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Sad Case of Savita Halappanavar

Was her death a question of bad law, bad miscarriage, bad medical judgement, interference by Catholic Church, or lack of abortion? 


Sadly, I suspect it was aspects of all of the above

Given its cavalier attitudes towards contraception the Catholic hierarchy seems to be saying that it wants to have its cake and eat it too. I'm not alone in finding this deeply unreasonable and utterly irresponsible.

Taking my views on this awful business, you may consider me one of those dreadful pro abortionists and so I am, being in favour of the woman's right to choose, always, but I maybe also ought to state that my heart aches that I was unable to bear children of my own so, you see, I don't eat babies as some pro-lifers would seem to want you to believe...........

Edited at 2012-11-16 14:12 (UTC)
I respect your 'personal' situation.

But I think to say "it was aspects of all of the above" is really too simplistic in this specific case. What, exactly, was the immediate cause of Savita's death?
Lack of appropriate medical care.

End of, really.
While I'm not convinced of that,
I'm certainly in no position to contradict it.
And while the story has all the pungeunt earmarks
of frenzied hysteria, there may be good reason that it should.
Sadly, it's a fact whether you're convinced of it or not- this was efficient state mandated murder. :o(
I will admit that few things in this world
depend upon my being convinced of them.
in countries that don't tell patients "we're catholic" and which don't prohibit medical procedures called "abortion", savita halappanavar would have lived. her miscarriage wasn't so "bad" as to be fatal if she had received appropriate medical care.
Are you sure?
yeah. i've worked in hospitals for most of the last thirty years, and her case as described is entirely straightforward and certainly need not be fatal. i suppose it's possible she could have been struck by lightning and died anyway, but umm, that's not too likely.
Does it matter whether or not the miscarriage might have been fatal. We don't know. What we do know is that the surgeons did not care enough for the life of the woman that they did not try the treatment that other doctors have stated they would consider to be the woman's only chance of survival.

The bloody fetus wasn't viable anyway.

So they refused treatment and that refusal of treatment made death almost certain. They did not care about her life.


This is not a case of "pick one of the above." They are not mutually exclusive.

It is certainly possible that the lady in question would have died anyway, but the surgeons/physicians in question made that death inevitable because (from what what other doctors have said) the standard -- and only effective -- treatment was to abort. Their decision was based on bad law in the Irish Republic, law that has not been changed because of the influence of the Catholic church. Nor is this the first time that said Catholic church has made it clear that they care nothing for the life of a seriously ill woman who happens to be carrying an unviable fetus.

I have been unable to verify the circulating story that this particular hospital had been sued for aborting a fetus in a similar case.
What do you think appears on her death certificate?
Septicemia - which is what she died from. Which infected her because the only available effective treatment was denied her. (Unless, of course, the Irish system differs that radically from that in the UK, the USA and various European coutries.)

All of which has nothing to do with the question in hand.

If you are hit by a car and killed it is likely that your death certificate will mention, say, that you died from trauma or that your head was caved in or that you had a heart attack from the shock. It may, though may not, say that you were hit by a car. What it will not say is that your death is a consequence of an idiot having too much to drink at the local boozer.

The inquest, now, is another matter entirely.
It seems to me that in this particular instance it was bad medical judgement, but we also have to bear in mind that the doctors would have been working under the restrictions of bad law which meant that they were unable to use the judgement they might otherwise have made.

I'm no proponent of abortion, but I think I should not be allowed to let my personal ethics interfere with another woman's right to life.
There ~is~ a Catholic concept: the "properly formed" conscience.
Likewise, there would be, even if it's not formally pronounced as such,
a "properly formed" medical judgement.
If the medically appropriate procedure is, by coincidence or design,
routinely discouraged, doctors' decisions may be arrived at poorly,
even when doctors use thier best judgement.
Just a few weeks ago, I posted something about how annoying it is
when politicians presume to be experts in obstetrics and gynecology.
Yes, well, when a story of this kind breaks,
everyone believes themselves to be an authority.

That said, if I were on a jury hearing this case,
I would probably conclude that septicemia being what it is,
we cannot be certain an abortion would have prevented her death;
however, there is at least a good likelihood it would have.

Further, there is every likelihood that policy regarding abortion
complicated and impaired the doctors' decision process,
and delayed what would have been an appropriate procedure.

I see no reason to believe the doctors in this case were indifferent or uncaring,
but I may be ill-informed on this point.
I suspect you are- a reading of the reports of the less hysterical kind (of which there are several) leaves one knowing that these people are not fit to practice medicine.

Fwiw, those that almost killed my SiL in this fashion were struck off.