the 7 weeks spent in Dublin (and one week out in the countryside) which I realize can't compare to the perspective of someone who has lived their whole life there. All I can do is offer my outsider's thoughts to what I saw there in an up-close-and-personal way. Everything here in this post is just annecdotal. Pass the grains of salt liberally.

    First annecdote, Ireland has socialized medicine. I sprained my ankle on the street and was rushed to one of the ER's in Dublin on an ambulance. I at first protested that I had no medical insurance. But I was assured I'd be fine since the ER would be paid for. I got back to my friend's house (the girl who was boarding me for the summer) later that night, and a group of other friends were all waiting for me in grave concern. One of them said "We were worried about which hospital the ambulance was taking you to. When we were told it was [I can't remember] we were so relieved because that's the only hospital worth a spit. The others are butcher shops." And another friend further commented: "You're lucky this happened to you in Dublin and not out in the countryside. The hospitals out in Galway and Kerry are still stuck in the 19th century. At least here in Dublin you're getting something close to modern medicine." (That was 20 years ago. I cannot speak to the state of medicine in Ireland today. I want to repeat that this post of mine is entirelty annecdotal. )

    Second annecdote, Out on the streets, all during my summer stay there, I was continually amazed by two characteristics of the millions of pedestrians I encountered as I walked through Dublin every day for weeks and weeks on end. First, something in my modern American sense of things was constantly assailed by the LACK of non-causasian people. To me, a large busy city always means that at least 50% of the pedestrians will be people of color. But just about everyone was white. (Reminded me of the Tim Burton Batman movie from the 1980's where all the pedestrians in Gotham City were white. Very surreal.) I think I saw maybe 9 dark-skinned people in the course of my entire 7 weeks there. Second, I was amazed at how many Down's Syndrome children and adults I saw out on the streets. I had never seen so many out on the streets in America. I asked about it and I was told it has to do with American access to both contraception and abortion as comapred to Ireland's strong social prohibition against contraception as well as inaccess to abortion. In America, older women will be more vigilent about using contraceptives to prevent getting pregnant in the first place, and thus Down's Syndrome babies are less likely to be conceived in American women (Down's Syndrome is correlated with older-life pregnancies). And then when an American pregnancy is found to be a Down's Syndrome baby, the choice to abort is often opted for, whereas an Irish pregnancy with a Down's Syndrome fetus will not have that option and the baby will get carried to term. Ispo facto, America has nowhere near as many Down's Syndrome members of their per capta population as Ireland.

    Third anecdote, I met a lot of college students from the Continent, especiallly from Spain, who said they came to Ireland to learn English. They said it was less expensive to spend a summer in Ireland to learn English than in England, and Irleand was more Catholic-friendly, and they claimed that the Irish accent was less troublesome for them than the English accent. We discussed the whole phenomenon of European college students who travel from Country A to Country B to take advantage of something that was more condusive to their education in a foreign nation than at home. And they told me that a lot of med students travel to America to learn medicine because too many nations in Europe have bans against using animals in medical experimens and research (including not being allowed to disect a dead animal), and they feel you get a better education if you use real animals.

    I bring up all these annecdotes from 20 years ago simply to point out that while I wish there was a tit for tat perfect correlation between the state of Western medicine in Ireland when compared to other Western nations, I sorely suspect that it is NOT so. (All Irish residents of AW are free to skewer me for that one.) I work on the peripheries of medicine here in America (I am a nursning assisatnt, but not in a hospital, only in a nursing home) so I do have a non-laymen's, semi-insider's grasp of what's going on with US medicine right now.

    In conclusion, I am still amazed that no one at that Galway hospital took note of the woman's fever -- that's a pretty pretty damned basic thing for anyone to miss. A janitor couldn't miss a fever that serious. I fear there may have been some cultural/ethnic prejudice going on here whereby the medical staff may have dimissed her complaints as being attributable to her Indian heritage. Stuff like "Oh, those dark-skinned people always run hot-blooded anyway," is something I can easilly see (some) American medical personell saying to dismiss someone's fever, and so I fear an Irish person might say/think it/rationalize it as well.
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  13. #13
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    A mere two months ago in Dublin "A major medical symposium ... concluded that abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of a pregnant mother."

    http://liveactionnews.org/internatio...lly-necessary/

    Dr. Seán Ó Domhnaill, medical adviser to the Life Institute, hailed the global import of the symposium’s findings: “This is a globally significant outcome, which shows abortion has no place in treating women and their unborn children.”
    Go to the article and look at the smiling, complacent faces on the panel in the photograph.

    I wonder what the doctors and academics who participated in the symposium have to say for themselves now. Participants included Eamon O’Dwyer, Eoghan De Faoite, Byron C. Calhoun, Frederic Amant, Priscilla K. Coleman, Elard Koch, Jean Kagia, Monique V. Chireau, and John Monaghan.

  14. #14
    Independence Day AW Moderator regdog's Avatar
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    May she rest in peace and those who allowed her to suffer and die in such a horrific way be punished.
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  15. #15
    A woman said to write like a man. Plot Device's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alessandra Kelley View Post
    A mere two months ago in Dublin "A major medical symposium ... concluded that abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of a pregnant mother."

    http://liveactionnews.org/internatio...lly-necessary/



    Go to the article and look at the smiling, complacent faces on the panel in the photograph.

    I wonder what the doctors and academics who participated in the symposium have to say for themselves now. Participants included Eamon O’Dwyer, Eoghan De Faoite, Byron C. Calhoun, Frederic Amant, Priscilla K. Coleman, Elard Koch, Jean Kagia, Monique V. Chireau, and John Monaghan.

