Tragedy, shame and outrage as pregnant Savita dies in Irish hospital because of Catholic dogma and political cowardice

by Michael Nugent on November 14, 2012

SavitaShame on Ireland’s Catholic Bishops and our cowardly politicians. They could have protected the life of 31-year-old Savita Praveen Halappanavar, who tragically died last month in Galway after doctors denied her the right to abort an unviable foetus during a miscarriage.

Instead, while Savita was dying, the Catholic church was running an immoral propaganda campaign to mislead Irish people into believing that pregnant women will always get the medical care they need in Irish hospitals.

And Irish politicians were yet again refusing to legislate for abortion to save the life of a pregnant woman. They have now repeatedly refused to do this for twenty years, since the Irish courts established this right in the X case.

It took a raped pregnant teenager to establish this right in 1992. It should not have taken the death of a pregnant woman, twenty years later, to remind Irish politicians of their duty to legislate for that right.

The tragic death of Savita Halappanavar

Savita, a 31-year-old dentist living in Galway, was seventeen weeks pregnant when she went to University Hospital with back pain on Sunday 21 October. Doctors found that she was miscarrying, and that the foetus could not survive. However, they refused to remove the foetus because it still had a heartbeat.

Savita spent three days in pain, sometimes agony, as the hospital ignored her repeated requests for a medical termination. Her husband, 34 year-old engineer Praveen Halappanavar, says they were told that the reason was that “This is a Catholic country.”

Because her cervix remained fully open for this time, Savita was in prolonged danger of infection, comparable to having an untreated open head wound. Savita developed septicaemia, and she died on Sunday 28 October, a week after entering hospital.

By then doctors had removed the foetus, but only after its heartbeat had stopped. If they had removed the foetus when it was clear that it could not survive, Savita’s cervix would have closed earlier and she would have been less likely to develop the infection.

Rachel Donnelly, a spokeswoman for pro-choice campaigners in Galway, says: “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.”

The shame of Irish Bishops and politicians

This is primarily a human issue, about the life and death of an actual living person, a factor that Catholic Bishops and Irish politicians often seem to forget in their obsessions with the theological status of embryos and foetuses, and the political power of the conservative vote.

In 1983, at a time of political instability in Ireland, with three general elections in eighteen months, pressure by the Catholic right led to a constitutional referendum known as the Pro-Life Referendum. Abortion, which was already illegal, was now also made unconstitutional.

The new Article 40.3.3 of the constitution said 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.”

Everyone involved in this debate acknowledged that, in practice, Irish women could still travel to England for an abortion. This safety valve, of having a country on our doorstep with more humane laws than ours, meant we could focus on theological debates here and ignore the real suffering of pregnant women who needed an abortion.

The X Case and the right to travel

However, in 1992, this convenient illusion was shattered. A fourteen year old Irish girl was raped by a neighbour and became pregnant and suicidal. Her parents asked the police whether DNA from an aborted foetus could be used in a court case against the man who raped her.

Instead of helping this raped and suicidal child, the State responded by taking an injunction to prevent her from traveling to England for an abortion. The Attorney General instituted this injunction, based on Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution.

Amidst public outrage, the Supreme Court quickly overturned the injunction. It found that a woman had a right to an abortion under Article 40.3.3 if there was “a real and substantial risk” to her life. This right did not exist if there was a risk to her health but not her life; but it did exist if the risk was the possibility of suicide.

This case became known as the X case. Incredibly, the Irish Government responded to the X Case by proposing a new constitutional amendment, which if passed would have made abortion unconstitutional even if a pregnant woman was suicidal.

Thankfully, the Irish people rejected this uncaring amendment, and instead passed two amendments to allow pregnant women to travel outside of the state for an abortion, and to allow people to distribute information about abortion services in other countries.

By the way, if you are not from Ireland, yes, you read that correctly. In 1992, the Irish people held a constitutional referendum to allow women to travel outside of the state.

It is of course positive that Irish people react more compassionately when faced with real cases of suffering than with theoretical debates about theology, but it is a very low ethical hurdle to have to enshrine in our constitution the right of women to travel outside the state.

The ABC Case and the duty to legislate

Since 1992, a woman has had the right to an abortion in Ireland, if there is a real and substantial threat to her life, including the threat of suicide. But for twenty years, Irish Governments have refused to legislate to regulate that right.

Indeed, ten years ago, in 2002, the Irish Government tried to tighten the law again, with yet another constitutional referendum, again intended to make abortion unconstitutional even if a pregnant woman was suicidal. Again, the Irish people rejected this uncaring proposal.

Then just two years ago, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on complaints from three anonymous women (known as A, B and C) who had to travel from Ireland to England to have abortions, for various different reasons.

The European Court found that there is no automatic right to an abortion under the European Convention on Human Rights, and that two of the women did not have a right to an abortion, but that Ireland had violated the Convention with regard to the third woman.

The reason was that abortion is legal in Ireland when the life of a pregnant woman is at risk, and the Irish state had failed to provide an accessible and effective procedure by which a woman can have established whether she qualifies for a legal abortion.

Catholic dogma and theological gobbledegook

Twenty years after the X case, and two years after the ABC case, pregnant women in Ireland are still caught in the grip of Catholic dogma and political cowardice.

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has responded to the ABC ruling by launching a new campaign to stop the Irish Government from carrying out its duty to legislate. The campaign’s website is at http://chooselife2012.ie.

Just yesterday, Bishop John Fleming wrote in the Irish Times:

“In fact, Ireland, without abortion, is recognised as one of the safest countries in the world to be a pregnant mother. This is something about which we should be proud and is a tribute to the excellent care provided by hospital staff who treat both mother and unborn child with equal dignity and respect as people in their own right. Clearly, if the life of the mother is threatened, by illness or some other medical condition, the care provided by medical professionals will make sure that she receives all the medical care needed.”

This, of course, is simply untrue. And Bishop Fleming’s case for the Catholic Bishops’ campaign shows how unreal is the source of their arguments:

“For those who view life through the lens of their Christian faith, our bodies are sacred; temples of the Holy Spirit, created in the image of God and redeemed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For Christians, our bodies are not our own to do with them what we will. Our bodies come from God, are created in God’s image and destined for eternal life with him in heaven. This is our faith and this is what distinguishes us from those who do not share our faith.”

This type of theological gobbledegook should never be allowed to take precedence over the real life suffering of real life people in the real life world.

The ever-present Irish political cowardice

However, there is considerable evidence that Irish politicians will continue to allow this to happen, and will continue to abdicate their duty to legislate.

When the Minister for Health, James Reilly, set up an expert group to examine the implications of the ABC case for Irish law, several elected politicians chose to announce a rebellion.

Fifteen Fine Gael TDs and Senators said they would oppose the legalisation of abortion, even if there was a government whip on the vote, and they insisted the findings of the expert group be discussed with them before it is brought to Cabinet.

Lucinda Creighton TD said that that resolving the abortion issue “should not be a priority for this Government” and that her “preference would be just not to deal with this issue right now”. She told her colleagues that, unlike a directive from the European Court of Justice, a European Court of Human Rights judgment is not legally binding.

That may be the case, but the European Court judgment is politically persuasive, and it is morally impossible to ignore.

The Irish Courts, and the Irish people, have repeatedly decided that abortion is legal in Ireland when there is a risk to the life of a pregnant woman. Our politicians have a duty to legislate for that, and they should not be allowed to abdicate that duty.

Ireland must legislate for the X case now

The Irish Government must legislate for the X case now. This would be an absolutely minimal response to the shameful inaction of the past two decades. And it should be a first step to a more compassionate human rights based approach to abortion generally.

Pro-choice campaigners are rightly outraged at the tragic and avoidable death of Savita Praveen Halappanavar, a Hindu from India whose life was cut short by Catholics from Ireland.

Rachel Donnelly, Galway Pro-Choice spokesperson, says:

“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.”

And Sarah McCarthy, Galway Pro-Choice member, says:

“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.”

Stephanie Lord, Choice Ireland spokesperson says:

“Today, some twenty years after the X case we find ourselves asking the same question again – if a woman is pregnant, her life in jeopardy, can she even establish whether or not she has a right to a termination here in Ireland? There is still a disturbing lack of clarity around this issue, decades after the tragic events surrounding the X case in 1992.”

And Sinead Ahern, Choice Ireland spokesperson says:

“It is quite startling that some 20 years after the Supreme Court called for legislation in the X judgment, a seventh successive government continues to abdicate its responsibility to address the subject. This is not an issue about TDs’ views on abortion, it is simply an issue of giving effect to existing constitutional rights and respecting the result of two referenda in which the Irish people rejected rolling back on the X Case.”

Some things that you can do to help

It took a raped teenager to establish the right of a pregnant woman to have an abortion in Ireland when there is a risk to her life. It should not have taken the death of a pregnant woman, twenty years later, to remind Irish politicians of their duty to legislate for that right.

Tragically, that is what has now happened. Please do what you can to ensure that it does not happen again.

Share or Bookmark this Page

  • TwitThis
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks

{ 194 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica November 14, 2012 at 8:54 am

Well said Michael. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

2 Páraic Ó Súilleabháín November 14, 2012 at 10:00 am

That story is disgusting, thanks for taking the time to post your response.

3 tom stamp November 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm

excellent points. I have noticed already that the anti-choice/no groups have starting the spin that this is a medical negligence issue and not a consitutional one. Make not mistake about it – when the call was made it was made on the basis that “this is a Catholic Country” and not for medical reasons.

This raises some interesting issues. Firstly, that there may be in existance some interpetation or guidelines being issued to the team from the hospital managment, or the HSE which goes further than the IMC guidelines. It would be interesting to see them.

Secondly, it was clearly not a medical call, but a legal one. This is a disgraceful situation to leave a medical professional in. They are not trained lawyers. They have to, on the spot, make a decision which they deem to be in best accordance with the consitution. They have to balance the risk of the health of the mother against the certanty of the death of the unborn with no guidence other than the bland and wide wording of the consitution to guide them. No only have the so-called legislators of the Dail let down the patient in this matter and her family they equally have let down the medical team by failing to legislate on the x-case and, even before the x-case, on the meaning of the consitutional amendment as brought about in 1983.

TD’ s have one role under the constitution – to enact laws. They are not there to fix your pothole, to get you a medical card, to bump you or your family up the local waiting list in the hospital, to “have a word” with the planning office about your house/septic tank. They are paid for enacting laws, and they are refusing to do it here in case it causes them hassle.

This government promised that it wouldnt fail to legislate on this issue, and then ran and hid behind a committee. A committee, it must be pointed out, that it did not need when voting down an attempt to legislate for the X-case in the spring. Ironicly, less then a week after the Labour Party Conference voted to enact such legislation.

4 Rebecca Shute November 14, 2012 at 1:09 pm

A powerful argument to support religion having no place in the legislature of a state. I would expect the church to have this response, but an elected parliament needs to reflect the wishes of the country’s citizens.

5 Alessandra November 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm

“Aware of ‘importance and solemnity of’ do, and act of ‘commitment that I take, swear to practice medicine in freedom and independence of judgment and behavior, to pursue goals such as the exclusive defense of life, the protection of health physical and psychological man ‘s and the relief of suffering, which will inspire a responsible and consistent academic, cultural and social, all my professional action, not to do ever acts likely to cause deliberate death of a patient to stick to my activity the ethical principles of human solidarity, against which, in accordance with the life and person, I will not use my knowledge ever, use of my work with diligence, skill, prudence and in good faith and observing the rules of ethics that govern the ‘practice of medicine and the law that are inconsistent with the purposes of my profession, to entrust my reputation only to my professional skills and my own moral qualities, to avoid, even outside of’ professional practice, every act and behavior which may harm the prestige and dignity of the profession. To respect colleagues in case of differences of opinion, to treat all my patients with the same care and commitment regardless of the feelings they inspire me and without any distinction of race, religion, nationality, social status and political ideology, to assist d ‘urgency to any patient who is in need and to put, in the case of public calamity at the disposal of the competent authority, to respect and facilitate in every case, the patient’s right to freedom of choice of doctor, taking into account that the relationship between doctor and patient is based on trust and mutual respect in any case, to keep secret all that I confided, see, or that I have seen, heard or sensed in ‘ exercise of my profession or because of my state, to refrain from ‘”aggressive” diagnostic and therapeutic. “

6 Roman Barna November 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm

These politicians and bishops are directly responsible for her death. Hope they are aware of that…

7 Clare November 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm

This case is very clearly nothing to do with abortion. Pro “choicers” have simply seized upon it and dishonestly pretended that abortion would have saved her life.
This scenario is not unusual in obstetrics and whether she aborted or not, what she needed was close monitoring and timely, effective prophylactic antibiotics. There are a number of similar cases of women who have also died of septicaemia following legal abortion. Had this unfortunate woman aborted, precisely the same risks of infection would have remained. This sounds like a case of poor obstetric management to me.

8 gadiv November 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Primum non nocere.

9 Clare November 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm

To be clear, and with the caveat that all the information is not available to us yet, from what is already in the public domain, abortion would NOT have saved this woman’s life. Closer monitoring and prophylaxis probably would.

10 Mick November 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Clare,

So you’re saying, on current evidence, that there’s no chance whatsoever that an inducement 1 week earlier wouldn’t have made any difference? You’re 100% sure of that.

The reason I ask is, even if there’s a very small chance that acting earlier could have saved Savita’s life, surely it would have been a choice worth making.

Regards,

Mick

11 Nomadic Translator Maria November 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm

This is disgusting and outrageous.

I don’t know if you can do that in Ireland, but if I were her husband, I would sue the hospital and all parties involved!

Make a bigger deal out of this so no more women die due to religious fanaticism. Simply disgusting…

- Maria Alexandra

12 Steve November 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Everybody who treated her should be thrown in prison for murder. They knew exactly what would happen.

13 Clare November 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Mick, did she even ask for induction a week prior to her death? It would be rxtraordinary to even consider induction for a simple case of ruptured membranes. When cases like this happen in the UK women aren’t induced. The significant thing when there is premature rupture of membranes, as must have happened in this case, is prompt prophylactic antibiotics, frequent close monitoring, bed rest and, from memory, other supportive interventions such as steroids.
Abortions don’t prevent septicaemia, in fact many women who die following abortion die of just that.
Had she had an abortion she would still, without timely antibiotic cover and with rampaging septicaemia, be dead.
This has nothing to do with the church, Catholicism, or politics, but rather an obstetric error of enormous magnitude.
This is simple pro abort opportunism, poor Savita is the useful vehicle and a stick to beat pro life Ireland and the church with. That’s all.

14 Clare November 14, 2012 at 4:13 pm

And the general level of ignorance and bigotry on display in the comments here and elsewhere is pretty disgusting. Stomach churning actually.

15 Mick November 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Clare,

I assumed you were up to date with the facts of this case as you stated in your previous post “To be clear, and with the caveat that all the information is not available to us yet”. I assumed that meant you knew all the facts before making your statement “abortion would NOT have saved this woman’s life”. It seems I was wrong to believe that.

A simple look on such respected media outlets as BBC News and The Guardian would have shown that doctors informed Savita that the fetus was not viable on the Saturday, after she had been admitted with acute back pain, she died the following Sunday week, that is to say 8 days later.

It would seem you didn’t even bother to read this blogpost before claiming that inducement would not affect Savita’s chance of life. As such I’ll take your claim with the contempt it deserves.

Regards,

Mick

16 Mick November 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Clare,

Instead of accusing others of playing political games, perhaps you should listen to the husband. A man who has just lost his wife and child. It is he who claims she asked to be induced on the Saturday and doctors would not until such a time as the fetus’ heartbeat stopped. They induced her once the fetus was dead, why would they do this if “abortion would NOT have saved this woman’s life” as you claim Clare?

Regards,

Mick

17 Ren November 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm

The article states that her cervix would have been closed earlier, and therefore less chance of her getting an infection.

Saying it has nothing to do with the catholic church is clearly nonsense, as that was the reason given to her to deny her request. Not that it was unnecessary or unwise medically.

