Friday, November 16, 2012

Irish laws

I don't know if it was reported in your Country, but there has been a tragic episode here in Ireland recently. A woman, 17 weeks pregnant, is admitted to hospital with contractions. She is found fully dilated and waters leaking. She is told she is going to lose the baby as he's too small.
The miscarriage is not happening fast, she is in great pain and her health conditions quickly worsen. She repeatedly asks for termination as this is horrendous. This is denied to her as in Ireland abortion is illegal and the foetus still had a heartbeat. Eventually the baby dies, she is rushed to theatre, but never recovers. An infection has set in and she dies three days later.

I will be 17 weeks tomorrow and this has shaken me down to the core.

For the last 20 years the Government has avoided legislation in this field. It is clear, legally, that if the life of the mother is in serious danger, termination can be performed. Take ectopic pregnancies for example. I know well I have been treated and treated effectively. But it's the term "serious" which is completely subjective.

Late miscarriages do happen, they are not too frequent thankfully, but they do happen. Not always the life of the mother is at risk obviously, but why why why doctors were not allowed to intervene to put an end to that poor woman's misery...there is no doubt that an earlier intervention would have saved her life. She was well upon admission, had no fever and no sign of infection. She was left 3 days suffering, uterus open and miscarriage just not happening. Apparently she was on antibiotics, but either they weren't strong enough or the infection spread too quickly once set in.

Nobody here is saying the doctors left her to die, I personally think that the judgement call was a very difficult one, it's not like they can foresee an infection, but can you imagine how horrific it is to be left "doing it on your own" when it's certain there is no hope for the baby? I mean, it's not like she was 23 weeks along and they were hoping she would make it to viability. 17 weeks people. 17. Fully dilated and with contractions. She wasn't treated to stop contractions, doctors knew there was no hope.

She was an Indian woman, a dentist, who travelled to Ireland with her husband (an engineer) as they thought it was a great place to have a family. I suspect the fact they were both educate made even more the news, though this is terrible to say.

I'm of course easily impressionable, now I think this can happen to me, I would just have to hope it doesn't and that if it does please God the doctors will be wiser.


  1. OMG, that is too horrible for words. I only have hugs for you (and hope Mike will hold you tight)
    (and I'm afraid I have to stop reading, it just doesn't make any sense)

    from Amsterdam with Love,

  2. I did read about that yesterday from a couple different sources reporting on it and I was horrified. I knew abortion was illegal in Ireland but did not realize that exceptions are not made when the woman's life is in danger.

    I would be shaken, too.

  3. The story has made it over here, as well. It's horrendous. I agree with you. At 17 weeks, the decision should have been made to make things easier on her (even in the absence of a clear and imminent danger). There was - very unfortunately - absolutely no chance of saving the baby and so the priority should have been her safety (and, yes, her comfort). I understand that it gets sticky legally, but it also upsets me that an outcome like this can happen anywhere in our modern world.

  4. My friend told me about this yesterday and it just astounds me. I am anti-abortion when it comes to stupid people making stupid decisions and ending up with accidents, but when it comes to the life of the mother, it is necessary.

    The chances of this happening to you are so very slim they are practically non-existent. I know it hits close to home, but you should not stress yourself out about it. My approach to these things is always to acknowledge the possibility exists, and then to ignore it. It doesn't do any good to dwell on things that could happen, but most likely won't. Focus on that little Phoenix, send him loving mama vibes, and tell yourself you will see that baby in your arms around 23 weeks from now. Stay positive Fran! Only cross bridges if and when you come to them.

    *BIG hugs*

  5. Heard about it a lot ever since it happened. Tragic. And stupid legislators should reconsider this awful stance, but of course chances are slim.
    I know how terrible this must be for you. But let's just play the card "Fran had her share of tragedy and she is granted an easy all-free pass now", shall we? Chances are you are now on the good side of the statistics. Let's hope that this is true. I think in my heart this is true. I hope I am proven right.

  6. ((hugs)) It is all of the news here. By news I mean Facebook because I don't actually read or watch the news. I had ignored the details because the whole thing made me sad. Reading your details just made it even sadder. I know it is especially hard when you have something in common like being pregnant. Take time to feel the emotions and know you are going to be ok. You've had one miracle and you will have another. Love ya!

  7. I have been following this story closely as I am Irish and living in Ireland too. I'm beyond appalled and angry at how Savita and her husband were mistreated. You wouldn't put an animal through that. Having being hospitalised for two miscarriages and one ectopic pregnancy myself it struck a huge chord with me also.

    It's very unclear as to whether the lack of action on the part of the medical staff was a) fear of repercussions surrounding the grey area of legaility of medical terminations in Ireland, b) negligence/malpractice/incompetence or c) some kind of extreme religious views (her husband told the journalist from the Irish Times who broke this story that when Savita and her husband pleaded for a D&C for her, one of the medical staff said something along the lines of "this is a Catholic country". Horrific. RIP Savita and deepest sympathies to Praveen and their families.

    I spoke to a friend of mine yesterday who is a trainee midwife and she said she has seen a similar case to this in another Irish maternity hospital. The patient was administered pethidene and IV antibiotics while her consultant took the precaution of calling in a second opinion. They proceded with the necessary medical termination, and the patient was fine.

    Whatever the case, legislation needs to be passed asap. I am so angry at our spineless politications who have not had the guts to legislate for this for fear or losing the conservative catholic vote. Pro life my arse.

  8. I am praying and hoping that someone will soon do something to prevent any more tragedies like this. This is a horrid story.


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