    When I was bout 12 or 13 I went to visit an old historical village of colonial era buildings all arranged (artifically) into a repliacted town where college students were dressed up to portray Ameican colonists going about their daily lives. I saw all that old 18th century stuff like the cooper's shop, the blacksmith's shop, the glass blower's shop, and even the doctor's office. On display at the doctor's office I saw various medical devices from the 18th century including what was called an "abortion kit." The abortion kit was on an in-wall display shelf behind a glass partition -- a glassed-in shelf similar to when you are walking by the window at Tiffany's and you see a $10,000,000 diamond wreath by Harry Winston. The plaque mounted on the wall to explain the display itemized the various tools in the abortion kit (assorted sizes of saws and forceps, etc) and stated that when a doctor of that era was in the middle of delivery, he often came up against that dread moment when he needed to make an on-the-spot choice to either save the baby or save the mother. And depending on which choice he made, that's when the abortion kit would come out. He would use the kit to dismember the baby and pull the pieces out, and hopefully he wouldn't injure the mother too seriosuly in the process. No one ever questionedd it. No one accused such a doctor of murder or tried to kill him. Childbirth was viewed as a normal part of life full of risks. And EVERYONE knew the risks. It was certainly very sad, but not something anyone ever warped into a blame game.

    The sudden need to abort during delivery is something doctors and midwives have been faced with for thousands of years, and I see no reason to believe that future occurances of having to make that decision are occurances that will ever be erradicated.

    I realize medicine has come a long way since that era, but to insist that there will never again be such thing as a medical need to abort to save the woman is at best delusional and at worst criminal.
    Last edited by Plot Device; 11-14-2012 at 07:48 PM.
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  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW eparadysz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alessandra Kelley View Post
    A mere two months ago in Dublin "A major medical symposium ... concluded that abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of a pregnant mother."

    http://liveactionnews.org/internatio...lly-necessary/
    Ah, but see... (from the article)

    We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.
    So, abortion isn't medically necessary, because when it is, we don't call it abortion. Guess the doctors from the OP didn't get that memo.

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  17. #17
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    This makes me so. So. Angry.
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    This is what people need to remember:

    That when abstract theories are adhered to without regard for human life, they take human lives.

    Pregnancy is a cold hard biological fact with all the nastiness of nature red in tooth and claw. It didn't evolve into some pretty way for babies to come into the world in perfect safety. It's a dangerous process that can go wrong in so many ways. Any legal or medical framework that doesn't face those realities is responsible for this kind of outrage.
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  19. #19
    Lost in the Fog rugcat's Avatar
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    This is an all too familiar attitude here in the US -- except with politicians, not doctors.

    The focus of a fierce suburban congressional battle turned from the economy to abortion literally overnight following Republican Rep. Joe Walsh’s controversial declaration that there’s no medical necessity to use the procedure to save a woman’s life.

    “With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance,” Walsh declared in comments to reporters after a televised debate Thursday night against Democrat Tammy Duckworth in the northwest suburban 8th District race…
    Read more: http://www.classwarfareexists.com/re...#ixzz2CDPA1GSE

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  20. #20
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Most of this misses the point that terminating the pregnancy would not have saved the woman's life. Someone spotting that she had septicaemia would have done.
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  21. #21
    knows a hawk from a handsaw Shakesbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waylander View Post
    Most of this misses the point that terminating the pregnancy would not have saved the woman's life. Someone spotting that she had septicaemia would have done.
    Then the people who had her in their care are guilty of gross negligence. If her death was a direct result of their negligence then, imo, they should be charged with manslaughter.

    How any team of people with any degree of medical training can let a woman spend three days in agony is something I cannot comprehend.




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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by waylander View Post
    Most of this misses the point that terminating the pregnancy would not have saved the woman's life. Someone spotting that she had septicaemia would have done.
    It would have, she got septicemia from miscarrying. Failure to diagnose a miscarriage can result in a blood infection for the mother or sepsis. The doctors didn't intervene to prevent sepsis occurring when she was miscarrying even though her condition was worsening (which would be a right time to intervene and end the pregnancy), they said the foetus was still had a beating heart so they refused to terminate when she asked for one.

    Many women used to die of sepsis from a miscarriage, birth or still birth, you don't hear it as much now.

  23. #23
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakesbear View Post
    Then the people who had her in their care are guilty of gross negligence. If her death was a direct result of their negligence then, imo, they should be charged with manslaughter.

    How any team of people with any degree of medical training can let a woman spend three days in agony is something I cannot comprehend.
    Sepsis in pregnancy is not straightforward to diagnose according to Mrs Waylander, who is a practising midwife.
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  24. #24
    the Juggernaut of Imperfection crunchyblanket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireluxlou View Post
    It would have, she got septicemia from miscarrying. Failure to diagnose a miscarriage can result in a blood infection for the mother or sepsis. The doctors didn't intervene to prevent sepsis occurring when she was miscarrying even though her condition was worsening (which would be a right time to intervene and end the pregnancy), they said the foetus was still had a beating heart so they refused to terminate when she asked for one.

    Many women used to die of sepsis from a miscarriage, birth or still birth, you don't hear it as much now.
    Incomplete miscarriages are dangerous things. Clots are a big risk factor along with massive haemorrhage and, as in this case,.sepsis (foetal death can cause internal trauma) .I don't understand their refusal to abort given that the foetus was dying anyway.

  25. #25
    the Juggernaut of Imperfection crunchyblanket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waylander View Post
    Sepsis in pregnancy is not straightforward to diagnose according to Mrs Waylander, who is a practising midwife.
    she's right - it's particularly difficult when dealing with a live foetus as there are othet conditions which mimic sepsis, and treatment can induce foetal death. That said, presence of miscarriage followed by rapid decline and severe pain should have raised the alarm, and best practise (where I work at least) would be to take blood cultures and start IV antibiotics if there is evidence of infection

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