A midwife who was working on the ward where Savita Halappanavar was being treated has given evidence at the inquest into her death.
Miriam Dunleavy told the Coroner’s Court in Galway that entries were put into Mrs Halappanavar’s medical notes by the hospital’s internal investigation.
Coroner Dr Ciaran McLoughlin raised questions as to the appropriateness of this.
Yes that does sound slightly inappropriate.
Dr Katherine Astbury also testified.
In a detailed chronological account of the treatment she provided, Dr Astbury said that she had requested an ultrasound on Monday 22 October after Mrs Halappanavar’s membranes ruptured.
On the following day when she asked for medication to assist a miscarriage, she said she told Mrs Halappanavar that the Irish legal position did not allow her to carry out a termination at that time, as there was no risk to her life or health.
If that’s true it’s an absolute outrage, because there was great risk to her life and health. Her cervix was found to be dilated on Sunday morning, and on Tuesday an obstetrician told her there was no risk to her life or health. That is frightening.
When her condition deteriorated the following day, Dr Astbury said she had formed the view that there might be no option but to consider a delivery, regardless of the foetal heartbeat.
They waited until she got much worse and then they started thinking there might be no option but to consider an abortion.
Don’t go thinking it’s just Ireland though. I know I keep saying that, but it’s under the radar. It’s the US too. Here it’s against the law, but the law isn’t enforced. Catholic hospitals are allowed to make their own laws. This comment from yesterday on As no threat to Savita’s life illustrates that.
I can attest that termination is not a standard of care I received, even when requested, during a protracted miscarriage. When my water broke on a Friday night at 16weeks and I started bleeding heavily, I went to the ER. No hope for the fetus. I requested termination, and they said they couldn’t because it still had a heartbeat. (30beats per minute. C’mon!). They kept me overnight, sent me home in the morning with a dead fetus inside me with instruction to call my OB on Monday to schedule a D&E at some outpatient surgery center. The next day, Sunday, I delivered a boy without warning. Cut the cord, wrapped him in a cloth diaper and put him in a child’s shoebox. Back to the ER where I eventually had a D&C to remove the very stubborn placenta. Baby Boy was buried in a mass grave.
So, all that to say, I had 2.5 days of slow-motion second trimester miscarriage in which I requested a termination, was denied, was told they could not even perform the D&E after the fetus had died (I can’t remember why…) and some seriously traumatizing moments. I did not get an infection, fortunately. This was in Austin, where even the public hospital is run by the Catholics…
This should not be allowed. Not in Ireland, not in the US, not anywhere.