18 laura November 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm

The fact she was told the pregnancy was already dying and not viable and yet STILL denied a termination is appalling. She was forced to carry a dying pregnancy for a week, a pregnancy that was not only emotionally difficult but physically painful.
But she had an open cervix and was left in pain, without antibiotics and told the reason was ‘its a catholic country’ – sorry, what part of ‘its a catholic country’ sounds like it ISN’T due to religious fanatasism??
THEY are catholic. So THEY don’t have to have a termination. SHE is not catholic, it is HER choice to terminate a DYING pregnancy that was causing her physical pain, nevermind the emotional distress.

Ultimately, their refusal to carry out her request the week prior, is likely what killed her. Yes she *may* have contracted septicaemia regardless, but her chances of infection would have been greatly reduced along with her pain levels.

As for biggotry, let’s face facts. The church is NOT the elected government. So WHY are they influencing politics? Their influence should end where their churchyard ends and the street begins.

19 Clare November 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Mick, of course at 17/40 her baby was “not viable”. That simply means that if delivered it wouldn’t have lived. It doesn’t mean it was dying. Many women here in the UK rupture membranes at 17/40 and, after being given appropriate care and monitoring, go on to deliver health, full term infants. There is every possibility that what actually killed the baby was the rampant infection that killed Savita.

20 Clare November 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm

As to Savita’s pain, back pain is associated with both pre term labour and infection. Antibiotics and pain relief are the obvious answer, not abortion.
The Catholic Church wasn’t making the clinical decisions for that woman, her obstetrician was. This is just a shameful excuse for pro abort idealogues to cynically trade on an obstetric disaster in order to bash the bishop ( pun intended)

21 Mick November 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Clare,

She was in the process of a prolonged and painful miscarriage. That is what I meant by “not viable”. Stop being so obtuse.

22 Mick November 14, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Clare,

You seem to be ignoring a lot of facts here to fit your own worldview. I find your assertions shameful.

23 Mick November 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Clare,

The backpain was a symptom of a greater problem, the fact is she was in the middle of a very dangerous miscarriage. The doctors knew this and would do nothing to expedite the process by inducing, instead she spent a further 4 days in excruciating pain before they would induce her (after the death of the foetus). She “may” not have contracted septicaemia if they had acted more quickly.

24 Mick November 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Clare,

You would know all this if you would read a couple of articles online but I get the impression the last thing you want is to have the wool pulled away.

25 Deana Holmes November 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Clare,

Let’s just be blunt here. You don’t care the least about Savita Halappanavar. All you cared about was her fetus. You are willing to make excuses and lie, lie, lie because for you, Savita Halappanavar was only the container to bring the fetus to full term. Her life mattered NOTHING compared to the fetus.

Be honest, Clare, you don’t care about the women, all you care about are the fetuses. You don’t care that what happened here stopped Savita’s beating heart. And, to be blunt, you are cruel and heartless.

This needs to be repeated over and over again: when you privilege the fetus over a living woman, you are cruel and heartless. Women should not have to die for your religious dogma.

26 Sarah Carroll November 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm

The death of Savita Halappanavar should provoke outrage in anyone truly concerned about the health of women.

Hopefully the investigation will shed some light on why Mrs. Halappanavar was refused treatment for miscarriage, when this treatment is regularly administered in this country, and is allowed for by the law and by the Medical Council.

The treatment she needed was legal, so there is no question that a change in the law is what is needed here. It is medical negligence that she was not treated urgently.

In cases where the fetus is still alive, the Medical Council in part 21.4 of its guidelines for medical doctors states that treatment is allowed EVEN if “there is little of no hope of the baby surviving”.

The treatment that Mrs. Halappanavar should have received is legal in this country. In fact, it is standard medical procedure in cases like hers. That she wasn’t treated is a failure of the hospital and medical team, not a problem with the law.

I suspect that the medical council will strike off one or more people because of this and rightly so.

The greatest thing we can do to honour Savita’s life is to insist on obstetric excellence – that is what saves women’s lives, not abortion.

27 Clare November 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm

I’m not being obtuse Mick, you are. The miscarriage didn’t kill Savita, septicaemia did.
Septicaemia is also a major risk following abortion. Abortion does not stop people dying of septicaemia.

As to your descibing Savita as being ” in the middle of a long miscarriage” the likelihood is that she was in the middle of a *threatened” miscarriage.
Obstetric terminology does not refer to a pregnancy as a miscarriage until fetal demise. Until that point miscarriage is *threatened*.
Under ordinary circumstances a woman with a threatened miscarriage is given appropriate care and monitoring in order to prevent such needless death. Here in the UK where abortion is perfectly legal, women with ruptured membranes and threatened misc are not offered abortion in case they might develop septicaemia and die. That would be absurd.

28 Mick November 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Clare,

Just read the fucking facts of the case.

29 Nick November 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Clare – don’t confuse the people here with facts. They’re in the middle of being outraged, so your intervention isn’t really what they’re looking for. If you could kindly get on message, that would be great. Shrill outrage is a good place to start.

30 FrankO November 14, 2012 at 5:50 pm

The underlying hatred of humanity evident in Bishop Fleming’s blathering rationalization is deplorable. Ireland should formally and immediately remove the Catholic Church from any active role in its politics and state organizations (welfare, health, etc.). “This is a Catholic Country” is about the most pathetic acceptance of superstitious ignorance I’ve read in recent years. Religion is bunk. Let’s rid ourselves of it.

31 Hannah November 14, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Ahhh, a wonderful, pro-life troll with nothing better to do with their life than to verbally admonish a) a dead woman for even DARING to ask for the help denied to save her life and b) spout out more pro life rubbish that caused her death in the first place?

Clare, I am from the UK, but my father is Irish. I am also pro choice, and happen to know a lot about the history of women in Ireland, as well as the effect of the Catholic church. I find that abortion is very much like free speech – one side is louder than the other. Everyone has a right to their opinion but in the case of Savita, people need to realise that her life was in danger and had the foetus survived, it would have grown up without the mother regardless. My point is though, by blowing other’s opinions out of the water with your apparent facts, it is most disconcerting to read your venomous trollop. Are you a doctor, by any chance? You seem to harp on like any real pro-lifer about how abortion affects the right of the foetus rather than the endangered mother.

A girl I know recently gave birth to a girl by C-section (full term). Unfortunately she was unable to give birth naturally, and this actually made her upset. Savita was most likely devastated by the fact that her child was not able to come to term, and it has been said that she asked doctors when she could concieve again.

This is all I really have to say. I am not evil for my views, but I do not have the energy to argue with someone who obviously has such a privileged outlook on abortion and women’s rights.

32 Clare November 14, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Mick
The ‘fffffacts of the case’ aren’t in the public domain yet, so even you can’t read those! Speaking as a midwife I reckon you are seriously misconstruing what this case is all about, probably because it suits you to do so, but who knows.
It is very plain that this woman’s death is being enthusiastically and disgracefully exploited by pro choice idealogues who really don’t have the foggiest clue what the facts of the case are, but don’t really care about that anyway.

33 Clare November 14, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Nick
Indeed. Who needs facts when they have their shrill outrage to keep them warm?

34 Graham Martin-Royle November 14, 2012 at 6:01 pm

So much for the pro-life groups. This just shows that they aren’t pro-life, they are anti-abortion, they didn’t and still don’t give a flying fuck about life. The mother died, are they sad about that? No, as Clare and Nick show, they will distort and lie to carry on with their bigotry.

35 Clare November 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm

On a side note, I always find this conversation stopper to be something of a rhetorical red flag:

“I happen to know a lot”.

Nuff said.

36 Deana Holmes November 14, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Clare,

When are you going to admit that there is never an instance where a woman can have an abortion? Even in an instance like this, where the sterile field (the cervix) had been breached and the woman was in the middle of miscarrying? Savita would have had a chance of surviving had the abortion been performed right away, rather than waiting for fetal death.

Let’s be blunt here, Clare, you don’t think that a woman should EVER, EVER, EVER have an abortion. I’m sorry, but women should not have to suffer for your religious dogma. We’re not all Gianna Beretta Molla, nor should we have to be.

37 Clare November 14, 2012 at 6:13 pm

This:
“My point is though, by blowing other’s opinions out of the water with your apparent facts, it is most disconcerting to read your venomous trollop.”
Is too kind.
If a little…confused.

38 TessM November 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm

So let me get this straight: according to this article, Savita “went to University Hospital… on Sunday 21 October. Doctors found that she was miscarrying, and that the foetus could not survive. However, they refused to remove the foetus because it still had a heartbeat. Savita spent three days in pain, sometimes agony, as the hospital ignored her repeated requests for a medical termination.”

Regardless of what the doctors determined on that Sunday, Clare says from her comfy, judgmental seat at her computer that she knows that what happened to Savita was ruptured membranes, and that she had absolutely no need of an abortion. Furthermore, she claims the baby *could* have survived and been carried to term. Seriously? With the mother in actual pain and open to infection for the entire second half of the pregnancy??

If that were true, then Savita would not now be dead.

Sweet Jesus, I know who I’d want to be in charge of my care at a time like that and it isn’t midwife Clare Ratched.

39 Sarah Cody November 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm

I fully believe that the events surrounding Savita’s case were both extremely tragic and more importantly avoidable. I am a little confused as to why action wasn’t taken in light of the fact that abortions are legal in the case where there is a direct and immediate threat to the mother’s life.

I do think that we need to have better clarification and legislation on this issue to avoid this ever happening again. I believe in the right to abortion in cases such as this. However, and I know it’s probably an extremely unpopular position, I am against the full legalisation of abortions. I think it needs to be available for situations such as this, or mental health issues or as a result of something tragic like rape in the infamous ‘x’ case, but open abortions for any reason at all? Personally I remain against that.

40 John Mullin November 14, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Even if the law allowed an abortion in this case, there is a clear “chilling effect” due to the ambiguity in the law.

Doctors who would choose abortion as the most medically favorable course of action will stay their hand (and choose a less favorable course) rather an risk the loss of their entire livelihood or freedom.

41 David Conrad November 14, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Her husband should have gone John Q on the hospital.

42 Ophelia Benson November 14, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Clare – the British Miscarriage Association doesn’t see it the way you do.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/1114/breaking45.html

“Doctors in Britain, faced with a case similar to the one that claimed Savita Halapanavar’s life, would have given medication to speed up a miscarriage, or carried out a termination, the British Miscarriage Association said today.

Saying that they had ‘luckily’ never heard of a case like the Galway tragedy, Nicky Caplan, trustee for the association, said it is not unusual that a miscarried foetus could take up several days to pass.

“It is just like labour,” she told The Irish Times.

Careful not to speak about the Halappanavar case directly, Ms Caplan said terminations would be carried out in British hospitals if it became clear that a miscarriage had caused, or was threatening to cause infection that would kill the mother.

Risks from surgery do exist in such cases, she acknowledged, but ‘if there was a huge amount of infection then the risks of not doing something about it would be greater than the risks caused’ by terminating the pregnancy.”

43 Ophelia Benson November 14, 2012 at 8:27 pm
44 Neeraja November 14, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Claire,
It worries me that you are a midwife. That actually proves how much an ideology can even blind a supposedly “knowledgeable” person. Let’s not forget Savita was a dentist, very aware of the medical condition she was in. And yes there is absolutely no way to sure if a threatened miscarriage will ultimately lead to fetal death. But, the point here is that, all efforts that should have been made to save the mother’s life wasn’t made. This, after the doctor mother asked for it. And why? Because the “life” of a fetus was considered equal to that of a grown woman. And that’s the point. As someone who got her medical training in India, where abortion is not a political or religious issue, I know how we would have treated this woman. Taking all and any measures to save her, and not concern ourselves with the fetus after her cervix was fully dialated at 17 weeks. Yes maybe the fetus could have survived, but what should have been paramount was saving the mother. And if the fetus survived too well and good. And it’s quite telling that you insist on calling the fetus “baby”.

45 Citizen Wolf November 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Clare
Are you catholic by any chance?

46 Rosa November 14, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I will never understand why is it so easy for christians to kill a full grown woman, with life, relationships, dreams, future, but specially, PRESENT. Babies are great, adorable, but that doesn’t justify to sacrifice another life when there is a medical situation that confirms that the unborn product will not survive anyways. Shame on all of you christian hypocrites. The doctor that condemn this woman should go to jail, and in all hospitals their should be a non religious doctor to treat this kinds of situations, where others beliefs can damage or destroy your life.

47 Neeraja November 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Clare,
And there is a lot of difference between PROM and full blown pre mature labour, which is what Savita seems to have had. She wasn’t leaking, she was fully dialated at 17 weeks. And that definitely puts her condition as “inevitable abortion” ( a technical term) and she should have been induced immediately and aggressively started on antibiotics when she started showing signs of chorioaminotis with a non viable fetus.

48 EL November 14, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Clare, if you are a midwife, you should know better. First, read the articles about this – when Savita knew that she would lose the baby no matter what, she requested – several times – an abortion. She was told there was nothing they could do because “this is a Catholic country.”
As a medical person, you should know the difference between premature rupture of membranes in a viable fetus, and in a 17 wk pregnancy.
Finally, you know, or should know if you are a midwife as you claim, that an open cervix and leaking amniotic fluid is a risk for amnionitis, and the longer the duration, the more increased risk. Remember the old saying “never let the sun set twice on a laboring woman”?
Since there was no chance of viability, antibiotics along with evacuation of the uterus was the correct treatment. Especially for someone in severe pain.
Or doesn’t the woman count?

49 Fiona November 14, 2012 at 11:13 pm

As an Irish woman I have to say that I am totally appalled at this case and how poor Savita was treated. I cannot imagine the ordeal that she and her family must have went through not only knowing that her baby was in fact going to die but to beg for help and not be given it on the basis that Ireland is a catholic country. When I think of all the pain that was inflicted in Ireland because of the Catholic Church it really astounds me that they have in any way influence over how we live our lives today. Having been brought up as a Catholic I am not someone who goes to mass regularly or am I an expert in this area but I ask myself would Jesus or God want this woman to suffer this way, to be inflicted with so much pain, helpless and have her wishes so blatantly disregarded I would have to hope that no they would not. Just look at what yesterday, Bishop John Fleming wrote in the Irish Times, there is one particular line which stands out to me and I feel really applies to this tragedy

“hospital staff who treat both mother and unborn child with equal dignity and respect as people in their own right.”

Really? As far as I can see the rights of the baby was given prioirity over Savita’s, a baby that wasn’t goint to survive anyway. If the pain of losing a child isn’t bad enough Savita’s husband now has to deal with the grief of losing them both. Sad I’m sure as they would have been over the baby, they would at least been there to comfort each other, there was the opportunity for life for Savita the opportunity for a family, all that might have been was stripped away from Savita and her husband. What a complete tragedy this was, I can only hope that her death will not have been in vain.

50 ecurB November 14, 2012 at 11:15 pm

It seems to me that no one really paid attention to each and every other persons argument. Clare did not state that she was against the abortion, but to the best of her knowledge she believed that it was the infection that caused the death of this poor woman. And from the way she talks, she does seem more knowledgeable about this topic than most of the commenters on this article. Just before you start ranting on some people, be sure that you understood what the person said clearly and in this case, Clare did not disagree with abortion, but rather say it was due to infection. She never stated that she was pro-life and so on. Anyways, Abortion should be legal because not just the mother’s life will be affected, but possibly the child’s life as well if steps are not taken in precaution.

51 ecurB November 14, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Religion should be removed from Politics otherwise it would become hectic and another crusade would be imminent again. What I don’t understand is how people can play God and allow themselves to make the decision for the rest of the world. God said treasure life, yet they went against this obviously and other unnecessary crap that could save lives. Shame on the catholic church to think that They are the words of God when they clearly aren’t, not that I believe in God or anything, but sometimes their teachings from religions, e..g., you should not hurt people, not steal, and so on. Not the ideology crap part though about a greater existence

52 Matt Penfold November 14, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Clare,

Savita was 17 weeks pregnant when she died. When she arrived at hospital the fetus was no longer viable. Nothing could be done to get her to position where induction was a possibility. She was at least 11 weeks away from that being a realistic possibility, and ideally a pregnancy should be at 32 weeks before delivery is considered in extremis.

