Tag Archives: childbirth

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.

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..

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.

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.

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.

Government unveils plans to address abortion ruling

Government unveils plans to address abortion ruling.

The Government announced today that 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.

Minister for Health James Reilly presented a memorandum to this morning’s Cabinet meeting. The decision was taken to follow this route – the fourth option from the expert group on abortion – rather than proposing guidelines, an option favoured by anti-abortion campaign groups.

A statement released by the Department of Health said: “Having considered the report of the of the Expert Group on the judgment in A, B and C v Ireland the Government has decided that the implementation of this judgement by way of legislation with regulations offers the most appropriate method for dealing with the issue.”

In a statement, the Government said the drafting of legislation, supported by regulations, will be within the parameters of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court in the X case. “It was also agreed to make appropriate amendments to the criminal law in this area,” it said.

The Heads of a Bill will be published in the new year following deliberations by the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children in early January, before the Dáil resumes.This will be followed by a debate in the Oireachtas before the Bill and regulations are finalised.

“The Government has also noted and agreed to the request from the Health Minister Dr James Reilly for further decisions at a later stage related to policy matters that will inform the drafting of the legislation,” the statement said.

Dr Reilly said he was very conscious of the sensitivities around the issue of abortion.

“I know that most people have personal views on this matter. However, the Government is committed to ensuring that the safety of pregnant women in Ireland is maintained and strengthened. We must fulfill our duty of care towards them,” he said.

“For that purpose, we will clarify in legislation and regulation what is available by way of treatment to a woman when a pregnancy gives rise to a threat to a woman’s life. We will also clarify what is legal for the professionals who must provide that care while at all times taking full account of the equal right to life of the unborn child.”

Dr Reilly said the Government would not “preempt the debate that must follow by speculating on details to be decided later in the process”.

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. On foot of the decision, the Government is also expected to repeal provisions in the Offences against the State Act 1861, which criminalises abortion.

“Referendum inevitable…” the 8th needs to be repealed.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/1130/1224327302965.html

Doctors for Choice: A founder member of the Doctors for Choice group has said she believes another referendum is inevitable to allow even a limited form of abortion in Ireland.

Dr Mary Favier told a public meeting in Cobh, Co Cork, that the expert group’s report on abortion was to be welcomed.

However, Dr Favier pointed out that the expert group looked at only a very narrow section of the current law and she believed a referendum to change the Constitution was necessary.

“I think inevitably we are going to have to look at repealing the 1983 amendment, which was always a very faulty insertion into the Irish Constitution,” said Dr Favier.

“Until it is repealed, we will not be able to legislate in any circumstances to protect women who have been raped or who are pregnant as the result of incest,” she told Cork’s 96FM.

It is becoming more and more clear that to safe guard the health, life and equality of women in Ireland we need to remove the 8th amendment.

8th banner

“We should not pretend that limited measures, ensure true equality for all members of this republic.” Alan Shatter’s speech in the Dáil on Claire Daly’s most recent bill to legislate for X.

Chants of “Repeal the 8th” rang out outside the Dáil last Wednesday as people gathered in the cold to listen to the debate, it rang out every time a politician said that hands were tied due to the constitution.

For the last few years I have steadfastly said we did not need another referendum on abortion in this country, that we as a nation twice have voted no to not legislating for the X case.

I was wrong, any legislation is subservient to the constitution and can not conflict with our Constitution, so yes we do need a referendum. One to repeal the 8th amendment.

Review shows maternal deaths under-reported – irishhealth.com

Review shows maternal deaths under-reported – irishhealth.com.

Review shows maternal deaths under-reported

[Posted: Fri 23/11/2012 by Niall Hunter, Editor www.irishhealth.com]

Ireland’s maternal mortality rate is twice as high as has been previously reported, new figures show.

The first report from the recently-established Maternal Death Enquiry – MDE Ireland system shows that our maternal death rate is 8 per 100,000 births, compared with 4 per 100,000 reported by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The MDE Ireland report, which uses wider criteria for defining maternal death than that used by the CSO, found that in the years 2009 to 2011 inclusive, 25 mothers who attended maternity hospitals with their pregnancies died.

The Irish report adopted the more comprehensive British classification system for determining maternal death, and collated detailed data on mortality from hospitals. It classified two of the deaths in the period as being due to suicide.

