Tag Archives: politics

State imposed ‘Catholic’ care leads to death of pregant Hindu woman in Galway.

The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2012/1114/1224326575203.html

KITTY HOLLAND and PAUL CULLEN, Health Correspondent

Two investigations are under way into the death of a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant, at University Hospital Galway last month.

Savita Halappanavar (31), a dentist, presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st, was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicaemia a week later.

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.

This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.

She spent a further 2½ days “in agony” until the foetal heartbeat stopped.

Intensive care

The dead foetus was removed and Savita was taken to the high dependency unit and then the intensive care unit, where she died of septicaemia on the 28th.

An autopsy carried out by Dr Grace Callagy two days later found she died of septicaemia “documented ante-mortem” and E.coli ESBL.

A hospital spokesman confirmed the Health Service Executive had begun an investigation while the hospital had also instigated an internal investigation. He said the hospital extended its sympathy to the family and friends of Ms Halappanavar but could not discuss the details of any individual case.

Speaking from Belgaum in the Karnataka region of southwest India, Mr Halappanavar said an internal examination was performed when she first presented.

“The doctor told us the cervix was fully dilated, amniotic fluid was leaking and unfortunately the baby wouldn’t survive.” The doctor, he says, said it should be over in a few hours. There followed three days, he says, of the foetal heartbeat being checked several times a day.

“Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby could they induce to end the pregnancy. The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’.

“Again on Tuesday morning, the ward rounds and the same discussion. The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita [a Hindu] said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.

“That evening she developed shakes and shivering and she was vomiting. She went to use the toilet and she collapsed. There were big alarms and a doctor took bloods and started her on antibiotics.

“The next morning I said she was so sick and asked again that they just end it, but they said they couldn’t.”

Critically ill

At lunchtime the foetal heart had stopped and Ms Halappanavar was brought to theatre to have the womb contents removed. “When she came out she was talking okay but she was very sick. That’s the last time I spoke to her.”

At 11 pm he got a call from the hospital. “They said they were shifting her to intensive care. Her heart and pulse were low, her temperature was high. She was sedated and critical but stable. She stayed stable on Friday but by 7pm on Saturday they said her heart, kidneys and liver weren’t functioning. She was critically ill. That night, we lost her.”

Mr Halappanavar took his wife’s body home on Thursday, November 1st, where she was cremated and laid to rest on November 3rd.

The hospital spokesman said that in general sudden hospital deaths were reported to the coroner. In the case of maternal deaths, a risk review of the case was carried out.

External experts were involved in this review and the family consulted on the terms of reference. They were also interviewed by the review team and given a copy of the report.

This is a personal nightmare.
There are are issues with high blood pressure in my family.
This could have been my sister, my cousin or in years to come my daughter.

Galway Pro-choice statement re the death of Savita Praveen

https://www.facebook.com/GalwayProChoice/posts/379753642107027

For Release: Woman Dies in UCHG after Being Denied a Life-Saving Abortion

On Sunday the 28th of October, Savita Praveen died at UCHG after being denied a termination which would most likely have saved her life. She was 31 years old, married for four years and hoping to start a family.

If legislation is not introduced immediately, more women will die. Under the X Case ruling, women in Ireland are legally entitled to an abortion when it is necessary to save their life. However, legislation has never been passed to reflect this. It is the failure of successive governments to do so that led to Savita’s death.

Savita was first admitted to the hospital on October 21st complaining of severe back pain. Her doctor initially told her that she would be fine, but she refused to go home. It became clear that her waters had broken, and she was having a miscarriage (spontaneous abortion). She was told that the foetus had no chance of survival, and it would all be over within a few hours.

However, her condition did not take its expected course, and the foetus remained inside her body. Although it was evident that it could not survive, a foetal heartbeat was detected. For this reason her repeated requests to remove the foetus were denied. By Tuesday it was clear that her condition was deteriorating. She had developed a fever, and collapsed when attempting to walk. The cervix had now been fully open for nearly 72 hours, creating a danger of infection comparable to an untreated open head wound. She developed septicaemia.

Despite this, the foetus was not removed until Wednesday afternoon, after the foetal heartbeat had stopped. Immediately after the procedure she was taken to the high dependency unit. Her condition never improved. She died at 1.09am on Sunday the 28th of October.

Had the foetus been removed when it became clear that it could not survive, her cervix would have been closed and her chance of infection dramatically reduced. Leaving a woman’s cervix open constitutes a clear risk to her life. What is unclear is how doctors are expected to act in this situation.

Rachel Donnelly, Galway Pro-Choice spokesperson stated:
“This was an obstetric emergency which should have been dealt with in a routine manner. Yet Irish doctors are restrained from making obvious medical decisions by a fear of potentially severe consequences. As the European Court of Human Rights ruled, as long as the 1861 Act remains in place, alongside a complete political unwillingness to touch the issue, pregnant women will continue to be unsafe in this country.”

Sarah McCarthy, Galway Pro-Choice member said:
“Galway Pro-Choice believes that Ireland must legislate for freely available abortion for all women. Deaths like Savita’s are the most severe consequence of the criminalisation of abortion, yet it has countless adverse effects. We must reflect long and hard on the implications of Savita’s tragic and untimely passing, and we must act to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again.”