Once a fetus is no longer viable it must be removed without delay, otherwise complication of the type that killed Suvita will occur.

Can you explain your ignorance ?

53 Matt Penfold November 14, 2012 at 11:44 pm

ecurB,

Clare is not knowledgeable but profoundly, and I suspect willfully, ignorant.

Nothing could be done to save Suvitas’s pregnancy. It was simply going to be a matter of time before the fetus was dead. The septicemia could not be treated without terminating the pregnancy.

54 Smallbear November 15, 2012 at 12:28 am

What is being crucially forgotten amidst all the shouting of medical jargon, is that Savita explicitly requested a termination of the pregnancy. Regardless of whether or not it would have saved her life, she made that choice for herself – a choice, as a woman, is her right to make – and that choice was denied by an external party who should never ever obstruct the wishes of a woman when it concerns her body. That is truly where my outrage stems from, and my deep sadness that a brave woman lost her life through the denial of choice.

55 James November 15, 2012 at 12:30 am

Excellent article. Thanks for posting!

56 Dr Kitty November 15, 2012 at 12:35 am

Clare, she had PPROM at 17 weeks with cervical dilation.
BY DEFINITION this pregnancy was not viable.
Even if the cervix was not dilated, second trimester ROM leads to fatal lung hypoplasia.
Even if there was no ROM an open cervix will not close.
It was an incomplete miscarriage.

Whether FH was present or not is IRRELEVANT, the treatment of a second trimester incomplete miscarriage is to evacuate the uterus ASAP to reduce the risk of bleeding and infection. The longer the cervix is dilated with ROM the higher the risk of chorioamnionitis developing and the greater the chance of sepsis. She was septic well before ERPOC was even performed, so it was too little, too late by then.

The treatment of chorioamnionitis requires prompt removal of the infected tissue, i.e. the membranes and placenta. IV antibiotics alone do not cut it.

She requested the pregnancy be ended. Her life was at greater risk the longer she remained pregnant.

If she had had a D&E or medically induced miscarriage the day the pregnancy was found to be non viable there is EVERY chance she would still be alive.

The ONLY reason why one would ever allow nature to take it’s course would be if the woman herself had, once counselled about the risk she was taking, declined abortion. Which, of course, she would have every right to do.

If you ever find yourself in Savita’s shoes you can opt for prophylactic antibiotics and time if you wish.

My religion REQUIRES a pregnant woman to save her own life and health in preference to that of the foetus. It isn’t a made up Pro Choice religion either. We’ve got an extra 1000 years on Catholicism, and you nicked some of our texts ( but manage to interpret them completely differently…which is odd). I resent the idea that as an Irish woman MY religious freedoms and beliefs are felt to be of no significance because I’m not Catholic…but that is a whole other ball of wax.

57 Dr Kitty November 15, 2012 at 1:01 am

Clare you’re a MW, so your field is normal, uncomplicated, birth.
I assume you’re quite good at that.

Your knowledge of pregnancy complications is not as good, so I’ll help a little.

A threatened miscarriage is when there is bleeding in the fist trimester without cervical dilation.
Bleeding in the second or third trimester without cervical dilation is a placental abruption.
When the cervix is dilated it is an inevitable miscarriage.
When there is a significant ROM before 24 weeks there usually isn’t sufficient amniotic fluid to allow foetal lung development, leading to lung hypoplasia and death.

Women with second trimester ROM in the UK are absolutely offered TOP, because the pregnancy is considered non viable and the risk of developing chorioamnionitis is high.

Women with second trimester cervical dilation and prolonged very preterm labour ARE offered TOP, because the cervix is not designed to stay open for days on end, the uterus is not designed to contract for days on end, they are in pain, and the pregnancy is going to end before viability regardless.

Do feel free to double check everything I’ve typed against your gynaecology textbook and the RCOG green tops.

58 Arno November 15, 2012 at 1:27 am

The thing that scares me the most is the fact that if this poor woman hadn’t died then we wouldn’t even know about what these people think and do to others.
It is a terrible price to pay for knowing and one we’ll all pay many more times in the years to come.

Thanks humanity you’re a real prize package to be sure, keep it classy. I’m sure we’ll never change the horrible ways we treat other living humans beings.

Us monsters.

59 Vincent Healy November 15, 2012 at 1:45 am

Thanks for your posts Dr Kitty. Comprehensively blows away the bullshit that Clare has being posting.

The medics involved in this disgrace should resign immediately and be struck off.

60 KB November 15, 2012 at 1:53 am

This woman asked for an abortion and (even regardless of any medical state she was in), she should have been granted it as it was her choice. This story makes me sick to the stomach and ashamed to be Irish. I have never posted on a blog before but am so enraged and equally saddened by Clare’s comments. I honestly don’t understand how any person, ever, can be so blind to the facts, can take religion so literally so that they can’t value and respect what is actually happening in the real world.
From what I have read, I can appreciate the complications of this case. I would assume that these cases of natural miscarriages happen quite often with no further implications to the mothers health. In this case it was unfortunate/negligent that there were fatal consequences. The argument that can then be made is that she died from an infection which could potentially have happened regardless. With this is mind it can help us focus on the real point – This lady was miscarrying, requested an abortion and was denied it because ‘This is a Catholic Country’. She subsequently died from further complications which may or may not have been preventable. However, even if she had lived – there is still the equal issue that this woman was denied her basic human right to ‘free will’. (Which when attending a Catholic school for 14years, was one thing that was drilled into us, – Catholicism promotes free will,…. apparently.)
Religious beliefs are personal choices which are there to help guide us spiritually and emotional should we individually feel we need them. They have no place governing the laws of the country and it is an absolute mockery that educated medical staff are either forced or blinded enough to comply with laws that are ultimately governed by a fictional body. I am deeply ashamed to be a citizen of this country right now.

61 Clare November 15, 2012 at 2:17 am

“Dr Kitty”
Your explanation might have been helpful if it addressed any of the points I had actually made.
I never said I objected to expediting delivery where the pregnancy is endangering the mothers life. I most certainly do NOT.
In due course more facts about this case will be known, but at the moment they are not at all clear and it is utterly grotesque to see comments here and elsewhere accusing “catholic” doctors of murdering this unfortunate woman on account of their religious beliefs.
From the information available so far, it appears possible that Savita may have had an antibiotic resistant E. coli infection, perhaps before she even presented at the hospital ( her back pain and SROM may have been symptomatic of a pre existing UTI) which had already given rise to a galloping septicaemia by the time it was recognised. The central issue here may be not so much why the pregnancy wasn’t terminated but rather why the infection was not more quickly brought under control before it became a deadly bacteraemia.
Of course there will be serious questions about her clinical management, but to turn this into a narrative in which ‘abortion would have saved her life’ is nothing short of a cynical and dishonest exploitation of a human tragedy for political ends.
As for your trumpeting the superiority of your religion, well jolly good for you. personally I find gratuitous sectarianism of that sort quite ugly.

62 ecurB November 15, 2012 at 2:21 am

LOL. ok to end all this argument crap and not bring religion into this and I’m terribly sorry for doing this Clare because it will single you out, Would You Have Allowed the abortion IF IT WAS 100% SURE that it would have saved this girls life. Because everyone is blaming religion and your views right now, there is no way to settle this unless we know your standpoint.

63 Clare November 15, 2012 at 2:33 am

ecurB, of course, if it would have saved her life then delivery should have been swiftly expedited.

64 Clare November 15, 2012 at 2:34 am

I’m not claiming to speak for any religious position here, just myself.

65 ecurB November 15, 2012 at 2:56 am

Bam, then it’s fine. I think we can now move on to the more important issues like about this lady and how it could have been prevented rather than focusing on just one discussion about a person. Thx Clare for your ‘Clare’ification. ~

66 Clare November 15, 2012 at 3:01 am

No problem ecurB, and thank you for actually trying to listen.

67 Al Garnier November 15, 2012 at 3:19 am

This travesty of wanton medical neglect of a patient due to the individual emotional baggage effecting medical decisions and risking the lives of patients, should not be neglected or go unpunished by any civilized society. Since when has any licensed physician been absolved of his duty to preserve the life of his patient? Religion has nothing to do with professionals denying their sworn oath to protect their client but, you can bet your bottom dollar that religion definitely played a part in their flawed decision process.

68 Steven November 15, 2012 at 3:50 am

How tragic!
Religion poisons everything.

69 notsont November 15, 2012 at 4:36 am

I’m not being obtuse Mick, you are. The miscarriage didn’t kill Savita, septicaemia did.

That is like saying “The bullet didn’t kill her it was the hole in her head that did it”

What caused the infection? Any honest doctor not blinded by their religion will tell you the chances of her surviving went down every minute she was left in the state she was in. In what possible twisted way could someone explain making a woman suffer in agony for days, lowering her chance of living as time goes on with ZERO benefit to anyone or anything? Were the doctors expecting the first miracle in history to happen and save her and the fetus?

70 Slappy November 15, 2012 at 8:24 am

Dr. Kitty, a mother to you:

I just recently lost a twin to chorio.. my water broke at 17 weeks.. they couldn’t determine why.. we held on until 25.6 weeks ( 9 weeks!!) I drank a ton of cranberry juice and was on strict bed rest.. the whole goal was to give the other baby a fighting chance.. but we still had hope.. i ended up delivering baby a( the one with the infection) at home and baby b in the hospital..shortly after baby a delivered i spiked a temp of 104.7 and they induced me to deliver the other baby. baby b is currently in the NICU at 3 months old and is doing great – his original due date is August 11 and he should be coming home next week. sadly we lost baby a 3 hours after his birth.. they said the infection was so bad and his lungs were so underdeveloped that he had no chance of survival. i have so many mixed emotions – we are so happy that one of them survived but so sad for the loss of the other..

71 Dr Kitty November 15, 2012 at 9:05 am

I am so sorry for the loss of your son Slappy, and glad that your other child is doing well. I am sorry if anything I wrote was distressing for you.

You had great motivation to stay pregnant, because you were trying to save baby B, which you did, at great risk to yourself.

Twin pregnancies are slightly different though, because the second twin’s intact membranes can form a barrier to infection, and lower the risk of chorio as compared to ROM in a singleton pregnancy.

72 Betty November 15, 2012 at 10:54 am

Here’s a link to another blog post, by an OB/GYN, which explains what the clinical options could be in a case like Savita’s. Not a midwife, a doctor…

73 Vanman November 15, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Here’s Clare’s Twitter feed, with lots more conversation on the same issue…

https://twitter.com/BattlementClare

“I am a midwife I have 6 children. I home educate I am Catholic”

Obviously the home education doesn’t include English grammar.

74 Steven November 15, 2012 at 12:26 pm

all religion is disgusting, this is only one case among thousands of horrid stories about rotten Christian and Catholic garbage. Nothing & I mean nothing good can ever come from faith. Faith is not belief in the absence of evidence, Faith is belief in spite of the evidence. So all you faith heads need to get your heads right and get with science, & if you don’t believe in science then please get off that computer (science made that).

75 JH November 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm

“I’m not claiming to speak for any religious position here, just myself.”

Religion, other than retarding one’s morality, will also force dishonesty like this.

76 Sgaile-beairt November 15, 2012 at 1:02 pm

liars for jesus!! Clare what was that about bearing false witness, do you teach your 6 children that its okay to break the commandments when talking to the heathen??

77 JOhn P. November 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Clare is quite correct. This has virtually nothing to do with The Catholic Church or religion and everything to do with medical mal-practice.

Some atheist/secularists here are so eager to take a jab at the catholic religion their vision of things ihas become jaundiced.

In fact the intolerance and bigotry displayed on this thread is quite remarkable.

It’s very important that a thorough investigation be conducted and the real facts uncovered, otherwise a similar tragedy may well happen again.

Simply ranting a raving agains Roman Cahtolics does nothing to help with that.

Finally, it should be pointed out in fairness to the Catholic Church, that the inssitution runs many, many health-care facilities in third-world coutries, and often these facilities are the only ones available.

It isn’t a made up Pro Choice religion either. We’ve got an extra 1000 years on Catholicism,

ALL religions are made-up and chock full of ridiculous BS…yours first and foremost

78 Timmy November 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Clare is truely on a roll here! 9/10

Now, just to understand where she comes from as a true Catholic, bear in mind these beliefs she feverently holds:

- Rabbits chew cud
- Bats are birds
- If a voice in your head tells you to kill your child, it is your loving god, and you must do it without question
- If you are a girl and there are no men around, it is okay to have sex with your father
- If your child is disrespectful/surly, you must stone him to death
- If you work at all on the sabbath (Saturday), you must be put to death
- Paralysis is caused by sinful behaviour
- God hates figs (so should you?), which he supposedly created
- The world is flat

79 Iain Stirrat November 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm

The bishops use doublespeak talking about care when they mean a religiously based medical procedure- u can hold her hand and let her die and call it care! Remember paedophile priests being protected,peter tobin’s priest lying in court!end this unholy roman empire of men now!

80 Tom Jackson November 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Clare

When you die the world will become a slightly more caring, humane place.

Please hurry.

81 Deana Holmes November 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I think bashing on religion in general is going to generate more heat than light here. Concentrating on the facts of the case, such as the fact that this was a situation where an abortion was mandated, and where Savita had specifically asked for an abortion to speed the miscarriage, this is where we need to be. And I think there’s plenty to ram home on that.

So we are back to those two points. First, this fetus was non-viable at 17 weeks. It was in the process of dying, and in the process was killing Savita. Because a fetus is privileged over a born woman by public policy (and not sound medical practice), Savita was killed by deliberate inaction. Second, Savita, as a dentist, knew what this meant and she requested an abortion more than once. That request should have been honored, but again, public policy (as opposed to sound medical practice) reared its ugly head.

I am an American, and just past childbearing age, so what Ireland does is not going to affect me. Except that we do have politicians who believe as some Irish doctors apparently believe, that there is no reason whatsoever for an abortion to be done during pregnancy. It really irritates me when I hear this, because, to be blunt, pregnancy is NOT a trouble-free zone full of butterflies, kittens and puppies. Pregnancy can have some pretty awful effects and consequences. (My own mother very nearly died of preeclampsia giving birth to me over a half-century ago.) Because I don’t want the Ireland-style unnecessary death of a born woman, visited on my fellow American women, that is why I’ve taken a personal interest.

Clare, you really need to be honest about your positions. Lying for Jesus is not a good way to go through life.

P.S. Savita had a beating heart too.

82 James November 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Clare has posted nothing controversial and has done so calmly and politely.

Some of the comments aimed at her at bigoted and intolerant.

Tom Jackson, you in particular should be ashamed of yourself.

83 stapmevitals November 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Too many Dark Ages Magicians have too much control over innocent women’s lives in this backward country. I’m disgusted by the cowardice of the so called government.

84 Al Garnier November 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Deana Holmes,
It’s all well and good to take the high road, to not point the finger and blame flawed policies but, at some time in the near future someone is going to have to acknowledge the elephant in the room. Not only Catholicism but, all mindless religions are responsible for most flawed policies in governments and organizations. They base their policies on flawed religious beliefs based entirely on blind faith that often defies proven fact. Policy is but a guideline but, physicians have sworn an oath to preserve all VIABLE human life. A clear conflict of interest that should never exist. This stupidity cannot be allowed to continue especially in the medical field where human lives are on the line.

85 A Hermit November 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Clare is ignoring the most important point here; the patient asked for lifesaving treatment and treatment was denied.

86 KB November 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Clare, I apologise for presuming your pro-life stance came from religious views and realise now you only offered your own medical opinion on this post. Aside from Clare’s argument and all other medical opinions of malpractice or otherwise – The thing to remember here is that when refused an abortion the reason given was “This is a Catholic Country” which means this case essentially does come down to religion – and raises huge questions about whether religion should be entitled to have any power over a country’s law and legislation.