In the wake of the death of Savita Halappanavar, assurances have been made by health authorities and the medical profession that Ireland has one of the lowest maternal death rates in the world. However, the new report shows that while our maternal death rate is still relatively low by international standards, it is higher than has been previously reported in official statistics.

According to the report, seen by irishhealth.com, six of the 25 deaths were classified as direct maternal deaths, 13 as indirect maternal deaths, while the remaining six were attributed to ‘coincidental cause’. Forty per cent of the deaths recorded were in women not born in Ireland.

It says of the 25 deaths MDE Ireland recorded between 2009 and 2011 inclusive, among the six direct maternal deaths, three were due to pulmonary embolism, one from amniotic fluid embolism, one due to uterine rupture and one due to multi-organ failure secondary to the HELLP syndrome, a life-threatening pregnancy complication related to pre-eclampsia.

The report says of the 13 indirect maternal deaths recorded during the period, five were due to heart disease, two due to suicide, two were due to swine flu, two due to epilepsy, one due to serious lung disease and one due to an oesophageal bleed.

Of the six ‘coincidental’ deaths, two were due to metastatic cancer, one due to a road traffic accident, one due to lymphoma and two due to substance abuse.

The MDE Ireland system, set up in 2009 and run by leading medical and midwifery experts, is linked to the Confidential Maternal Death Inquiry system for England and Wales. This system is regarded as the ‘gold standard’ for confidential maternal death inquiry.

MDE Ireland classifies maternal deaths under the criteria of:

* ‘Maternal’ deaths of women while pregnant or within 42 days of the end of pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy.

* ‘Direct’ deaths resulting from obstetric complications of pregnancy, from ‘interventions, omissions, incorrect treatment or from a chain of events resulting from any of the above’.

* ‘Indirect’ deaths resulting from a previous existing disease, or a disease developing during pregnancy and which was not due to obstetric causes, but where the disease was aggravated by the physical effects of the pregnancy.

* ‘Coincidental’ maternal deaths, from unrelated causes which happen to occur in pregnancy or the during or just after childbirth.

* ‘Late’ deaths occurring between 42 days and one year after abortion, miscarriage or delivery that are the result of direct or indirect maternal causes.

Figures used by the CSO for maternal deaths rely on the cause of death as recorded on the coroner’s death certificate alone, which experts believe limits the definition of a maternal death and has led to under-reporting of the true rate.

The most recent CSO figures recorded only one maternal death in 2010 and three in 2009.

The MDE Ireland report says its aim is to investigate why some women die during or shortly after pregnancy, and to learn how such tragedies can be avoided in the future.

The new figures mean our maternal mortality rate is on the same level as that of France, it is still less than that of the UK and the US, but is higher than that of Sweden and Norway.

Referring to the significant number of maternal deaths in Ireland among women born outside the country, the report says the issue of how these women engage with our maternity services needs to be dealt with, and highlighted the importance of the availability of interpretive services.

A particular concern, the report says, is the issue of engagement with maternity services by non-national patients getting alternative medical advice from outside the country.

The MDE Ireland report says there was reluctance in some hospitals to share maternal death data due to concerns over data protection, potential litigation and anticipated review of cases by other agencies.

It says pregnant women with pre-existing medical and mental health disorders should have risk assessment on booking into a maternity hospital, and they should be afforded high priority when referred for assessment by doctors in other medical disciplines.

The report recommends that a question on pregnancy status at time of death, similar to that on the medical death cert, should be included on the coroner’s death cert.

Abortion amendment has been disaster and must go

Abortion amendment has been disaster and must go.

Women must be allowed to make informed decisions about crisis pregnancies

A few days before the 1983 referendum that gave us article 40.3.3 of the Constitution, a heartbroken man spoke out. Brendan Hodgers described the death of his wife Sheila in an Irish hospital.

She had cancer but was taken off all drugs and treatments when she became pregnant because they might harm or kill the foetus. Mr Hodgers said that with his wife screaming in agony, he asked for her to be given an abortion. He got no reply. After giving birth to a premature baby girl who died immediately, Sheila Hodgers died.

He revealed his personal tragedy in the hope that it would remind Irish people that sometimes a woman needs an abortion and that the amendment could cost women’s lives. In the same year, an Irish man was convicted of the rape of two girls aged 14 and 16, both of whom had given birth to babies.