For more information please contact Galway Pro-Choice on 087 706 0715 or Sarah McCarthy on 085 7477 907

Legislate for X Action, a reply from Leo Varadkar T.D.

06/11/2012 15:44, Minister Varadkar Constituency wrote:

6th November 2012

Dear Ms [Sharrow]
Thank you for taking the time to contact me. You can be sure that I will take your views into account.

As committed to in the Programme for Government, an Expert Group, drawing on appropriate medical and legal expertise, was established in January to study the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on the ABC v. Ireland case. In that judgement, the European Court held that the Irish State had failed to legislate to implement existing rights to lawful abortion when a mother’s life is at risk.

Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution states that: “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right. “

The interpretation of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution arose in the “X case” in 1992. A majority of the members of the Supreme Court of Ireland held that, if it were established, as a matter of probability, that there was a real and substantial risk to the life, as distinct from the health, of the mother and that this real and substantial risk could only be averted by the termination of her pregnancy, such a termination was lawful.

The judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the A, B and C v Ireland case confirmed that Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution is in conformity with the European Convention on Human Rights. However, the Court ruled that “no criteria or procedures have been… laid down in Irish law… by which that risk is to be measured or determined, leading to uncertainty…” and held that further legal clarity was required.

In order to address the judgment, and to fulfil a commitment included in the Programme for Government, the Government established an Expert Group, drawing on appropriate medical and legal expertise, with a view to making recommendations on how this matter should be properly addressed.

The Expert Group, Chaired by Mr Justice Sean Ryan, will report in September with recommendations on a series of options on how to implement the judgment taking into account the constitutional, legal, medical, and ethical considerations involved in the formulation of public policy in this area and the over-riding need for expeditious action in light of the ECtHR judgement.

The Government believes that this is the appropriate forum in which to examine this complex and sensitive matter.

When the Group finalises its report later this year the Government will then decide how to proceed.

Best wishes,
Leo Varadkar T.D.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport

Anyone spot that?

The Expert Group, Chaired by Mr Justice Sean Ryan, will report in September

Ok this is either an old stock reply, as it is now November or else the expert group is not reporting back until September 2013 which is far from expeditious. I have written back asking for clarity on this.

Still no reply from Joan Burton or Patrick Nulty.

IF you have still not Emailed your own TDs you can do, in one go here:
http://www.nwci.ie/takeaction/

Legislate for X Action, reply from Joe Higgins office.

On 02/11/2012 17:20, Joe Higgins wrote:
Dear [Sharrow],

Many thanks for getting in touch in relation to this important issue. Myself and my colleagues in the United Left Alliance have been to the fore in pushing for legislation for the X-case. We will continue to pressure the Government to introduce this long overdue legislation. We will continue to raise this issue in the Dail if there is continued delaying tactics in relation to the report of the expert group.
Kind Regards,

Jimmy Dignam
Dail Assistant to Joe Higgins TD
01-6183370
joe.higgins@oir.ie

I got a wonderfully prompt reply, still waiting on replies from Joan burton and Patrick Nulty. I am going to email them again.

Wording for the Childern’s Rights Referedum released.

So finally the date has been set, November 10th, a Saturday, and the wording has been announced.

http://www.dcya.gov.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=2334&ad=1

Thirty-First Amendment of the Constitution

PROPOSED NEW ARTICLE 42A

Children

The State recognises and affirms the natural and imprescriptible rights of all children and shall, as far as practicable, by its laws protect and vindicate those rights.

1° In exceptional cases, where the parents, regardless of their marital status, fail in their duty towards their children to such extent that the safety or welfare of any of their children is likely to be prejudicially affected, the State as guardian of the common good shall, by proportionate means as provided by law, endeavour to supply the place of the parents, but always with due regard for the natural and imprescriptible rights of the child.

2° Provision shall be made by law for the adoption of any child where the parents have failed for such a period of time as may be prescribed by law in their duty towards the child and where the best interests of the child so require.

Provision shall be made by law for the voluntary placement for adoption and the adoption of any child.

1° Provision shall be made by law that in the resolution of all proceedings –

i brought by the State, as guardian of the common good, for the purpose of preventing the safety and welfare of any child from being prejudicially affected, or

ii concerning the adoption, guardianship or custody of, or access to, any child,
the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.

2° Provision shall be made by law for securing, as far as practicable, that in all proceedings referred to in subsection 1° of this section in respect of any child who is capable of forming his or her own views, the views of the child shall be ascertained and given due weight having regard to the age and maturity of the child

What does this mean?

It means that we are one step closer to being in line with the United Nations Convention of the rights of the child, which was written in 1989 and which we as a sovereign state signed up to in
1990 and ratified in 1992. The rights referred to in the amendment are those listed by in the
UN Convention of the rights of the child which are pretty extensive and you can read through it here.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/UN_Convention_on_the_Rights_of_the_Child

This referendum and the tackling of the imbalance of the patronage system of schools are part of what has been needed to be done for the last 20 years but previous governments have failed to do them.

So make sure that you can vote by checking http://checktheregister.ie/ and remember that this referendum is on a Saturday November 10th, so no day of school for the kids and hopefully we will have a good turn out.