87 Maddy November 15, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Clare has claimed that the foetus might have been viable i.e. that it might have been able to survive what had happened to Savita (ruptured membranes, dilation). She appears to claim this because that complications has turned out to be non-fatal to foetuses in the past, for some patients.

However, doctors who actually examined Savita had already determined that it was not viable before they waited days for its inevitable death, then facilitated the removal of its dead body from Savita. It appears they did this not because of an evaluation of what was best for Savita, already at that stage the only patient they had a chance of saving the life of, but because the foetus hadn’t yet died. What justification did they have for this? It can’t have been because they thought the foetus had a chance, because they had already determined that it didn’t. If Savita was already suffering an infection that was endangering her life, leaving the dying foetus inside her body vastly increased the risk to her of developing septicaemia, even if she was on antibiotics. I thought doctors were supposed to save lives, not endanger them, so why didn’t they immediately act to reduce that risk?

I would be interested to know at what point Savita was put on antibiotics, because it seems like it should have been straight away. If not, why the delay? It certainly doesn’t seem like medical best practice was in operation here.

88 Maddy November 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm

I agree with Clare that ultimately, an abortion may not have saved her life if she was already in the grips of a major infection. However, not doing everything they can to control that infection and instead leaving her more vulnerable to it for a few days was irresponsible of her medical team.

89 KB November 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Her medical team were bound by law to not remove the fetus until the heart beat stopped.
To break the law would be considered malpractice.
Therefore, it is the law that needs to change.

90 Clare November 15, 2012 at 6:43 pm

“Liars for Jesus!”
*cough*
“Hysterical atheists for secular totalitarianism!”
I didn’t lie. I’m one of the few people here, as far as I can see, who is using her own name and has openly linked here from Twitter where I am very open about where I’m coming from.
I said I speak for myself because I DO.
Speaking as a woman who is also a catholic is not at all the same thing as presenting oneself as a spokesperson on behalf of the Catholic Church, which I am NOT.

91 Clare November 15, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Tom Jackson said:
“Clare

When you die the world will become a slightly more caring, humane place.

Please hurry.”

Dear me.
Humanity and kindness abounds among the hysterical Apostles of Tolerance. Wishing for the early death of a mother of six children is a strange way to demonstrate concern for the early death of the mother in question here.
And for what? What did I actually *say* that is so repugnant that it warranted such a remark? Your own bigotry and ignorance renders you incapable of seeing past the fact that I am not in your idealogical “gang” and listening to what I’m saying. Which is NOT what you think I said..
If the facts don’t fit, ignore them or spin them to make them fit.
It’s people like you that are dangerous Tom. Something tells me that if it were legal, you’d have no difficulty putting ‘people like me’ against a wall and shooting us.

92 Clare November 15, 2012 at 7:11 pm

“Her medical team were bound by law to not remove the fetus until the heart beat stopped.”

Actually although oft repeated, this is utterly untrue. But as we know, a lie can travel twice around the world before the truth has got it’s boots on.
The Medical Council’s Ethical Guidelines state that “should a child in utero suffer or lose its life as a side effect of standard medical treatment of the mother, then this is not unethical…refusal by a doctor to treat a woman with a serious illness because she is pregnant would be grounds for complaint and could be considered to be professional misconduct.”

It would have been perfectly legitimate to deliver Savita if that had been necessary to save her life.

93 BruceMcGlory November 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Clare’s internalized misogyny is sad. Her gleefull recitation of misogynistic talking points designed to obscure the fact that catholic dogma straight up murdered this woman is expected.

“It would have been perfectly legitimate to deliver Savita if that had been necessary to save her life.”

Clare’s obvious joy at the death of an innocent woman is sickening.

94 Clare November 15, 2012 at 7:18 pm

As for the insistence that the “catholic country” comment was some kind of cast iron *Proof!* that it was catholic dogma that killed Savita, I beg to differ. A comment like that, crass though it undoubtedly was, could have been uttered by a Hindu, a Zoroastrian, an Apatheist or a Notreallybotheredist for all any of us know.
It certainly doesn’t sound like a remark an actual catholic would make, since they tend more often to lament the fact that Ireland is, in fact, no longer a “Catholic country” but now one of the most profoundly anti catholic countries in Europe.

95 dove600 November 15, 2012 at 7:23 pm

After reading this excuse for an article, I will now go ahead and drop my 2pence worth. A. It is clear that the writer has contrieved this to suit her pre-death(abortion) which is unfortunate because the death of an individual should never be used as a political football. B. The death of Savita is very disheartening but her death has nothing to do with Catholic Church or its teaching. The Catholic Church says that it OK to administer life saving treatment to a mother even if the treatment could lead to the death of the baby. So that takes us back to the doctor. Why did the Dr deny such a treatment? Irish law allows for abortion when pregrancy becomes a threat to the mother life. So again; Under which law? C. All of you crassly going after Clare should ask why the did Dr deny Savita treatment when he had no legal or anyother basis to do so.

96 Clare November 15, 2012 at 7:24 pm

“Clare’s obvious joy at the death of an innocent woman is sickening.”

More hard sense from an apostle of reason.
Keep ‘em coming Bruce, this is just so very revealing.
In fact,the irrational bigotry , spite, bile, wilful ignorance and hatefulness displayed here is important. Better out that in.
I’m showing this thread to my children so that they might know what they are up against and what darkness and contempt for others truly “lies beneath” the sham of secular fundamentalist claims for “tolerance in diversity”

97 dove600 November 15, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I have never laughed so hard before like I did when reading @BruceMcGlory comment. A man (I guess) calling a woman a misogynist. What an utter joke!!!

98 Clare November 15, 2012 at 7:40 pm

@Dove600
Well quite. I think such irony sails over such wide open minds as Bruce’s however.

99 Al Garnier November 15, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Clare,
I do not know if you are a physician and frankly, I hope you are not. You seem to be your own worse enemy and keep chiding about known events as if your religion prevented you from accepting the facts. You seem to be a relatively intelligent person as far as religious believers go and, you are no Joan of Ark. So, why do you continue to accept stupid lies you have obviously fabricated in your confused religious state. Religions consist entirely on emotional beliefs that have absolutely no basis in reality . It’s time for you, and many others like you, to grow up and accept reality for what it is and stop believing in Santa and such nonsense. Or, are you willing to condemn your innocent family to derision afforded to other monstrous idiots in society who display very little common sense.
Your religious mind may find a way to skew my statement into one of hate and threat but, that cannot be further from the truth. I am simply stating common sense facts about an obvious situation that cannot be justified by religious insanity.

100 KB November 15, 2012 at 9:22 pm

“Ireland is, in fact, no longer a “Catholic country” but now one of the most profoundly anti catholic countries in Europe.”

This is all the more reason the government need to relinquish the control the Catholic Church have on our state.
Clare, I fully accept your rebuttal on my comment re the medical team being bound by law, and I will be the first to admit I am not well up on the medical and legal exacts in this case, however – The fact of the matter is – if this happened in any other democratic country, the woman would have been granted the abortion as she wished.

“(it) could have been uttered by a Hindu, a Zoroastrian, an Apatheist or a Notreallybotheredist for all any of us know.”

Regardless of who delivered the line “This is a Catholic country” and regardless of the context in which it was delivered it still results in the same meaning – ‘you can not have an abortion because of this fact.’ I strongly believe that any member of her medical team would have administered an abortion had they been able to foresee the fatal outcome, regardless of their ethical standing point, and abiding by the law as you state.
However, my point here is that this lady, having been told there was no hope for a continued pregnancy, requested an abortion and was told she could not have one. This should not even be up for debate. This is a problem in our country and needs to be addressed immediately.

101 KB November 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm

To add – Clare/Dove600 etc – I fully appreciate your argument, because I appreciate everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I also agree there have been extreme and unnecessary comments directed at Clare on this thread.
However, I think your insistence to argue with them has taken the focus away from Michael’s article, which is a well written and informed piece written by a man living in Ireland, who’s blog has the intention of promoting ethical Atheism.
Clare, you have mentioned how you feel Savita’s death has been exploited by Pro-CHOICE campaigners (“This is simple pro abort opportunism”). In return I can tell you how I think Michael’s post has been exploited by you to try to convince that this occurrence is solely down to medical negligence. We can not at this time be clear whether or not an abortion could have saved Savita’s life. But what we do know is that this case highlights the fact that abortion is still illegal in Ireland, and in order to grant any woman living here, or that visits here, her basic human rights, it should not be.

102 Walsh, Jeanne November 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Why didn’t Savita take the ferry over to England to get help?…

103 dove600 November 15, 2012 at 10:08 pm

@KB
Thanks for your controlled response but just a few thinggs
” focus away from Michael’s article, which is a well written and informed piece”. The ‘Well informed’ bit is seriously begging the question.

” We can not at this time be clear whether or not an abortion could have saved Savita’s life.” I am fully aware that Clare has mentioned in this thread that we do not have the full details of what transpired.

“But what we do know is that this case highlights the fact that abortion is still illegal in Ireland, and in order to grant any woman living here, or that visits here, her basic human rights, it should not be.” Again my friend you’re still begging the question. How can the delibrate killing of an unborn be the basic human right of anybody?

“I strongly believe that any member of her medical team would have administered an abortion had they been able to foresee the fatal outcome, regardless of their ethical standing point, and abiding by the law as you state.
However, my point here is that this lady, having been told there was no hope for a continued pregnancy, requested an abortion and was told she could not have one. This should not even be up for debate. This is a problem in our country and needs to be addressed immediately.”
And you insist on not laying the blame at the door of the medical staff and blaming it on the mantra that ‘Ireland is a Catholic Country’

” The fact of the matter is – if this happened in any other democratic country, the woman would have been granted the abortion as she wished.”
Begging thge question again. If she had Abortion, who she have died still or still been alive? All other democratic countries allow abortion? Do you want a list?

104 Suka November 15, 2012 at 10:22 pm

To MICK and the other caring folks on here regarding the “conversations” above -

Here’s some advice my dad once gave me – advice that I have taken greatly to heart: Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and only one of you enjoys it.

Everyone outside the pen knows what happened -and that two are dead instead of one. May they both rest in peace, and much strength to the widower.

105 KB November 15, 2012 at 10:48 pm

@Suka – Excellent advice and thank you for sharing! I shall bow out now, but leave anyone interested in listening with this eloquent article that echoes the view of a lot of Irish people at this time: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/15/ireland-medieval-abortion-law-savita

106 Iain Stirrat November 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm

Clare,your loving catholic brethren(masculine) would have branded you a witch just for being able to spell never mind denying gods will by using scientific medical practices.all the gold of rome and spain is covered in imperial blood.your pope a nazi and your church supported franco.

107 dove600 November 15, 2012 at 11:18 pm

@suka
Thanks for the advice. I wish you lovely goodnight rest. I normally wouldn’t compare *analogically* those I disagree with to a pig but I get your point; Direct Abortion is never good. Hope you are good though? Take Care of yourself

108 Gloria November 15, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Clare–are you by any chance a regular on the National Catholic Register?
.
You defense of killing mothers so that a fetal heartbeat can stop on its own is very familiar.

109 Al Garnier November 15, 2012 at 11:33 pm

I strongly suggest that the husband of Savita, father of the dead child should be encouraged and financially supported in bringing a malpractice lawsuit against the offending medical facility. Any government agency supporting the decision of this medical facility should be sued likewise. A public survey should be initiated and signatures collected to petition the Irish government to enact appropriate laws to prevent this travesty of justice from ever happening again. The sickening effects of any religious doctrine or political policies should be eradicated from unsuspecting democratic societies. Religion is no longer the majority opinion of voters and has no place in a modern democracy. Politics is of the sane corporal realm and should not be subjected to insanity of religious doctrine. The survival of humanity is much more important than any mindless promise of life after death.

110 dove600 November 15, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Iain Stirrat November 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm
Clare,your loving catholic brethren(masculine) would have branded you a witch just for being able to spell never mind denying gods will by using scientific medical practices.all the gold of rome and spain is covered in imperial blood.your pope a nazi and your church supported franco.

Just exactly what @suka was referring to.

111 Scott Reilly November 16, 2012 at 1:02 am

I’m somewhat confused as to who is to blame for this tragedy, the state (rather us for not forcing them to legislate on the issue) or the doctor who refused the abortion. As Michael explained, there has already been a court ruling – that of the X case – saying that an abortion can be permitted if there is a risk to the life of the mother. So was this a case of ignorance on the part of the doctor or him acting on his own Catholic dogma. If the latter, shouldn’t we be petitioning the hospital to get the responsible doctor struck off and prosecuted? Or is it the former and he was just concerned about his job and acting out of self-preservation rather than his own personal Catholic dogma?

112 Nightowl November 16, 2012 at 4:02 am

So Dove600, it’s okay just to leave the woman to die in agony then? As long as you don’t “kill the precious unborn”. I can’t believe supposedly pro-life people are still trying to justify what happened. Clare, I’ve heard you say that you can get septicemia (due to infections) from abortions too, but that’s only if you get a back street abortion, not performed by professional Doctors in a clean, hygenic environment, which I know all Hospitals are expected to be. If like you’ve stated in a previous post, she picked the infection up from the hospital and not her deteriorating foetus, then that would suggest the Hospital is seriously lacking any hygiene guidelines, which I seriously doubt in a modern Hospital. It is possible. But then why haven’t we heard of any other patients dying of Septicemia? All which are vulnerable and susceptible to catching it. Why would only Savita catch it and die from it and no one else at the Hospital? It’s very likely that her dying foetus was the cause of the infection, it would have spread from inside her and most people know that to stop the spread of the infection, you have to get rid of the source and quickly. The fact that she was left with a foetus that was going to be miscarried anyway and left in intense agony as a result is never justifiable. That’s causing unnecessary suffering, which is equally as abhorrent to me as allowing a death. Maybe as you say, there may have been a small chance of her living, but what about the trauma it would inflict on her. There would be no way the foetus would survive to carry on developing at 17 weeks. Her body was forcing it out whether she wanted it or not. 20 weeks has been the earliest recorded case of a foetus surviving and growing outside the womb. I know classed now as a premature baby because him/her is outside the womb. Even if she had survived, she would have been seriously traumatised and probable damage done to her body. How can you justify the Doctors decision? If someone is in agony, I’m sorry screw personal beliefs, you have a duty of care to someone, you make them as comfortable as possible, if it is within your power to do so.
Dove600 you state: “How can the delibrate killing of an unborn be the basic human right of anybody?” In this case it was necessary. And in a lot of other circumstances, it’s necessary too. Think of the bigger picture. Abortion is always the last resort. It’s not premiditated. In the same way a serial killer picks out his victims and thinks it’ll be fun to kill this person today. Women do not get pleasure out of having an abortion. They don’t think, oh I know I’ll get pregnant on purpose, just so that I can have fun “Killing” at an abortion clinic and I always find it insulting how people against abortion always compare a developing organism to a living human being.

113 Clare November 16, 2012 at 4:51 am

Night owl.
More ignorant bilge .
Women do develop septicaemia following legal, sterile abortions.
It isn’t a hospital acquired infection, nor was her “dying fetus” the cause of the infection.
Her baby very likely died from the same infection that killed her.
When the membranes are ruptured bacteria which is perfectly harmless in one place can travel to another location where it can be deadly. The normal flora and fauna happily resident in your vagina or bowel for example, will do you no harm. Relocate them to your bloodstream and you would die pdq.
A more sensible person might try to get to grips with some basic facts before blathering such silliness.
As for your frankly potty rumblings about serial killers and abortions …

114 Al Garnier November 16, 2012 at 6:39 am

Clare,
I am willing to wager that after the brow beating you took from night owl you may be willing to abort your inane position on abortion or, suffer the consequences. Atheism is beginning to look pretty good right about now. Finally someone who may match your great intellect. I don’t know who you may be trying to defend with your rhetoric but, I doubt it is worth while.

115 Sun November 16, 2012 at 6:52 am

This is cut and pasted from FoxNews.com (a news organization known for its extreme conservative views here in the US) and was written by Dr. Manny Alvarez, a “high-risk high-risk obstetrician for more than 25 years who deals with life and death situations in pregnant women frequently.”