The architects of the amendment swept aside all such sorrowful facts. Ireland was a Catholic country, they insisted. Feminists who said they wanted contraception, women’s refuges, rape crisis centres, support for single mothers and divorce, were out to destroy traditional Irish values. Abortion must be banned in all circumstances. Leading campaigner John Reilly warned that those who opposed the amendment were opportunists whose strategy would be to spread confusion by arguing for abortion in cases of rape, incest, alleged “life and death” situations, and in the case of foetal abnormality.

The counter-strategy was to convince the people that abortion was, in the words of Fine Gael TD Alice Glenn “a slaughter of the innocents”.

The Catholic bishop Joseph Cassidy said in the full confidence of his moral authority that the most dangerous place for a child to be in the world was in a woman’s womb.

The zealots didn’t get the wording they originally wanted. Women were to be given equal rights with the foetus. However, they were confident when the amendment was passed that Ireland was the safest place in the world to be unborn.

In 1992, they were appalled when the Supreme Court ruled that a suicidal 14-year-old girl, pregnant as a result of rape, had a constitutional right to an abortion in Ireland. This followed huge demonstrations of solidarity for the child by the Irish public, with candlelit marches, impassioned debates, and, most potent of all, the brave and sometimes devastated voices of women and children telling their own secret abortion stories to journalists.

The late John McGahern believed pregnancy was a private matter and felt “nothing but shame” upon being asked to vote in the subsequent referendum to give or withhold from women the right to travel or obtain information about abortion. The whole sorry situation was the fault of cowardly politicians who had failed to legislate, he wrote.

Praveen Halapannavar has described the death in agony of his pregnant wife Savita. He said that when, knowing she was miscarrying, she asked for an abortion, she was refused and told that she was in a Catholic country. The foetus died and was delivered, and later Savita died. They should, her grieving husband said, have saved “the bigger life”. The couple could have had other babies.

Anti-abortionists – and let us call them this, for they are no more pro-life than the rest of us – have accused pro-choice activists of being opportunists over this case. There is no problem with our laws or our Constitution, they insist.

But Mr Halapannavar, through his friends, went to the Galway Pro-Choice group and decided with its support to reveal the story of his tragedy because, like Brendan Hodgers 30 years ago, he wanted to let the Irish people know that our prohibition on abortion can cost the lives of women.

Article 40.3.3 has been a disaster. It has led to misery and it has failed to stop women from wanting, needing and in many cases getting abortions.

Ten women a day leave Ireland for terminations, and others go online and order abortion drugs. Proposed restrictions through further amendments were rejected in 1992 and 2002. Opinion polls show steadily increasing support for liberalising abortion law.

Successive governments have claimed legislating for article 40.3.3 is too complicated. This one must give us the chance to remove it and legislate in a way that trusts women to make informed decisions about crisis pregnancies.

Doctors should never be distracted in clinical emergencies by worries about the distinction between life and health, intentional and unintentional outcomes.

This is not a Catholic country. It is not opportunistic to talk about rape and incest and life and death situations and foetal abnormality in relation to abortion. It is the real experience of women.

Who, instinctively and lovingly, does not understand and support what Praveen Halapannavar said about “the bigger life”?

Review of expert group report from Rte Primetime.

Reporter Oonagh Murphy reported on the excerpts of the report from the Expert group set up to review the X Case ruling.

http://www.rte.ie/player/ie/search/?q=primetime

It seems that the expert group reports back that the options are to put in place guidelines, legislation or regulations.

Guidelines, which can be put in place quickly can be easily amended but they would have no legal force behind them and would not meet the recommendations of the EU court of human rights.

Legislation would meet the recommendations of the EU courts of human rights, but it will mean time spent drawing them up, time spent debating for it to be passed. Legislation will take more time and has a lack of flexibility in the future as medical advances are made.

Regulations in conjunction with legislation may offer flexibility but will have to be backed with legislation which will allow the regulations to be changed as needed.

It was also reported that the X Case only deals with the risk to the life of the woman rather then the risk to health and as a result cases like those of Savita may not be covered by anything which the government put in place.

Tuesday the 27th of November has been given for the publication of the report.