A consortium of Irish doctors


Jill Filipovic on the death of Savita Halappanavar.

She died after three and a half days of excruciating pain. She died after repeatedly begging for an end to the pregnancy that was poisoning her. Her death would have been avoided if she had been given an abortion when she asked for it – when it was clear she was miscarrying, and that non-intervention would put her at risk. But the foetus, which had no chance of survival, still had a heartbeat. Its right to life quite literally trumped hers.

It wasn’t even (as I’ve seen some mistakenly say) an attempt to save the fetus. It was just a refusal to act because the doomed fetus still had a pulse. It was just a determined decision to let both die rather than save one – the adult one with existing hopes and plans and work and people who loved her.

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.”

Tell that to Savita Halappanavar, you evil bastards.

 

Comments

  1. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    The frightening thing is that they aren’t evil bastards but well-meaning and decent people doing what they believe is their duty as doctors and religious believers.

  2. says

    No I don’t think so. I don’t think they are decent or well-meaning. They might be, but what we know about them isn’t evidence that they are. They’re ruthless zealots who care more about that which doesn’t exist than they do about real people and their real feelings and needs. I refuse to call people like that decent or well-meaning.

  3. Dana says

    I agree with you wholeheartedly and I will go further.

    The Irish government needs to feel the extent of international disapproval on this matter.

    How does one go about creating an international boycott of Irish products and Irish tourism.

    These medieval bastards won’t respond to anything other than pain in their bottom lines. How can we give it to them?

    They don’t seem to care much about priests buggering little boys either.

    I love a tea from Ireland, from the Thompson family. I’m crafting an email to them telling them that I won’t be buying it, or any other Irish product, anymore. Nor will I be visiting on our next trip to the Isles.

  4. unbound says

    I disagree that they are well meaning. Their primary statement is that abortion is never medically necessary. However, they also stated:

    “We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.”

    Sorry, but those are words of weasels. They very well know that they put out a strong statement that the religious will latch onto while providing themselves a technically worded escape.

    Without exception, every one of them should lose their medical licenses. Savita is not the first…and, sadly, will not be the last because of games played by people like them.

  5. sgailebeairt says

    fwiw Eamon O’Dwyer is one of the practitioners of symphysiotomies who claims that the women he did them to are lying when they say the have had pain & disability ever since….

  6. sceptinurse says

    No they don’t mean well. The ones who mean well take the woman to the O.R. regardless of the disapproval of the catholic hierarchy.

  7. Caryn says

    This is precisely why I’ve never had patience for the “Coexist” bumper sticker. I see no evidence that people who hold a particular set of beliefs around the doctrine of double effect intend to allow me to continue coexisting.

  8. sweynTUV says

    This does not seem to have been a mistake by practitioners at the sharp end misinterpreting a hospital policy that is not clear. The fact that a senior figure in this hospital hierarchy is a leading figure in the “abortion is never necessary” consortium suggests that these are the explicit rules in play there.

    The practitioners involved here may convince themselves that they are decent and well-meaning but it is their actions that count and these counted Savita’s health and life far too cheaply. The charitable interpretation is that they were cowed by the hierarchy, fear of prosecution and RC excommunication. More likely is that they just have the warped values that come from believing in magic and that the creator of the universe agrees with you. For some, when the will of God is on one side of the scales, it seems that no amount of human suffering can tip them the other way.

  9. says

    Thank you, Ophelia, for this:

    No I don’t think so. I don’t think they are decent or well-meaning. They might be, but what we know about them isn’t evidence that they are. They’re ruthless zealots who care more about that which doesn’t exist than they do about real people and their real feelings and needs. I refuse to call people like that decent or well-meaning.

    It’s time we stopped calling religious people, who are quite prepared to foist their beliefs and practices, at no matter what cost, on others, as decent. They are not decent. They are thoughtless zealots, so convinced by their own grasp of “the truth” that they cannot acknowledge that others can reasonably see the world differently. Indeed, in this case, their beliefs are so completely cruel and insensible to the feelings of others, that there is no way that their point of view is reasonably called well-meaning, and it is positive indecent. Such people need to be labelled appropriately.

  10. Sili says

    You musta failed to get out your Newspeak dictionary:

    They claimed that abortion is never needed to save a pregnant woman’s life

    Of course it isn’t, because saving a woman’s life is not a priority. Hence abortion is never needed.

    “We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”

    Whoever said “optimal care” involved survival of the woman? “Optimal care” = babby forms.

    See? Easy!

  11. jb says

    From the comments on that Guardian article:

    ” Despite Savita Halappanavar’s sad death there are probably more people alive today because of Ireland’s abortion laws than if they hadn’t been in force.

    This vindicates the ‘pro-life’ approach.”

    ————

    See, its ok if a few women die to save all the babies!!!!!!!!!!

  12. mnb0 says

    “It wasn’t even an attempt to save the fetus.”
    That’s why I as a non-American so often confuse pro-life with pro-choice. People like these are not pro-life, they are anti-life.

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