Dr. Alvarez writes that in reading Savita’s account in the newspapers, that it does appear that “she presented at the hospital with significant signs and symptoms of blood poisoning.”

Excerpt below:

“You may ask: How does a 17-week pregnancy become infected? Even though I don’t have all the medical facts of this case, I will theorize: Most likely this woman had a premature rupture of the membranes, perhaps from an incompetent cervix; and when her water broke, bacteria from the vagina ascended into the uterus, creating an extreme infectious condition.

“Now, all obstetricians know the only treatment to save this woman’s life is to induce the pregnancy irrespective of gestational age. If the baby is older than 24 weeks, of course the baby will have an opportunity to live – especially if the infant is delivered with intensive neonatal services.

“Obstetricians also know that if you do not deliver a septic pregnancy, the death rate for that mother is astronomically high.

“But, yet, after reading this story – it seems bureaucratic rules interfered with good medical practice. And, of course, this unfortunate patient died of septic shock.

“For me, it is very sad. Maternal mortality was the leading cause of death centuries ago. But it seems in some part of the world, they have forgotten past history and many of these unfortunate events seem to repeat themselves.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/11/14/how-bureaucracy-killed-woman/#ixzz2CMV6K9dU

116 Sun November 16, 2012 at 6:57 am

What Savita’s story reinforces for me — besides that it was an utter and needless tragedy — is that medicine should be based on compassion and scientific principles. Patients deserve to have a health service that doesn’t impose other people’s religious beliefs upon the patient. On the one hand, patients absolutely have a right to have their religious beliefs and how that may affect their care, but on the other hand, they also have a right to be free from religious intrusion on their healthcare.

117 Christine November 16, 2012 at 7:08 am

Hello Clare and others,

I do think Clare was being a bit unfairly attacked, just because her twitter profiles says she is a catholic, plus the fact that she is a midwife and was discussing some points that may or may not have been applicable to this case. I can understand what you were saying Clare, and maybe initially when you first posted it wasn’t known that her cervix was dilated (and that it was not just a threatened miscarriage or PROM which could have caused bleeding and some pain but may have still resulted in a viable pregnancy with appropriate care and monitoring.) However, her cervix being dilated means the baby would not have been viable since she was only 17 weeks along (maybe if further along things would have been different). When this happened is hard to say and thus we should wait for further judgements once ALL of the facts are known. However, I do think in this case she should have been offered the abortion sooner since it really sounds like her pregnancy was no longer viable AND she requested it based on medical grounds (not like she just didn’t want the baby). While an abortion wouldn’t have necessarily prevented the infection (and as pointed out, may have led to an infection), it was more likely to help her rather than harm her life, in this particular case.

Maybe the abortion would have saved her life, it is hard to say. However, by waiting to do it when the fetus was considered unviable could be grounds for malpractice. It would be interesting to see what was diagnosed first – the septicaemia or the miscarriage… even still, once septicaemia was diagnosed the chances of the baby surviving would have gone down and thus keeping the baby in the uterus for days may have made things worse since it was determined to be unviable.

I think what is the most important thing that needs to result from this is study of how to prevent and treat such problems in the future, and for Ireland to clarify their laws to give doctors clear guidelines to follow in future cases! That is the most important part of the debate that has arose!

Now my two cents on abortion, take them or leave them.

While I am pro-choice I do think that abortions shouldn’t just be done like it’s no big deal. I strongly agree with giving women the right to choose in case of the fetus not being viable and/or having a birth defect detected that is incompatible with life (or is severe enough that the child is unlikely to live a relatively healthy, happy life), mother’s health being in danger (not necessarily life-threatening, but potentially could become life-threatening if untreated), in cases of rape/incest, at a minimum. I do not think women should be able to get abortions without receiving counseling first, but ultimately I think it is up to the woman to choose with the advice and consultation of her care provider (i.e. doctor) and partner (if she has one). I only think late abortions should be done for medical reasons after consultation with doctors.

118 Krishna K November 16, 2012 at 7:27 am

According to the Christian scriptures, Mary had an asexual reproduction. That being the case, what business does the Church have to impose their bizarre and illogical views on normal people with pregnancy complications? And moreover they have no rights to rape the minds of non-christians with their ideology. Islam and Christianity have done enormous damage to the world. Ban these evil cults which are two sides of the same coin.

119 Al Garnier November 16, 2012 at 7:49 am

Clare,
You defeated your own argument that an abortion would not have saved Savita’s life. You claim that the infection that killed Savita could possibly have been the cause of the death of the foetus. That being true, if the foetus had been removed, with proper care and medication administered immediately, assuming Savita was otherwise in relatively good health, in all likelihood Savita would still be alive today. It was gross negligence on the part of the system not to implement better laws to prevent the situation. The only humane ruling would be to grant legal abortion as a matter of pro choice, as in all sane and democratic countries. God would be out of the picture, finger pointing would disappear and blame would fall to the offending party in cases of malpractice. It’s enough to give rights to sentient foetuses otherwise, it may become difficult for Catholics to eat pork or beef without feeling guilty about the life that was wasted.

120 Maddy November 16, 2012 at 8:48 am

Clare – it is true that aborting the doomed foetus may not have saved her life, but given that Savita died of an infection, and an open cervix and a dying/dead foetus is an infection risk, leaving it inside her certainly increased the chances of her dying from infection.

This is pretty much a classic case of an abortion being necessary to save a woman’s life. Why did they not try, at least, to save one person, given that they knew the other was going to die?

121 Jawine November 16, 2012 at 11:26 am

Clare, I take it that you are religious and feel attacked.

But if the inquiry says that an abortion would have most likely highly increased Savita’s chance of survival, then surely you would support a clarification in the law for doctors? As I don’t think you wanted her to die. Nobody did.

These law clarifications will also protect you, may you be unlucky enough to ever find yourself in such a situation.

122 Clare November 16, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Wow, Disciples of science and reason!
Trying to follow the sloppy logic here is like plaiting fog,
wading through treacle and jogging up the down escalator.
It’s the Stupid Triathlon!

Like the galloping ignoramuses you don’t know you are, you have grabbed hold of a few sound bites of information and decided that you are *absolutely* well qualified to know why Savita died:

“Oooh her cervix was open!”

“Her fetus was non viable!”

“She had an obviously lethal infection when she arrived in hospital and the callous CATHOLIC (Boooo! Hissss!) doctors left her untreated in agony. Murderers!”

“The fetus was obviously dying/dead/infected and was left in utero (out of Catholic spite, natch) while Savita died in agony!”

“The clinical decision to wait was entirely predicated on religion ( enemy of reason *shudder* ) not protocols!”

“Oooh Clare has been “outed” as a Catholic and claimed not to be speaking on behalf of the church! Liar for Jesus!”

“Even if abortion wouldn’t have saved her, we KNOW, with our all seeing atheist eye, that not aborting exacerbated her condition!”

No clinical enquiry necessary.
It’s a wrap.
The soi disant High Priests of Reason, Science and Prudent Judgement have brought the verdict in:

Religion Killed Savita.

Psst…listen up hysterical twerps for godlessness:

The “cervix being open” that you all enthusiastically blether about, as though this was the equivalent of Mick’s ‘gaping head wound’ analogy, it’s not. Red herring. It’s the broken bag of waters that makes a woman vulnerable to deadly infection. Do we know when Savita’s waters broke? Nope.
Do we know when it became clear she had an infection? Nope.
Do we know exactly when she was started on antibiotics? Nope.
Do we know that normal obstetric protocol when women present with ruptured membranes and prem labour is to induce labour or abort? Nope ( I do. it isn’t)

When I was asked a question here, I answered as myself; a woman who happens to be a midwife and a catholic.
I was NOT speaking on behalf of the Catholic Church.
I openly linked here from Twitter and I’m posting under my own name. Nothing dishonest about that.
But the over excitable bash-a-xtian numpties jumped up and down thinking they had me bang to rights and called me a “liar for Jesus”.

I mean, really, oh so rational peeps. What’s wrong with this picture? Aren’t *I* meant to be the stoopid, unthinking one in your simplistic but satisfying narrative?

Oh dear.
I diagnose a serious case of ” idiots with high self esteem”
Big. Heathen. Fail.

123 Jawine November 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Clare, may I recommend a sit-down with a nice cup of tea? :)

There have been a few reasonable comments here, but you choose to go at this like a bull in a porcelain store and turn it into a “heathens” VS “Christians” debate. The physical world makes no distinction on our beliefs, neither does cancer, infection and the lot.

You show yourself to be incapable of polite debate, or simply misunderstand all the already posted information. It is not a good look. Don’t make yourself look like an impolite and misinformed individual unintentionally.

124 John P. November 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Kudos to you Clare. You’ve stood your ground and you’ve debated people who are simply unable, be it morally or intellectually, to refute your arguments. Were one to close one’s eyes and ask another to read many of the comments here aloud, one would think they’d been written by 14 and 15 year old teens.

Sound-byte attention spans

This thread really should be shown to as many people as possible if only to demonstrate just how bigoted and foul-mouthed, not to mention immature, so many ‘progressive’ atheists are.

Catholic-bashing, it must be said, appears to be the last acceptable form of bigotry simply because it’s so easy and risk free.

Rushdie “lesson” well learned.

Strange, too, that almost everyone bashing Clare’s religion here are white, whereas the vast majoirty of the adherents to her faith are non-white.

125 Steve November 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Her request for an abortion and the refusal was dictated by the religious beliefs of the doctors
“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.”

“Just two months ago, a consortium of Irish doctors got together to declare abortion medically unnecessary. They claimed that abortion is never needed to save a pregnant woman’s life, and stated: “We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”

Source :
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/14/savita-halappanavar-medically-unnecessary-death

126 Clare November 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Steve, how do you even know that “Irish doctors” said that? The all knowing atheist mind at work again is it?
For all you know, as I have already pointed out, said doctor could have been a Hindu from India or a Zoroastrian, or a pagan or an apatheist from the Isle of Wight. Or possibly, low may it be spoken, an atheist from Oughterard.

127 Deana Holmes November 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Clare, you are certainly not helping your case by believing you are being persecuted for your beliefs. John P, you’re not helping by encouraging this belief.

We KNOW what to do when a woman presents at the hospital with the symptoms Savita was displaying: immediate delivery of the fetus is called for. At 17 weeks, yes, that was a death sentence for her fetus. But it may have saved *Savita’s* beating heart.

Instead, because of this idea that there is no reason ever for an abortion (and YES, early delivery of the fetus is a type of abortion) among some Irish doctors, Savita had to die. That is because the alleged pro-lifers only care about the fetus. We women can just … die.

I will continue to fight tooth and nail against having that kind of insane reasoning introduced into law and practice here in the USA. We see its insanity and cruelty right here. In fact, I’d advise other Americans to leave explicit instructions to ensure not being treated at a “Catholic” hospital if in extreme circumstances, since patient well-being is not at the top of their list, but, rather, adherence to Catholic dogma.

128 FrankO November 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Clare,
Your heated follow-ups seem to keep missing one basic point. Others have said this: let me have another try. Neither you nor anyone else beside the staff involved in the case at University Hospital Galway knows exact details of what happened to Savita. The story that has made the press contains two simple elements. One is that Savita requested removal of her foetus and was refused because a foetal heartbeat was detectable. The second is that a member of staff told Savita “This is a Catholic country”.
To any reasonable person reading the story it will seem remarkable that the “Catholic country” comment would ever have been made at all (if it really was made: that’s the sort of thing that requires formal testimony, but nobody from the hospital has so far stepped forward to deny it). Since Savita is pretty visibly of Indian ethnic origin the statistical likelihood that she is a Catholic is minimal; so the comment would have been inflammatory and unreasonable under almost any circumstances. Ireland is not a theocracy comparable to, say, Iran or Saudi Arabia, but some of the things that are said and done there by priests and even politicians make it appear not far behind.
Given that the “Catholic country” comment was made to a female with a serious obstetric problem who had asked for her foetus to be removed (it that’s really true, etc., etc.) the clear implication is that the well-known Catholic view of all matters pertaining to deliberate removal from the womb of viable fertilized single cells, embryos or foetuses played a part in Savita’s medical management.
Never mind all your detailed medical justifications of how the case should have been or might have been handled or what actually led to Savita’s death. You seem completely unable to grasp that the religious views of medical staff, or the prevailing religious culture of a country, are under no circumstances factors that should be included in medical management. Any patient expects to be handled with the best possible, unbiased medical care that’s economically available to them. In Savita’s case there is a very strong suspicion that this is not the way she was managed.
That’s why the story has raised the ire of those of us who regard the persistent intervention of religious “teaching” into everyday life as anachronistic and — often — outrageous. There’s an old medical problem you may already know. You’re choking to death on a piece of meat. I can pray for you or give you the Heimlich manoeuvre. Which do you prefer?

129 Clare November 16, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Oh dear Deana.
Blind faith over rational enquiry? I think your Archbishop of atheist snark, Richard Dawkins might think that a sin.
If you think “we KNOW” ( and that will be the royal “we” I suppose) that immediate delivery is called for with “the symptoms Savita was displaying” first you have to, um *KNOW WHAT SYMPTOMS SHE WAS DISPLAYING*
Sorry for shouting there, poor netiquette in such polite company.
But you don’t know what symptoms she was “displaying” do you?
None of us do.
Furthermore, despite your confident assertion about what “we” know about normal clinical management.
We don’t.

A wee *logical* challenge for you: Prove it.
Link to a clinical protocol for management of PROM at 17/40 that recommends immediate abortion.
Since “we all know” that that is the standard treatment, that shouldn’t be difficult should it?
And if you can’t Deanna, then where on earth did you get the idea that it was in the first place?

Tsk tsk Science fail. Logic fail.
Blind faith Deana, blind faith.
You naughty atheist :-)

130 Clare November 16, 2012 at 5:01 pm

@John P, thank you sir. It’s a grim job but someone has to do it :-)

131 Clare November 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm

FrankO

How do you know “removal of the fetus” was denied because there was a heartbeat? You don’t.

How do you know that induction wouldn’t have put a critically ill woman at even greater risk? You don’t.

How do you know that the “catholic country” comment was a justification and not a weary, resentful complaint? You don’t.

Furthermore, under the constitution, doctors are not forbidden but REQUIRED to act to save a woman’s life by bringing the pregnancy to an end. So the clinical management decision not to induce was most unlikely to be related to Ireland being a “Catholic country”

132 Al Garnier November 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Clare,
I was wrong about you. You may be Joan of Ark after all. The flames of this conversation are burning the hair off your self esteem and you stand there defying logic and supporting a lost cause. Your last rant was, to say the least, bordering on depravity. You are arguing with professionals who are eminently more competent in judging the situation of Savita’s miscarriage and yet, you allow your blind faith in the insane rambling of a 2000 year old fairytale to cloud your limited judgement.
This is the danger of all unsubstantiated, mindless, religious beliefs. It threatens the life and sanity of all it’s participants and in this case, those of whom who choose not to participate. Get over yourself.

133 John P. November 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Deanna, do you think you’re helping anyone by attempting to portray what may well be a case of deadly medical malpractice as a problem of religion?

Do you have any interest in real facts?

I suspect you don’t give a rat’s ass about Savita, women’s health, women’s empowerment, or any other sujet du jour.

You’re YET another Little-Miss-Figleaf, and so the only thing you ( and most others here) want to do is engage in a kind of adolescent , anti-catholic bigotry ( the very hallmark of doctoral and post-doctoral atheists) by trying to draw some nebulous connection between Savita’s tragic death and catholic theology.

I know, because I was for years an enthusiastic proponent of such views and such tactics.

Your logic is so desperate, you’re stretched out further than Rosemary Woods at her dictaphone all those years ago…

Had the various comments on this thread, particularly those essentialising Christianity and the RC church, been directed at Jews or Muslims, they’d promptly have been classed anti-semitic or islamophobic.

And as for your prescription for not seeking treatment in a Catholic hsopital, Deanna, you should perhaps tell that to Somalia.

At one point not too long ago, the ONLY functioning hospital in the entire bloody country was a Catholic one, financed and staffed by Catholics.

When will atheist/progressive/secular humanists begin to do likewise in impoverished, third-world countries?

Seeings the overwhelming concern they’ve expressed on this thread for the weak, the poor and the downtrodden.

134 Al Garnier November 16, 2012 at 6:04 pm

John P
“At one point not too long ago, the ONLY functioning hospital in the entire bloody country was a Catholic one, financed and staffed by Catholics.”
Wow, that is a scary situation. “Islam Catholic style.” Well at least you don’t go around killing each other in the streets over religion. Oops, forgot about the IRA for a second. The situation with Savita’s unnecessary demise and the hands of incompetence is dragging the Irish back into the religious quagmire of the Middle East or the murderous environment of the IRA fiasco. I understand with the religious and political termoil you may have encountered in your life you may be unwilling to budge on any small concessions but, you are going to have to let it go and use logic and common sense to belie the worst.
People do not want to persecute Catholicism, they just want justice to run its proper course without the influence of unsubstantiated religious doctrine. Especially in public institutions where these beliefs become a detriment to human survival, as witnessed with Savita. .

135 dove600 November 16, 2012 at 7:28 pm

@Al Garnier
I think you should just stop now, you are embarassing yourself. You clearly have nothing substantive to add to the debate. You are delibratelyy failing to address her argument (well, because you have no reasonable counter argument) and have been going on with your bigoted rant about religion. What is so hard to understand?
A. Full details are not known.
B.RE: Catholic Country. RCC teaches that any treatment needed to save a mother’s life should not be denied even if the said treatment will lead to the death of the fetus and the act is not evil. Ireland is not a Catholic Country.
C. Irish law permits abortion should it be required to save a motther’s life.

It’s not rocket science. I guess you simply can’t polish a turd these days.

136 Al Garnier November 16, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Dove600,
The only embarrassment I feel is for the shameful display of wanton disregard for human life by a government too cowardly to enact proper legislation and insure the public freedoms and safety of a democratic society. Every individual should have the inalienable right to choose their own path in life unencumbered by the mindless dictates of religious opinions.

Clare’s argument has been addressed by everyone on this thread and the overwhelming consensus of opinion is that abortion was the one course of action that should have been taken immediately to improve Savita’s chances of survival. There is no argument that she had requested the abortion and was immediately refused.

There may be many reasons why she was refused but, the religious influence is the one glaring elephant in the room that mindless believers like you, Clare and John refuse to acknowledge. Even to the point of attempting to skew any known facts to your favour.

The only turds that need polishing here are those tumbling around in the empty heads of obvious religious fanatics who refuse to accept any truth that may defeat their mindless religious lies.

137 Neeraja November 17, 2012 at 10:00 am

As a physician, I can say with certainty that treatment for an ongoing miscarriage at 17 weeks is termination with antibiotics. And any doctor in the world who isn’t motivated by a political/ religious agenda will attest to that. There is really nothing to prove in that regard, anyone who has read a standard obstetric text book should know that.
Clare seems to think as a “mother of six” and a midwife, she knows more than experts and obstetricians that this was a gross case of mis-management due of medico legal consideration. I will not believe anyone with any medical training thought it was a good idea to let a woman slowly leak out with rising infection and REFUSE HER REQUEST FOR TERMINATION. To argue this point, is gross intellectual and moral dishonestly. A sick, medically aware doctor asks for a termination of a anticipated pregnancy as she watches her body shutting down, and what are we discussing? That “maybe” she still would have died, and hence we shouldn’t have tried saving her anyway?!
http://drjengunter.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/did-irish-catholic-law-or-malpractice-kill-savita-halappanavar/

138 Neeraja November 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

And rather than trolling endlessly, I ask the apologists to read up PROM/pre-mature labour/ cervical insufficiency etc and the STANDARD protocol. The only argument they seem to put forward is “she would have died anyways, don’t blame us, our archaic rules and borderline criminal negligence”. The facts are out there( unless you think the husband is lying to discredit the catholic establishment). His wife was miscarrying, toxic and asked for a termination and was refused because “this is a catholic country”. Yes, Ireland allows abortions if mother is at risk….but who determines what is a severe enough risk? Doctors with their own private views? Or should it be the mothers? A woman is dead and if your argument is she would died anyway, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. We can stop trying for any change then, let nature take it’s course…don’t vaccinate, don’t transfuse, don’t transplant, hell dont study science. Let’s just accept that god means for things to happen and just let it be. I realize I’m rambling but the injustice and absolutely dishonestly of the arguements disgust me.

139 Neeraja November 17, 2012 at 11:06 am

Clare,
Here is your proof.
http://www.laboratoriosilesia.com/upfiles/sibi/GI0407380.pdf
Go to the second page and read
“Two patients with chorioaminotis, uterine contractions and hyperthermia were eliminated from the study, because EXPECTANT MANAGEMENT CANNOT BE PROVIDED”
For those with gaps in logic, that means in a paper published about conservative management of PROM before 24 weeks, they will not include anyone with infection / fever since it OBVIOUSLY cannot be managed conservatively because it is a MATERNAL RISK.

And another one

The initial management of a woman presenting with suspected preterm PROM should focus on confirming the diagnosis, validating gestational age, documenting fetal wellbeing, and deciding on the mode of delivery (which, in turn, depends on gestational age, fetal presentation, and cervical examination).1,2,61,62 Every effort should be taken to exclude contraindications to expectant management. Absolute contraindications include intra-amniotic infection (chorio-amnionitis), nonreassuring fetal testing, and active labor. The diagnosis of chorioamnionitis remains primarily a clinical one, with evidence of fetal tachycardia, maternal tachycardia, maternal fever (defined as (≥ 100.4°F), and/or uterine tenderness. Evidence of pus leaking from the cervix on sterile speculum examination can also confirm the diagnosis. Amniocentesis may be able to suggest the diagnosis (with evidence of an elevated amniotic fluid white cell count, elevated lactate dehydrogenase level, and decreased glucose concentration) or even definitely confirm the presence of intra-amniotic infection (with a positive Gram stain or amniotic fluid culture), but is not regarded as standard of care in all women presenting with preterm PROM. A favorable gestational age (defined as > 34 weeks) can also be regarded as a relative contraindication to continued expectant management in the setting of preterm PROM,2 because of the high risk of ascending infection, the low risk of complications of prematurity, and the lack of proven efficacy of antenatal corticosteroids in improving perinatal outcome.

From
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2492588/

So yes, a woman with PROM <20 weeks with chorioaminotis and fully dialated cervix should *never be managed conservatively.

140 Neeraja November 17, 2012 at 11:14 am

http://utilis.net/Morning%20Topics/Obstetrics/PPROM.PDF

Go to page 4 under THERAPEUTIC CONSIDERATION:
Those with PROM with advanced labour, intrauterine infections, significant bleeding, non assuring heart sounds should be delivered irrespective of gestational age”

I’m sorry to be massively spamming the wall but I think some ppl’s ignorance needs to be mended.
Ps: I can do this all day long but my patients will suffer, so il leave the evidence at that.

141 Citizen Wolf November 17, 2012 at 11:48 am

So to recap

A women goes into a hospital 17 weeks pregnant with signs of a miscarriage and ends up dead from septicemia a few days later.

Clare asserts that we can’t know the facts of the case and that anyone who says otherwise is a catholic-basher or just using the case to further their own pro-abortion agenda.

There followed some heated argument and some unpleasant things were said. Then a direct clarification was sought from Clare and she stated that if she had been in charge of the case then she would have acquiesced to the request for a termination of the pregnancy because the mother’s life was in danger.

Excellent, so everyone is now in agreement that if the mother’s life was in danger then the pregnancy should have been terminated.

But wait; it continued. Clare carried on arguing with others on the site here. That’s completely her right to do so, but I wonder why? She wails that she’s been attacked/persecuted for her religious convictions and that the heathen (her words) atheists (although some that disagreed with Clare were also believers in the supernatural) are ignorant etc.

So I wonder why Clare continues to post and argue with the ignorant heathen atheistic masses when basically she and they are in agreement that Savita should have had a termination (insofar as we know the facts of the case) and why does she persist in viewing and responding to the posts here when she feels it’s just a hot-bed of unpleasant people?

As I say above, Clare is completely entitled to carry on posting and arguing, but for what end?

Looks like classic trolling behavior to me.

142 Neeraja November 17, 2012 at 11:51 am

Clare,
Being a MW does not make you an expert on high risk management of pre-term labor or even management protocols, so let’s not pretend that you are somewhat aware of what you’re talking about. All you have done so far is clobber together extremely limited knowledge in a way that suits your agenda. It’s unprofessional and inhuman cuz in doing so you have also questioned a dead woman’s value, and a grieving husbands words. And I’m not catholic or Irish or have any need or inclination to bash your religion. I’m skeptical of religion, yes, but only because it blinds seemingly intelligent people to facts and strips them of logic and worst humanity.

143 Clare November 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Aargh! Seriously!
*Head desk*
Are you deliberately misreading my comments here?
No time right now to go into detail, so briefly:

We do not have access to all the info.

One of the audio interviews with the husband he states that infection was RULED OUT when she presented.

We don’t know when it was recognised that there was infection present.
Had that been identified most certainly the pregnancy should have been brought to an end.

Yes, the tardiness in spotting signs of infection and expediting delivery does appear to have been gross oversight and mismanagement.

But a women who presents with SROM and no signs of infection would not be offered abortion in the first instance.

I have already said that bringing the pregnancy to a swift end would be an *obligation* on behalf of the Dr if chorioamnionitis were present.
I haven’t argued otherwise.

The information that is needed is not yet in the public domain.

The limited information we do have is rather unclear.
One interview says that she was commenced on antibiotics when she was admitted and that there was no sign of infection.

We are not the inquest!

The staff won’t be able to say anything yet. They’ll have to wait for the enquiry.

I’m sorry to see a doctor here adding to this unseemly and unjust trial by Internet.

144 Peter November 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Awful biased article. Michael Nugent jumping on a bandwagon before the facts have become apparent. Facts should take precedent over emotional decision making. So much for clear thinking rationalism Michael?

145 Clare November 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Neeraja
An ‘expert on high risk management’ would not be coming to conclusions based on scanty details found on the Internet.
If he did he’d be a dangerous buffoon.
That’s what the commenters here have done.
The title of this post: “woman dies in hospital because of catholic dogma” sets the tone for the irresponsible, inflammatory hysteria playing out in the comments and elsewhere.
No one here knows enough to say why Savita died and who is responsible.

146 Clare November 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm

And one more thing hysterical atheists, while you’re in concerned and troubled mode, how about an embassy protest for the 100+ women who died in pregnancy/ childbirth IN LONDON ALONE.
How about lighting candles for Jessie-Maye Barlow who was ignored by you all when she died of post abortion sepsis last year?
Poor Jessie-Maye didn’t fit abortion rights martyr, dying, as she did, in a country where abortion is legal and freely available, so she was swept under the pro choice carpet.

147 Clare November 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm

What I am suggesting here, is that you are cynically exploiting the memory of Savita in order to make abortion rights gains in Ireland.

148 Clare November 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Wolf. Check your delusional assumptions.
I haven’t wailed that I am being attacked for my religious beliefs.
I haven’t wailed at all.
I said, “better out than in, it’s important, keep ‘em coming”
I don’t give a Flying Spaghetti Monster about ‘attack’
Yay freedom of speech!

If you do it respectfully and constructively that’s dialogue, everyone learns something: win win.

If you do it as has been done here, the dark underbelly of your faux humanitarian concern is shown to be contemptuous, nasty, brutish and quite remarkably thick: I win.

If you want to attack my beliefs I say attack away. Be my guest. Please do. You must!
It’s your civic duty citizen Wolf!

149 John P. November 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I’d wager that most on this thread are avid Guardian readers.

The title of this post: “woman dies in hospital because of catholic dogma” sets the tone for the irresponsible, inflammatory hysteria playing out in the comments and elsewhere.

Yes, the authoritarian adepts of science and reason would never let facts or logic get in the way of catholic-bashing.

Bashing Christianity and Roman Catholics is without doubt the most widespread from of bigotry one sees these days.

If the real facts surrounding Savita’s death aren’t revealed because the adrenalin rush of catholic bashing is just too tempting and irresistable, then a similar tragedy may well happen again.

But then some here probably wouldn’t mind seeings the numerous “opportunities” a second tragedy would bring!

150 moran November 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm

incredible..

151 Al Garnier November 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Clare,
It is misguided religious rhetoric such as yours that subjugate women all over the world. In other areas of the world where Christianity is not the majority religion, women like you would be stoned in the streets for their Christian beliefs. I’m sure you would not support this injustice being perpetrated by other religious doctrines in your neck of the woods. Yet, you promptly insert your head back up your anus in support of Catholic doctrine. I understand that religious belief, like the emotion of love, is totally blind. But, I do not understand why you and your supporters continue to portray your religious beliefs as mind numbing insanity.

True democracy tolerates all religious beliefs and supports their right to self determination. But, no democratic society should tolerate dangerous religious interference in the lives of any citizens who choose otherwise. If you do not condone abortion, you are not forced to have one. But, if you choose to have one, you should not have to convince a medical professional to comply to your request in most circumstances.

To Joan of Ark: your mindless science has long outlived it’s usefulness in our scientifically and technologically advanced societies. Please return to your pyre and allow humanity to exercise it’s psyche toward it’s inevitable evolution. Or, do you even believe in evolution?

152 Deana Holmes November 17, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Oh dear Lord, now we get to hear put-upon Catholics whining about how they’re being persecuted for Catholic bashing. Gosh, I’ve heard the same noise out of Scientologists for nearly the past 20 years after I’ve taken the time to expose those creeps for what they are.

You are not being p bashed when you are being asked to defend beliefs that, when followed to their logical conclusions, lead to the deaths of women because they are not allowed abortion. You are not being bashed when you are asked to explain why an unborn fetus is ALWAYS privileged over the life of a born woman. You are not being bashed when it is pointed out to you that your belief on that matter is not scientific fact, but is a BELIEF.

You want the ability to impose your belief system on those of us who do not follow it. I’m sorry, as far as I am concerned, that’s not going to happen in my life. I’m competent to make my own decisions without relying exclusively on religious dogma to the exclusion of science and common sense.

And let me be blunt here: Even if Savita’s death could have been prevented had other actions been taken (e.g., starting a massive course of antibiotics), we KNOW other women have died because of the Catholic belief of the sanctity of the fetus over the born woman.

I live in a city (Phoenix, Arizona, USA) where the bishop would have condemned the mother of four children to a certain death had she not had an abortion. (The woman had hypertension so severe that at 12 weeks she couldn’t even be moved to another hospital for the abortion.) Thankfully, Thomas Olmstead did not find out until it was over and the woman is still alive. But he’d have condemned this woman to death, because she didn’t matter. She was just a container for a fetus that would never have made it anywhere near to term.

I will repeat again: Pregnancy is not this trouble-free area full of kittens, puppies and butterflies. There are serious health complications from pregnancy. Doctors should not be forbidden to take any actions that will save the life of the pregnant woman. As much as Irish “pro-lifers” would like to disavow responsibility for Savita’s death, the fact of the matter is that you people have encouraged a culture which indicates there’s never a reason for abortion in pregnancy (although you will allow for certain procedures which result in the destruction of an embryo or fetus via the use of Jesuitical sleight of hand). This culture is also backed up by the law of the state. And it is this law of the state which prohibits women from getting all the health care we should have–even if it offends your precious persecuted sensibilities.

You are not protecting the unborn when you condemn women to certain death by your beliefs and actions. You are, instead, encouraging contempt for your positions. I can state bluntly that I have nothing but contempt for a position that has been shown in the past (and will continue to be shown) to kill women.

153 Citizen Wolf November 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm

The trolling continues I see.

*sigh*, carry on, as you please.

154 dove600 November 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm

@citizen wolf
Troll?! What are you talking about? It’s obvious that you have nothing to add but very desperate to drop something even if it is off topic and completely meaningless. Troll? That’s hilarious. You sound like a child. Sorry, this is a matured area. Don’t you have homework to do or if you’ve finished how about playing with toys? Where is your “Barney and Friends DVD boxset”?

155 dove600 November 17, 2012 at 7:06 pm

An speaking of trolls – @Al Garnier? I simply cannot follow the thread with his interventions.

156 Al Garnier November 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Dove600,
Now just whom do you think you are calling a troll you mindless leprechaun. LMFAO
Your practiced arguments are deteriorating into the mindless banter of childish name calling. A common trait among all religious intellectuals I’m afraid. I was led to believe that all leprechauns live at the Vatican. With your superior knowledge of the inane, I was hoping you may confirm or deny this obvious rumour for my benefit and those who may still be paying any attention to your ignorant rants.

157 Al Garnier November 17, 2012 at 10:06 pm

The matter of human abortion is a very serious and contentious topic throughout the world. The societies who condone this practice did not come to this decision whimsically or easily. Human life is a treasured commodity that should be protected at all costs and any decision to terminate is considered seriously even in societies that accept it. There are strict regulations that govern these decisions. Even capital punishment is rapidly disappearing in civilized societies.

However, when it comes to the individual rights and freedoms of any citizen, the right to self determination is equally as viable. Hence, a legal claim of self defence is accepted even by the most stringent religions.

During pregnancy two living entities inhabit one human form for a period of time. The sentient host entity already living a viable structured life should understandably have the inalienable right to make the initial decision to carry the pregnancy to fruition. But, I personally feel that abortion should not be considered for routine birth control.

Terminating any life is not a decision I would ever make personally except maybe in self defence but, being a man who will never be required to make that decision, it is not my place to decide for anyone else in that situation. Nor should it be the decision of any mindless religious belief of others.

158 Maddy November 18, 2012 at 11:27 am

“For all you know, as I have already pointed out, said doctor could have been a Hindu from India or a Zoroastrian, or a pagan or an apatheist from the Isle of Wight.”

They are a doctor, in Ireland, therefore they are an Irish doctor.
It does not matter what their religious affiliation is, but what was said and that they were on the staff of the hospital that was charged with treating Savita: they implied, and that was what Savita’s husband understood, that the reason the abortion was being denied was because Ireland ‘is a Catholic country’. Not because of any medical reason, but because of a religious one. Whether it was a justification or a complaint also doesn’t matter either – it still indicates that somehow, Catholicism was factoring in the medical decision-making that was going on.

It also doesn’t matter that you are Catholic in this debate, despite what others have made of it. It matters what you have said, though. You are correct that there are few details out there about this case, but what information is out there includes that the doctors, who had access to all the information, decided the foetus was not viable (not me, not anyone else in the thread, the doctors, at the hospital, whatever ethnicity they were). That being a given, what was the point of not aborting? How is _not_ treating an internal malfunction ever be the best course of action? She got sicker and sicker, and still, they would not abort. Why not?

Another piece of info we know is she died of septicaemia, which we know is caused by infection. It seems likely that the source of entry of the infection was her open cervix. It remains to be confirmed, but why would you leave someone vulnerable to infection like that, especially as their condition is worsening?

In this particular case, it is the denial of the abortion that we await justification for. So far, it seems that the reason had something to do with religion. If so, then that is disgusting.

Clare – stop ignoring arguments with merit in favour of feeling persecuted because of your religion and stop assuming anyone arguing against you is an atheist, and an hysterical one at that.

I am not sure what you’d expect an embassy protest about women dying from pregnancy or childbirth, or protest about people who die of post-surgical complications (in the case you mention, post-abortion) is supposed to achieve. Perhaps you don’t understand the cause of this particular protest. Hint: it relates to the end of my first paragraph in this comment.

159 John P. November 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm

It seems likely that the source of entry of the infection was her open cervix. It remains to be confirmed

Um…exactly.

But since you know all the facts already, and are convinced Savita’s death was the direct result of catholic theology, please continue to enlighten and educate us.

Just look at the trackbacks below and note all of the misinformation being disseminated.

Like so many headlines from Pravda.

160 Alton_matthews November 18, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Has anyone ever heard of a coroner’s inquest? That used to be the place where cause of death was determined in cases of unexpected death in this country?
All of the facts of this terrible tragedy are not yet known. Is the rush for “legal clarity” due to fear that the cause of death of this lady, may not in fact have been materially affected by the legal status quo, but rather by the medical facts of the case?

161 Al Garnier November 18, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Alton,
I have to agree that the release of pertinent information regarding her death is slow in coming to any public forum. Inquiries are ongoing. The tardiness of information is casting the competency of the hospital, medical board and government in a bad light, which always invites rumour and innuendo. Either her condition was too severe for her to survive upon arrival at the hospital or, the gross incompetency of public policy and the medical staff are at fault. With the scanty information presently available, the latter scenerio is generally opined.

http://www.tehelka.com/story_main54.asp?filename=Ws161112Controversy.asp

162 Clare November 19, 2012 at 1:39 am

Her are my thoughts on this sad case.
http://mybattlementsofrubies.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/maternal-death-when-fools-rush-in.html
I’m done with the combox daftness here.

163 Maddy November 19, 2012 at 5:23 am

“But since you know all the facts already, and are convinced Savita’s death was the direct result of catholic theology, please continue to enlighten and educate us.”

No need to be such a smarmy git when displaying your below average reading comprehension skills, John P. An open cervix in any women is an infection risk – that is absolutely a fact. However, given that the very text you quoted of mine used cautious language like ‘it seems’ and ‘likely’ and ‘it remains to be confirmed’, I don’t know how you get from it that I claim to know all the facts, nor that I am convinced of anything, nor that I blame Catholic ideology for her death.

All I said about the involvement of Catholicism was that “So far, it seems that the reason had something to do with religion. If so, then that is disgusting. ”

Do you recognise what ‘so far’ refers to? Do you understand what ‘it seems’ means? Do you know how ‘if’ statements work?

I, like other sane people, await further information; in particular, the medical reasoning for not having performed the termination when it was requested.

164 Maddy November 19, 2012 at 6:14 am

Nice post on your blog, Clare. Except for where you are very selective as to what comments from here you have excerpted. I can understand you were trying to represent the extreme of a particular viewpoint being expressed here, however.

165 John P. November 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm

No need to be such a smarmy git

It is unconcsionable Maddy to disseminate and to promote disinformation about this tragedy. For some “git” would definately be a step up…

Vigilantes, torches, Salem!

166 Al Garnier November 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I am relieved that the Vatican is not coming out in support of global warming. I’m sure that you and your inane church groups would be promoting “nuclear winter” as the obvious remedy. It would kill two birds with one stone and send all the pagan heathens to their just rewards. Incredulous fools!

167 Leigh November 20, 2012 at 3:22 am

I am not going to comment on the specifics of this case. All I want to say is that I find it abhorrent that religion should aim to dictate how I live my life and how laws are made in my country. I live in Australia and religious groups have so much political power that they limit reform in regards to social issues that have majority support within the community, such as marriage equality and euthanasia. By all means live your lives according to how you want to, but do not try to impose your beliefs on me and the rest of the community.

168 Hugh Oxford November 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Are campaigners responding to this tragedy seeking clarification of the laws that permit termination of pregnancy to save the lives of mothers, or are they campaigning for abortion on demand?

And if the latter, what does this tragedy have to do with anything, and is it not the cynical exploitation of a person’s death and a family’s suffering to promote an agenda?

169 Al Garnier November 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Hugh Oxford,
This tragedy has everything to do with insuring that the proper laws and measures are put in place to insure that similar tragedies cannot happen again. Apparently you and your religion are cynically exploiting the crucifixion of a 2000 year old fairytale Christ to promote your agenda. I think the wanton waste of Savita’s life and the lives of those to follow are a lot more important than any stupid belief in a fairytale, don’t you?

170 Hugh Oxford November 20, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Al, Ireland enjoys much better maternal and infant mortality rates than many pro-abortion countries, so the suggestion that Irish doctors wantonly destroy the lives of women in the name of religion is palpably false.

171 Al Garnier November 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Hugh,
You may want to provide statistical evidence for your mortality rates. Otherwise, you are merely spreading religious manure. The death of Savita, if proven as presently assumed, is evidence of wanton disregard for a mothers right to life. In any country where abortion is legal, the foetus would have been aborted immediately upon discovery of it’s non-viability, especially when Savita requested the foetus be aborted. Abortion would have drastically improved Savita’s chances of survival. There is no statistic or religious fairytale that can whitewash what happened to Savita in an Irish hospital and the requirement for safeguarding the lives of unsuspecting mothers requires government intervention.

http://cdrwww.who.int/pmnch/topics/maternal/20100402_ihmearticle.pdf

172 Clare November 20, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Al, truly the jewel in the “bright” atheist crown, said

“Abortion would have drastically improved Savita’s chances of survival.”

Ahhh. Who needs an inquest when you have Al?
Dr. Hema Divakar, would disagree with his assertion however.
And I think she might be better qualified than Al.
She’s the president elect of the Federation of obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India,
See here:
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/city-doctor-defends-irish-counterparts/article4100988.ece
And here:
http://mybattlementsofrubies.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/an-update-to-my-last-post-on-maternal.html
On the contrary, she says that abortion or induction may have *killed Savita more quickly*

Al also said:
“Hugh,
You may want to provide statistical evidence for your mortality rates. Otherwise, you are merely spreading religious manure.”

Of course. The only person allowed to spread manure his is the blogger and his enthusiastic acolytes who treat conjecture as unalloyed fact.
Here’s the statistical evidence of Ireland’s VASTLY superior maternal safety record:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/apr/12/maternal-mortality-rates-millennium-development-goals

173 Al Garnier November 21, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Joan of Ark, your back in full flame I see. Speaking of inquests, have you heard any reports? All of this supposition is not helping.
None the less, medical opinions are varied and they are only opinions, similar to the two sent to you by a medical doctor, Neeraja, in rebuttal to your mistaken claims.

http://utilis.net/Morning%20Topics/Obstetrics/PPROM.PDF

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2492588/

Patient empathy should be part of client care in any medical facility. The fact still remains that Sevita’s pregnancy was diagnosed as non-viable after her arrival to hospital and she requested abortion the next day. I am assuming that a foetal evacuation was eventually performed in a vain attempt to, what… hasten her death? Why was the foetus not evacuated much earlier thereby, allowing Sevita every medical advantage to survive?

I wonder if your pro-life stance might change somewhat if your daughter were lying in Sevita’s hospital bed suffering a similar torturous death for seven or eight days. Hopefully, for everyone’s sake, especially your Irish daughter, we never have to face such future decisions again in Ireland.

Here are the 2010 statistics for MMR.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2223rank.html

There is no correlation between these statistics
and the incident of legal abortions in these countries. But, most countries with lower MMR than Ireland perform legal abortions.

174 Al Garnier November 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm

P.S. I apologize for the misspelling of Savita Halappanavar’s name.

175 Maddy November 22, 2012 at 10:07 am

“I am assuming that a foetal evacuation was eventually performed in a vain attempt to, what…”

I accept that during the course of someone’s stay in a hospital, their symptoms change and what may not have been indicated earlier on may suddenly become vital to perform. Maybe it’s a risky procedure, and unless the patient is gravely ill, the benefits don’t outweigh the risks. Chemotherapy is one such treatment, for example, that you wouldn’t undergo unless you had to. Maybe Savita’s uterus was at risk of suffering extensive damage by interfering earlier on, and they were taking a conservative approach so as to preserve her ability to have children later on, given that this one was failing. However, when it got to the point that her life was in the balance, and uterus preservation was no longer a priority, all stops were pulled. What is it called when you do anything to save someone’s life? Extraordinary measures?

I really hope, for her family’s sake (as I feel acceptance will be easier to come to), that the decisions made in her care, particularly with regard to the timing of the evacuation, all had valid medical bases, and were not, as the limited evidence points towards so far, based on the foetus being technically alive and some interaction with religious views of the sanctity of life. I actually expect that there were some reasons, along the lines of those Clare is linking to. I wasn’t there, and nor were most of the people speculating, even those like doctors and midwives who have a better understanding of the biological peculiarities of reproduction. Let’s just wait and see.

“It is unconcsionable Maddy to disseminate and to promote disinformation about this tragedy.”

It sure is. I haven’t done so, though.

176 Al Garnier November 22, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Maddy,
“Maybe it’s a risky procedure, and unless the patient is gravely ill, the benefits don’t outweigh the risks. Chemotherapy is one such treatment”

Maybe she should be still alive, maybe leprechauns are at fault.
The glaring obvious course of action was immediately ignored because of poor state regulations and a mindless personal beliefs. Abortion should be the mother’s choice especially when the pregnancy is non-viable.
Get a grip!

177 Clare November 22, 2012 at 1:41 pm

“The glaring obvious course of action was immediately ignored”

You have no way of knowing that this course of action wasn’t considered ( it was within the law.) and rejected because to abort/induce may have killed her more quickly.

Have you ever heard of routine surgery being cancelled because the patient had mere sniffles?

“Abortion should be the mother’s choice especially when the pregnancy is non-viable.”

Doctors are obliged to make critical decisions according to the patients BEST INTERESTS, not her “wishes”. Many of us make demands of the doctor in extremis that the doctor must firmly reject.

Anyway, you’re clearly American Al. Think you might need to championing the issue of maternal mortality in your own backyard. As you can see from the stats, abortion friendly USA trails waaaay behind pro life Ireland in that respect.

178 Hugh Oxford November 22, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Thank you Clare for your dissection of the “arguments” put forwards by the pro-choicers exploiting this tragedy to besmirch the Irish medical profession and/or Ireland’s laws.

179 Clare November 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Hugh
My pleasure.
The people whipping up a frenzy over this in advance of any facts have shown themselves to be the true abortophiles they really are. They just want abortion, abortion, abortion. Everything else is secondary, even the lives of women like poor Savita.

180 Al Garnier November 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Clare,
“You have no way of knowing that this course of action wasn’t considered ( it was within the law.) and rejected because to abort/induce may have killed her more quickly.”

The law needs to be changed to protect individual rights. The foetus was aborted after she had been diagnosed earlier with septicaemia and only after the cessation of the foetus heartbeat. The presence of infection dictated immediate action to prevent advancement of the infection yet, no such treatment was apparent here. The intent was obvious and will become self evident on the completion of the inquiries. THERE WAS NO LEGITIMATE, RATIONAL JUSTIFICATION FOR REFUSING TO VACATE A NON-VIABLE FOETUS……or any non viable foetus that poses an undue burden to the woman’s personal life. If an individual’s decisions have no direct effect on the viability of the lives of others, democracy dictates your inalienable right to self determination. Stop imposing your insanity on those who do not agree with you.

Individual freedoms are a “must” in any viable democratic society. The government has a duty to protect the rights of all citizens not just one intrusive, unfounded religious belief.

There are many religions other than Catholicism and if the government imposes the dictates of one, democracy insists that other religions be treated equally. Unless you want a Muslim neighbour to have the right to stone you in the streets of Dublin for being an infidel, you should reject forcing your religious tenets on the rest of the unsuspecting public.

Government has no place in forcing conformity on religions and religion has ABSOLUTELY no right to force conformity of non-believers.

The following links cover abortion in the USA. I suggest as a citizen if a democratic country that you read this carefully to grasp the underlying purpose.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_pro-choice_movement

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undue_burden

181 Maddy November 23, 2012 at 11:30 am

“The glaring obvious course of action was immediately ignored because of poor state regulations and a mindless personal beliefs. ”

Patients demand antibiotics they don’t need, and some want amputations because they get a kick out of them. Others refuse transfusions. Doctors have to override such decisions all the time. The more I have read and thought about this, the more I have decided to trust that the medical team’s decision was medical.

Upon arrival at the hospital, Savita’s health might have been in such a state that surgery of any kind at that time was not the best path to take – the physical trauma of it may have put too much stress on parts of her body that were already malfunctioning. Maybe they waited because they wanted her to get better first and, while the foetus was still alive at least, it wasn’t posing a risk like necrotic tissue does. Maybe once it had died, it then became urgent to remove it because Savita was not succeeding in fighting off an infection, and having its remains staying inside her was only going to make it worse.

Please, please, please, medical team, let us know!

182 Al Garnier November 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Maddy,
“Upon arrival at the hospital, Savita’s health might have been in such a state that surgery of any kind at that time was not the best path to take – the physical trauma of it may have put too much stress on parts of her body that were already malfunctioning. Maybe they waited because they wanted her to get better first and, while the foetus was still alive at least, it wasn’t posing a risk like necrotic tissue does.”

Maybe god decided to let her die because she wasn’t Catholic or, maybe the fools allowed their stupid beliefs to interfere with their duties to their patient? Better yet, maybe your destructive god doesn’t exist? Medical professionals should not act on their beliefs in lieu of proven medical practices.
Savita was a medical professional who knew the personal risks involved and requested to abort the foetus. It will take one of your gods miracles for the hospital and the state to cover up this injustice and malpractice.

183 Lacri November 23, 2012 at 3:11 pm

“Upon arrival at the hospital, Savita’s health might have been in such a state that surgery of any kind at that time was not the best path to take”

That would be like delaying surgery to remove a ruptured appendix until the patient got better.

184 Maddy November 24, 2012 at 2:49 pm

“That would be like delaying surgery to remove a ruptured appendix until the patient got better.”

Depends on what was happening with this miscarriage. It could also have been like not removing a large object impaling someone until they have stabilised enough to not kill them by doing so.

185 Maddy November 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm

“Better yet, maybe your destructive god doesn’t exist? Medical professionals should not act on their beliefs in lieu of proven medical practices.
Savita was a medical professional who knew the personal risks involved and requested to abort the foetus. It will take one of your gods miracles for the hospital and the state to cover up this injustice and malpractice.”

I would never go to a ear nose and throat guy for help with my lady parts. I would not go to a GP for open heart surgery. Savita was a dentist. She knew teeth, not reproductive systems. Sure, she would have known about them as part of her secondary school and entry level training, but not perhaps in as much detail, and in regard to what to do when they malfunction, as an obgyn with years of experience. In those moments, I imagine that she was less a dentist making a professionally considered decision than a sick, possibly feverish, grieving almost-mother who, knowing her foetus was doomed, desperately wanted it to be over.

And careful, your bias is showing. I am extremely anti-religion, so you can shove those assumptions up the hole they came from. If you go back and read my posts properly, you will see that in no way would I be anything but disgusted if religion had factored into the care plan at all.

186 Al Garnier November 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm

“I would never go to a ear nose and throat guy for help with my lady parts. I would not go to a GP for open heart surgery. Savita was a dentist. She knew teeth, not reproductive systems. Sure, she would have known about them as part of her secondary school and entry level training, but not perhaps in as much detail”

As a dentist she would have known of the life threatening risk of infection, as any other trained physician. She also knew that time is of the essence in any aggressive treatment of infection. Evacuation of the cause of infection and increasingly aggressive treatment of antibiotics/antimicrobials are indicated in all incidents of infection, especially septic shock. There was no medical indication for waiting for foetal termination, any competent medical professional would know this.

187 Clare November 25, 2012 at 12:32 am

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for a sensible heathen ’bout these parts!
Al, would that you had the sense of your fellow anti religionist Maddy who is clearly trying to grapple with the facts rather than bandy polemical soundbites.
I’ve said it before, the fetus was not “the cause of infection”
But you ain’t in the business of paying attention.
You are the godless equivalent of churchianity’s swivel eyed lunatic fringe. Why bother with boring facts when you can throw a spittle flecked nutty. Carry on.

188 Al Garnier November 25, 2012 at 3:25 am

Great, now we have the dynamic duo trolling. Mad Maddy and Flaming Clare. I suppose you are going to try and tell me that you are not religious. Everyone has ulterior motives here and it certainly would be interesting to know what you and Maddy are trying to sell. It certainly has nothing to do with truth or fact, as with your religious beliefs.
Clare, for the last time. Your facts do not agree with the known evidence. It makes no difference where the infection originated. Although, a ruptured membrane due to miscarriage would be the prime suspect. The globally accepted treatment for infection is evacuation of the foetus and an aggressive drug course should be started without delay. If you believe differently you licence as a midwife should be immediately up for review.
I am meerly pointing out accepted practices while you and Maddy are playing a dangerous game creating facts that are not in evidence. Maybes and suppositions cannot be construed as facts. All of the facts are not yet known but, the evidence to date does not paint a good picture for the regulations in place. Let’s just all calm down and wait for the inquiries to run their course.

189 Maddy November 26, 2012 at 4:46 am

“As a dentist she would have known of the life threatening risk of infection, as any other trained physician. ”

Yes.

“She also knew that time is of the essence in any aggressive treatment of infection. ”

Yes.

“Evacuation of the cause of infection and increasingly aggressive treatment of antibiotics/antimicrobials are indicated in all incidents of infection, especially septic shock. ”

Yes.

“There was no medical indication for waiting for foetal termination, any competent medical professional would know this.”

You are speculating that the foetus was the cause of the infection, and not a fellow victim. Although I have my suspicions that what was happening with it – ruptured membranes, open cervix et al – was causal, I acknowledge that I am speculating. I have specualted as to why it might have been important to remove it immediately, but I have also now speculated as to why it might have been important not to do so, for reasons that nothing to do with it being alive except in the sense that if it’s not dead tissue, it’s not nearly as much of an infection risk. You, on the other hand, seem certain that the miscarrying foetus was the cause of all her troubles, and maybe it was! But I can at least imagine situations in which it wasn’t, and that there would be medical reasons to not abort, not religious ones.

It’s odd how much stock you’re putting in the medical nous of the victim here, when the people treating her were also medical personnel, and more qualified and experienced when it comes to that end of the body. I like to think that I could trust them, (especially if the Irish tend to provide prospective mothers with better medical care than most of the rest of the world, based on their stats).

“Mad Maddy and Flaming Clare. I suppose you are going to try and tell me that you are not religious. Everyone has ulterior motives here and it certainly would be interesting to know what you and Maddy are trying to sell.”

Oh, good. Write the scientific argument off based on your speculation about me now. Even when you are given my position in my own words, plainly stated, you don’t believe it and are all suspicious. You might have to try to read my coments again, without your mask of Bias on, and see how my contributions have been cautious, rational and reasonable throughout.

“The globally accepted treatment for infection is evacuation of the foetus ”
Clare has posted something from Dr Hema Dikavar, herself a gyn expert, that suggested that it is not the globally accepted treatment.
She is quoted as having said: ““Based on information in the media, in that situation of septicaemia, if the doctors had meddled with the live baby, Savita would have died two days earlier.”
Maybe the termination was denied in an attempt to SAVE her life! Unpleasant, for Savita, knowing that it was going to die, and wanting it out, but she was distressed and ill, and perhaps not in the best position to be diagnosing and making her own treatment plan. There is a reason doctors aren’t usually allowed to operate on their own family members, as they lose objectivity and might compromise patient care because of it.

And just because that is the standard treatment does not mean it applies here – this may have been an exceptional case that justified its being the exception. The main point there is WE DON’T KNOW. Yet. Withold your judgement and condemnation until there is confirmation one way or the other.

“Maybes and suppositions cannot be construed as facts. ”

Exactly. So stop doing it. You do not actually know for a fact that the foetus was posing a greater risk to her by remaining inside her body than undergoing a termination would. I thought so initially, but then I reconsidered, because I realised I was applying what I knew about dead tissue inside to live tissue. Massive difference.

190 Al Garnier November 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Mad (short for Maddy),
You said,
“You are speculating that the foetus was the cause of the infection, and not a fellow victim”

That is a blatant lie, unlike your suppositions. What I said was: “IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE WHERE THE INFECTION ORIGINATED”
The accepted treatment when infection is present is immediate and aggressive medication and evacuation, post haste. I did not speculate. That is fact.

You said,
“You, on the other hand, seem certain that the miscarrying foetus was the cause of all her troubles, and maybe it was! But I can at least imagine situations in which it wasn’t, and that there would be medical reasons to not abort, not religious ones.”

I’m sure your imagination is boundless, just like Clare’s religion. Please tell the readers what you imagine to be the reasons for not following urgent globally accepted practices in an effort to save the life of a patient with life threatening septicaemia. I’m assuming your not a medical professional but, make your best effort so that we may all understand your epiphany.

You said,
“Exactly. So stop doing it. You do not actually know for a fact that the foetus was posing a greater risk to her by remaining inside her body than undergoing a termination would.”

But, I DO know that there was infection present, irregardless of the source,
and the foetus WAS posing a greater risk to Savita as would any infection in Savita pose a greater risk to the foetus by remaining inside her body; and so does every other “COMPETENT” medical professional.

You said,
” I thought so initially, but then I reconsidered, because I realised I was applying what I knew about dead tissue inside to live tissue. Massive difference.”

I suggest you know very little about the effects of a living or dead foetus on the mother’s live tissue, and even less about the dangers of infection. I would wager that you know very little about a whole lot.

The difference between fact and supposition is as follows:
Fact- Mad Maddy and Flaming Clare are trolling in favour of pro-life regulations on a religious basis.
Supposition- I believe that Maddy and Clare are inmates of an insane asylum who have found unsupervised access to a computer terminal with Internet access. In my defence, the statements of both you and Clare are evidence in support of my supposition. Take your meds and stay away from bright lights & computers.

191 Maddy November 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm

“The accepted treatment when infection is present is immediate and aggressive medication and evacuation, post haste.”
You really can’t think of any possible scenario in which that might actually not be the best course of action? Really?

“Please tell the readers what you imagine to be the reasons for not following urgent globally accepted practices”
If the surgery would have opened up more of Savita’s body tissue to be at risk of infection, or if her immune system was compromised such that she would likely not recover from the surgery in the way that not-infected people do, then it would not be indicated.

We already know that some people contract septicaemia from the procedure itself, so it must at least pose that kind of a risk. The decision to proceed or not, as it is with most medical treatments, will be a matter of balancing the risk of taking the action as compared to the risk of not taking the action. The medical team may have decided that while the foetus’s heart was still beating, and therefore capable of circulating antibodies and drugs that could protect its tissue from becoming an infection hotspot (as long as the placenta was working properly, that is), the risk the surgery posed was the greater one.

You have determinedly said it was a globally accepted practice, but that info from Dr Hema Dikavar suggests that it is, in fact, not globally accepted. She is quoted as having said: ““Based on information in the media, in that situation of septicaemia, if the doctors had meddled with the live baby, Savita would have died two days earlier.”
Are you denying her positiongoing so as to continue to insist that it is a globally-accepted practice?

“playing a dangerous game creating facts that are not in evidence. Maybes and suppositions cannot be construed as facts. ”
I am not trying to say that my speculations are fact. That is why I use words like maybe, and call them speculations. The word maybe describes something that may be true, not something that is, or was. And it yet may! We do not have all the facts. To pretend that a maybe is impossible when there isn’t the information to decide one way or another would be foolish.

If it turns out that the decision was made on religious grounds, then that will not turn out to prove me wrong in any way, because I have been speculating all along. I fully accept that I might be wrong, and am preparing to be disgusted by such a practice. It would justify all the hooha, for sure. If it turns out to be have been medically-founded however, (and for the sake of confidence in medical teams everywhere, I hope that it is,) people who have been so certain that it was religiously-motivated will turn out to be wrong.

“Fact- Mad Maddy and Flaming Clare are trolling in favour of pro-life regulations on a religious basis.”

This is fact, is it? At what point have either Clare or I ever suggested that the foetus should not be terminated simply because it was technically still alive, or that live foetuses should never ever ever be aborted because God something something Jesus?

That’s right, at NO point. Just calling something a fact does not make it a fact. Especially not when you have direct evidence to the contrary – I’m not religious, and I’m pro-choice. That is what is fact. You are much more likely to be wrong about me than I am, given that I am me. I am telling you that I am not religious, much like Dr Hepa Dikavar is telling you that your globally-accepted practice is not, in fact, globally-accepted.

Being unable to acknowledge facts and insisting on believing otherwise is … somewhat religious. Ugh.

“I suggest you know very little about the effects of a living or dead foetus on the mother’s live tissue, and even less about the dangers of infection. I would wager that you know very little about a whole lot.”

Given that you are insisting upon something that I know to be utterly false (see the previous quote), I can’t say I can put much stock in your wagers.

I have a B.Sc (Hons) in Biology (one of the top in my graduating year) and have been teaching biology at high school level for 9 years, including teaching about human reproduction and micro-organisms. I wouldn’t be much good at fixing a car, but I’m pretty sure I know significantly more than the average person about biological systems, including how placentas work, how the body defends itself against disease, and how bacterial infections occur. Here, allow me to explain:

Live tissue is somewhat resistant to infection – if blood is circulating, then it can carry white blood cells, antibodies, drugs etc around the tissue that can then help to fight off a bacterial infection. This can also apply to the foetus. Although it doesn’t have its own, fully functional immune system, if the placenta is still working, then antibodies produced by the mother’s body, and any drugs she may be given, can cross into the foetal blood system and protect its tissue. Therefore a ‘live’ foetus, or rather one with an intact placental connection and its own heartbeat, is not necessarily a risk.

Whether or not the person can survive an infection depends on how quickly their body can overcome it. If the bacteria reproduce rapidly, or their toxins are especially toxic, or the immune response is slow or compromised, it may be that their feeding or toxins cause irreparable damage to the body’s organs (esp. liver, kidneys) and this damage proves to be fatal. It may also be that the body’s own immune response, which includes inflammation and fever, leads to a life-threatening situation. Excessive histaminergic response can lead to anaphylactic shock as leaky tissues do not allow adequate blood pressure to remain. High fevers can lead to seizures and brain damage.

Dead tissue, however, is completely defenceless. It just sits there being a bunch of delicious warm and moist food for bacteria, allowing them to massively increase in population, and therefore produce lots of the toxins that can cause septicaemia. Dead tissue has to be removed because it would otherwise quickly become an infection hotspot, and the resulting load of toxins released into the body could be fatal.

A person’s skin and mucosal membranes are normally effective barriers to infection. They function well as such as long as they remain intact. When surgeries are performed, they often involve incisions into these surfaces that are, despite aseptic practices, still likely to introduce bacteria to the body and/or to create an entry point for bacteria.

Most women know that the cervix is pretty easy to damage if poked at with medical instruments. Such damage as may be caused during a termination procedure, as well as any uterus scraping that goes on, can also open up entry points for bacteria, if not introduce them directly to the freshly-created vulnerable spots. If someone is already fighting an infection elsewhere in their body, then introducing another infection at such a time, in this new location, might be too much for their immune system to handle at once. If their body is unable to keep a lid on the bacterial population at this new location, and the toxins produced by these bacteria start affecting their already compromised and ill body, then surgery may contribute to a faster death.

Yep. Pretty confident in my knowledge.

“In my defence, the statements of both you and Clare are evidence in support of my supposition.”

If you actually believe your supposition (and I am not one to doubt what people directly state they believe) then you are proving yourself capable of making make massive leaps and judgements based on insufficient evidence. At least you’re consistent.

192 Al Garnier December 1, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Here is a link you may want to read and while your at it you may want to forward this link to Dr. Hepa Dikavar.

http://www.survivingsepsis.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/2008%20Pocket%20Guides.pdf

Immediate action should have commenced within the first six hours of her arrival at the hospital. The evidence in Savita’s case to date does not support adherence to these guidelines.

193 stevedd February 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Utterly disgusting and shameful. The Catholic Church continues its long tradition of murder and the imposition of torment on human beings as a direct result of the totally discredited man-made piece of shit called the ‘bible’.

194 http://www.moheak.com March 25, 2013 at 8:45 am

Terrific site!

Leave a Comment

{ 18 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: