It’s time to abort the Catholic Church


Bloody butchers and pious toads who mask their medieval ignorance with a pretense of charity and care; it’s long past time to end the illusion and recognize the barbarism of the church. Shut ‘em down.

The latest victim in over a millennium of Catholic abuse is Savita Halappanavar, a young woman who was 17 weeks pregnant when her condition began to deteriorate. She went to a Catholic hospital, a fatal mistake.

…she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.

This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.

She spent a further 2½ days “in agony” until the foetal heartbeat stopped.

She was clearly miscarrying, she was fully dilated and leaking amniotic fluid, and it was obvious to all, including the doctors at the hospital, that this pregnancy was doomed — there was no hope for the fetus at all. Yet they refused to do the one simple, ethical procedure that would have saved Halappanavar’s life.

Because of a simple-minded, naive, stupid attachment to the magical power of twitching cardiac muscle fibers. Because dogma and superstition stayed their hands.

Because it was a fucking Catholic hospital in a Catholic country.

Because doctors had been indoctrinated since childhood in lies that were shown to be false during their medical training, but which they could not overcome; because hospital administrators put their faith above their obligation to serve patients; because lawmakers in that country shied away from learning how their policies killed women; because a mob of celibate old puppetmasters don’t give a damn about anything other than their theology and will happily sacrifice human beings on the altar of their vile and backward religion.

The end result: a septicemic infection swept through the gaping wound of Halappanavar’s cervix, killing her, after days of agony. The pope and his bishops, and the faithful Catholics in that hospital, killed her as surely as if they’d taken a scalpel to her throat — which would have been a more merciful death than the misery they put her through.

Monsters, every one of them.

Seriously, shut them down. There is no acceptable reason that any hospital in any country should be shackled by the antiquated beliefs of Catholicism. Catholics should no more be permitted to manage hospitals than Jehovah’s Witnesses are permitted to regulate blood transfusions. We are talking about simple, routine procedures that could save lives that are disallowed by a church. What are they doing in the surgery in the first place?

The Catholic bishops have a rationalization.

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.

Jebus, what blithering tripe, what pious inanities. This is only the latest atrocity. Fuck the Catholic church. Empty every pew, loot every coffer, disband every level of the hierarchy, take all their property and turn it over to secular authorities to be managed ethically and rationally.

And if you’re still attending church…what the hell is wrong with you?

Comments

  1. psychodigger says

    I turned my back on the Catholic church many years ago, but (repeated) stories like this really make me want to turn around again an punch it squarely in the face. How can these sanctimonious twats even stand the reflection of their own horrible mugs in the mirror every morning?

  2. docslacker says

    It wait didn’t happen just be because the poor womn went to a Catholic hospital, but because she had the misfortune to be pregnant in a Catholic country. THIS IS WHAT A THEOCRACY GETS YOU! She wasn’t catholic yet the rules of that religion were imposed to her. The heartbeat of a dying foetus was more important than the life of a woman. Ireland, rise up and get rid of these laws, of the influence of this decrepit body of prudish old men. It started with the reports of abuse in schools and orphanages, now finish it up.

  3. ednaz says

    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.

    These assholes can’t even get their stories straight. Aren’t we supposed to get new “bodies” in heaven with no pain or frailties?

    Fucking monsters.

  4. says

    This is heartbreaking. How could no one in that hospital do their fucking job?! That woman was dying. She was in agony, and they did NOTHING.

    This is torture. This is pure evil. How can people still honestly say the Catholic Church is a good thing?

  5. peterh says

    In which we find once again the clergy (all clergy) don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. And innocent people suffer thereby.

  6. says

    Haven’t we all been asking that for years? This is just ONE CASE, one human being…but think of all the children raped, the AIDS cases spread by their refusal to allow contraceptives, the people kept in poverty because the church considers it holy (for others, not themselves), the women whose careers and happiness have been compromised because of the church’s obscene attitudes towards abortion, and it goes on and on.

  7. toro says

    Horrifying, sickening.

    Remember the excommunication of Margaret McBride?

    I had a hard time believing that story, and I have even more difficulty believing this tragedy.

    “Catholic News Service, Dec-9-2011: “Sister Margaret ‘met the requirements for reinstatement with the church and she is no longer excommunicated. She continues to be a member in good standing with the Sisters of Mercy and is a valued member of the St. Joseph’s executive team.’ ”

    Oh, Margaret – you had the golden opportunity to get out and stay out of this evil cult.

  8. JohnnieCanuck says

    She’s far from the first to die at their hands.

    She probably won’t be the last, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be trying our best to make her the last.

    Perhaps if the doctors involved and the administrators of the hospital were held criminally responsible for her death and sent to jail, things would change.

    It would be nice to see the Bishops who are responsible for this policy included as well. They as much as admit their guilt.

  9. dancaban says

    Just read this on the BBC website. It seems Irish politicians have swept the abortion issue under the carpet for years because women could come here to the UK for their abortion. Equal opprobrium for those do nothings methinks.

  10. ImaginesABeach says

    It doesn’t change anything, but it does not appear that the hospital is a Catholic hospital. The article says “this is a Catholic country” and doesn’t say anything about University Hospital Galway, and the hospital’s website doesn’t seem to say it’s a Catholic hospital (although I suppose that could be something that is just taken for granted)? Regardless, another woman has died for someone else’s religion.

  11. says

    Pro life?
    Fucking bastards.
    The woman is dead. She died in pain and agony. Her husband and her family are mourning her. Where’s the “life” those people are in favour of? It’s gone, over and gone because they wouldn’t save her life with a simple medical procedure.
    Makes me shake with rage.
    Hello, people telling me they do so much good because they make people donate 4 billion $ for the poor?
    STFU
    Hello people telling me we should just respectfully work with them towards common goals?
    STFU

  12. Bob Dowling says

    What’s the Irish equivalent of the UK’s General Medical Council? Surely the doctors should be struck off at least.

  13. grumpyoldfart says

    Nothing will change. In a hundred years from now the same hospitals will be making the same decisions.
    `

    Maybe if the flock got up off their knees and withheld their tithes until the changes were made … but we all know that will never happen.

  14. unbound says

    Absolutely horrifying, and absolutely consistent by the catholic hierarchy. The fetus is all the matters, the female is nothing more than a vessel for the fetus. No guilt for the catholic hierarchy as usual…

  15. says

    The ultimate joke? She isn’t eligible for “Catholic Heaven”.

    Remember. Hindus don’t get to go to heaven… Not unless they recant.

  16. gworroll says

    The pedophilia scandals seem to have shaken the hold of the Catholic Church on Ireland a bit.

    The hold isn’t lying on the ground shattered for eternity like it should be, but at least it’s looser than it once was. I’ve seen the abortion issue and gay rights start working their way in to drive the wedge further lately.

    Progress. Too slow, but progress nonetheless. Hopefully the day soon comes when the Catholic Church(among others) becomes little more than a philosophy club and stops trying to force their ways on everyone else. As old as people get in my family, I might actually stand a chance of seeing that day.

  17. hexidecima says

    “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.”

    AKA, we make up when and where our god wants free will and then we decide that women aren’t worthy of this god.

    If bodies are “sacred”, this god sure descrates them at will.

  18. says

    @JohnnieCanuck

    Perhaps if the doctors involved and the administrators of the hospital were held criminally responsible for her death and sent to jail, things would change.

    But, but, but RELIGIOUS FREEDOM!!!11!!!

    Look at the epic hissy fit the bishops had because women can now get birth control without a co-pay, and just imagine the shrieking if we tried to stop them from letting women die. Gosh, you’d be impinging on their religious freedom, which is obviously an evil far worse than the torture and death of mere women.

    It’s getting harder and harder not to spit at clergy.

  19. Freodin says

    I don’t know enough about the medical situation involved to say anything about how her death was directly related to the refusal of a termination of pregnancy, so I would refrain from accusing these people of murder (or manslaughter or whatever appropriate judicial term).

    But even if this poor woman had survived and recovered fully… for keeping her in torture for three days alone these creeps should be sued into poverty!

  20. sonofrojblake says

    It’s appalling that these theocratic dictatorships still exist in the modern world. Oh, hang on… it’s not a dictatorship, it’s a democracy. With elections and stuff. We like democracies and the rule of law, don’t we? And by the law of that democracy, passed not by priests but by elected politicians, none of the medical staff did anything illegal – indeed, if they’d done the abortion they’d have broken the secular law of that country.

    Until a majority of the population of that country get out from under the Catholic church, good luck getting that law changed. It’s just a shame this woman didn’t have the opportunity to do what most women in that country do, and use the national health service of the civilised country next door…

  21. says

    For Christians, our bodies are not our own to do with them what we will.

    Then why even have hospitals in the first place? Surely, by this standard, any medical intervention is a refusal to accept the will of god.
    But, of course, that might impact the lives of people who aren’t women. Can’t have that.

  22. Nepenthe says

    And by the law of that democracy, passed not by priests but by elected politicians, none of the medical staff did anything illegal – indeed, if they’d done the abortion they’d have broken the secular law of that country.

    This isn’t even true. Since 1992 there’s been a “life of the mother” exception to the abortion ban. If there was ever a time when that criterion was fulfilled, this is it.

    (Side note, apparently there was also a referendum on whether women could legally travel outside Ireland to obtain an abortion. Yes, travel restrictions on women put up to a vote a mere ten years ago. Sadly, since Halappanavar was actively dying, she was unable to travel to a civilized country to have decent medical care.)

  23. rq says

    Freodin, I’m not too strong on my medical background, but body miscarrying = blood/dead tissues in body, which, if not removed = septicemia, which = a very deadly condition indeed. And to leave tissues festering inside someone for days? Hello? Not directly linked to her death?
    It’s why the cut gangrenous limbs off, if it goes too far, and not just at the wrist where the wound is, but at the elbow, because the infection could have already spread that far.
    It’s why they should have removed the dying tissue from her body immediately (if you have necrotizing fasciitis, for instance, you think the doctor would tell you to wait it out a few days because your arm is still technically alive?).
    Please don’t call this not-murder, unless you’re going for manslaughter. And still, if the doctors (they’re doctors) could see where this was going, and I have no doubt that they must have had some small idea, they should have done everything possible to save her life, because isn’t that the point of medicine?
    But no. Fetal heartbeat. And now you have another dead woman whose doctors forgot all about the hippocratic oath.

    Yeah. Not murder?
    My.
    Ass.

  24. anteprepro says

    So, basically, “We let her die because we Catholics believe that humans are slaves who don’t have a right to control our own bodies, and yet have a right to impose that standard on others who don’t believe like that, and that this is completely innocuous, noble, harmless belief, even when we are talking about how we just killed a woman.”

    The Catholics sure have a funny way of saying “I’m sorry”.

  25. Beatrice says

    Disgusting.

    Doctors that refused to induce abortion until the fetus was dead, after more then two days of agony for the woman, should have their licenses taken away.

  26. drdale says

    … 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.

    Then why the fuck should there even be a hospital? Do they never do surgery, inject something into a body? How is this any different? It is still mutilation of a human body.

  27. says

    Really horrible. I just read it on the BBC (link here), itself an overly pro-catholic organisation.

    Was Savita even a member of that sordid church? Why should that creepy deathcult be allowed to force itself into the secular realm? Fucking catlick taliban.

  28. anteprepro says

    Why do Catholics have hospitals if they think that we can’t do what we want with our bodies? I think it is pretty obvious: We don’t have control over bodies in cases where the priests God would disapprove. When the priests God does approve of how we treat the bodies that he is renting to us, then everything is just fine and dandy. What are the things that God approves or disapproves of? Well, the faithful know it when they see it.

  29. ChasCPeterson says

    Bloody butchers and pious toads who mask their medieval ignorance with a pretense of charity and care; it’s long past time to end the illusion and recognize the barbarism of the church.

    The implied insult to toads is totally uncalled for.

  30. dianne says

    I don’t know enough about the medical situation involved to say anything about how her death was directly related to the refusal of a termination of pregnancy, so I would refrain from accusing these people of murder (or manslaughter or whatever appropriate judicial term).

    I do. This outcome was 100% predictable. The doctors knew when she came in that the fetus had no chance whatsoever of surviving to term. They also knew that the sterile space had been breached and bacteria were entering. They also knew-if they didn’t sleep through medical school AND residency entirely-that dead and dying tissue is a wonderful culture medium and that you can’t cure the infection without removing the source. They only even started her on antibiotics midway through the whole event. They should at least have had her on antibiotics to give her body a chance to keep up with the raging infection that was destroying it.

    At the very, very least, this is what should be career ending malpractice for everyone involved. Even if they weren’t willing to do the termination, she should have been on antibiotics from the very beginning, should have been in the ICU from the start, should have had MUCH closer monitoring so that they could do the termination the second the fetal heartbeat stopped.

    If it were me, I’d just lie. Document that the fetal heart tones were nil whether they were or not. Lying less of a sin than murder, right? But if they weren’t willing to do that for whatever reason, they should at least have taken this seriously. I wonder how much racism, sexism, and anti-Hindu sentiment played into their decision to ignore a dying patient.

  31. joed says

    First words I taught my parrot, Cap’in Jack, was “Fuck The Pope”.
    Me grandmother said she did not vote for JFK because the Pope would be running the country if JFK won. This was a great lesson.
    Goddamn, when is human race gonna’ grow up and start using its brain.

  32. DaveL says

    This isn’t even true. Since 1992 there’s been a “life of the mother” exception to the abortion ban. If there was ever a time when that criterion was fulfilled, this is it.

    Which reveals the inadequacy of such exceptions. It is a monstrous thing to wait until a woman goes septic before you’ll allow an abortion, out of fear that some sluts might otherwise go unpunished.

  33. kevinalexander says

    What’s wrong with you people?

    Don’t you understand that that woman’s suffering was a precious gift from JESUS?

    Don’t you get that the hospital staff gathered ’round her bed to bask in the glory of HIS GLORIOUS MIRACLE!!??

    Right now that woman (but not her unshriven baby) is at the right had of her CREATOR

    Unless, of course, in her agony she forgot to ask a merciful God for forgiveness for her sluttish ways in which case her torment will go on forever to the delight of the staff at the hospital.

  34. says

    anteprepro:

    The Catholics sure have a funny way of saying “I’m sorry”.

    They’re not sorry. They’re not even pretending to be sorry. It’s truly grotesque.

    drdale:

    It is still mutilation of a human body.

    No no no. You’ve got it all wrong. It’s a woman’s body. Not “human,” and therefore not deserving of life. Only men and fetal tissue are properly classified as human.

  35. dianne says

    It is a monstrous thing to wait until a woman goes septic before you’ll allow an abortion,

    She was septic for at least a day before they did the abortion. Not that I disagree with your sentiment, of course.

  36. Vicki says

    So, bodies are “sacred” and “temples of the holy spirit” and therefore the doctors insisted that this woman—this woman’s body—must not get the treatment she needed?! Bodies are “sacred,” and therefore must be destroyed by bacteria, when they could be saved by medical treatment?

  37. anteprepro says

    Me grandmother said she did not vote for JFK because the Pope would be running the country if JFK won.

    When a highly religious Protestant is in office, are there many people lamenting that the President’s pastor is the one really running the country? Is a theocratic Protestant less theocratic than a Catholic because their religion doesn’t have a figurehead? I think that the double standards on this one are pretty damn clear. But seeing as how the complaint comes from a heavily Protestant country, that should be unsurprising.

    Only men and fetal tissue are properly classified as human.

    Also: men or non-pregnant women in vegetative states.
    (And, on rare occasion, those women that are not like those OTHER women and who are permitted by the wise male authorities to be exceptions to the rules that the rest of those inferior, amoral creatures are held to. Usually granted to women who vote Republican hard enough)

  38. birgerjohansson says

    Being a Scandinavian, I would recommend a more pragmatic, viking-style approach to churches and cathedrals full of silver. The Vatican? Lots of nice, burnable wood and textiles (after I get first dibs on the expensive books and paintings).

  39. anteprepro says

    So, bodies are “sacred” and “temples of the holy spirit” and therefore the doctors insisted that this woman—this woman’s body—must not get the treatment she needed?! Bodies are “sacred,” and therefore must be destroyed by bacteria, when they could be saved by medical treatment?

    Catholics: “Our bodies are temples. And seriously, fuck temples.”

  40. says

    Would the woman’s family have a case under Irish law for negligent homicide, or a civil case for wrongful death? Can the medical staff involved be thrown out of practice for failing to uphold the Hippocratic Oath?

  41. dianne says

    Lots of nice, burnable wood and textiles

    That would be a waste and produce greenhouse gasses. What’s wrong with seizing them for unpaid back taxes, selling it off, and donating the proceeds to help treat HIV in Africa (where many people were infected due to Catholic propaganda), provide help for women who were denied abortion and therefore live in poverty or have mental health problems due to having their babies kidnapped at birth, and compensate children who were raped by priests?

  42. dianne says

    Would the woman’s family have a case under Irish law for negligent homicide, or a civil case for wrongful death?

    Since it’s illegal to perform an abortion on a living fetus in Ireland, probably not. They probably do have a case for malpractice if they can demonstrate that there was delay in treating the sepsis (which, if the article is correct, there was.)

    Normally I would be sympathetic to the medical personnel in this case: they are caught in a double bind situation where they either have to watch a patient die or break the law. But it doesn’t look to me like they tried their best given the circumstances. The doctors in AZ did better–though admittedly they had more backup and fewer legal issues.

  43. Amphiox says

    Re rq and others;

    At the time she was refused the abortion, when there were still fetal heart tones, she was not septicemic and her life was not in imminent danger. Sure there was an increased risk of septicemia from waiting, but it was not certain. I would imagine that once septicemia did set in, she was put on antibiotics, but sometimes that just doesn’t work. Sometimes if you wait until there is imminent danger it is too late.

    That’s why these life-of-the-woman exceptions are actually close to useless. The medical intervention often needs to be made before one gets to that point.

  44. Ichthyic says

    But seeing as how the complaint comes from a heavily Protestant country, that should be unsurprising.

    wait, what?

    are you saying what I think you’re saying here? that you think this person’s complaints about the catholic church are because they are PROTESTANT?

    please, tell me you didn’t say that.

  45. Ichthyic says

    Sure there was an increased risk of septicemia from waiting, but it was not certain.

    in a statistical sense, you mean?

    because I’d be betting the chances were really quite high.

    certainly high enough not to risk it.

  46. says

    @dianne #54 – Ah, I didn’t realize that abortion was still illegal in any first world countries.

    In that case, I would petition the government itself and accuse them of murder: their laws did, after all, condemn an innocent woman to death without due process.

  47. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    @26 … At 17 weeks the fetus had zero chance of surviving a C-section or induced labor. Amniotic fluid was leaking out, and the chances of keeping infection at bay until the fetus reached 24 weeks is basically zero.

    The medically best procedure for this situation is to do an immediate D&C (yes, this will destroy the fetus**, but it’s doomed anyway) and start administering antibiotics and pitocin. Save the woman, try to save her ability to get pregnant again, get her through the experience as humanely as possible.

    ** The pathology lab photos of fetal remains after cases like this are probably the source of the gory photos waved around by the shock jocks of the “pro-life” forces.

    *** We sent the remains to a local funeral home for cremation, or returned them to the parents for burial.

  48. Ichthyic says

    @dianne #54 – Ah, I didn’t realize that abortion was still illegal in any first world countries.

    interestingly enough, it’s technically illegal here in New Zealand as well.

    yet, EVERYONE from the top of government on down realizes the law is just salad dressing (why it’s even there is another point of contention), and getting an abortion here is quick, painless, available at hospitals and medical clinics, and covered under national health care.

    Ireland could learn from New Zealand.

  49. Amethyst Starling says

    Unfortunately, none of this surprises me. They are a horrid institution, who look out only for themselves. It truly is disgusting. I can add another item to the list that includes AIDS, abuse, death, etc., that the Catholic church repeatedly fails on. A few days ago, my parents, who have not attended Catholic church regularly for about ten years (my dad never went, and my mom now only goes for weddings), received a letter from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia asking for money because they need it. It actually said to help them out after all of the help the Catholic church has done for my parents and their family. I wish people would open their eyes to see this horrible institution for what it truly is. You are expected to tithe, (my old grade school even gave out church collection envelopes to kids, because we were expected to tithe our allowance), even if you are dirt poor, because somehow it will come back to you. Keep giving them money so the priests can buy the Cadillacs and Lincolns (I’m not kidding, my grade school priests all that these, Cadillac being the most prominent), and vacation houses on the Jersey Shore (I know this because I went to one of their houses down there for a school activity). The Catholic church (as is all churches) the epitome of the “Seven Deadly Sins”.

  50. Amphiox says

    @52;

    The Hippocratic Oath is historic only. Modern physicians do not take it. Instead they take modernized oaths that are based on the Hippocratic one but are unique to individual jurisdictions. Since Ireland has always outlawed abortions the local oath probably has something that covers it. They may even be required to swear NOT to perform abortions.

    (The original Hippocratic Oath, for example, included swearing never to take a knife to your patient, ie never to do surgery.)

  51. says

    Remember how this really wasn’t even an abortion at all when roughly the same happened to Karen Santorum (and I’m glad she could have that procedure which her husband would like to make illegal for other women)

    Also, Ireland has already been reprimanded by the ECHR. The government is “awaiting” the report.

    It also shows why “health and life of the mother exceptions” don’t work. Clearly her life wasn’t in danger enough right up until she died.

  52. borax says

    I was going to try and write something snarky and a little scathing about the catholic church. Couldn’t do it. There is nothing funny about this. So I’ll just say fuck you to the evil, women hating, child rapist protecting, bringing misery to the world catholic church.

  53. says

    Iris:

    If that’s the case, why the fuck are these monsters running hospitals?

    Money.

    Following this train of thought: Can we assume thar it is more profitable to let a woman die of a preventable infection than to perform an abortion?

    I may be exceptionally cynical, but somehow this way of thinking doesn’t surprise me.

  54. Ichthyic says

    Clearly her life wasn’t in danger enough right up until she died.

    I’d argue that wasn’t the case at all (she was in fact, very much at risk), but that it doesn’t affect the invalidity of exception rules all the same.

  55. Amphiox says

    re 57;

    Absolutely high enough to be medically indicated, but not high enough to be covered by an “imminent threat to life” legal exemption most likely. So the physicians involved would be stuck between fulfilling their professional obligation and breaking the law of the land.

  56. says

    Gregry

    Ah, I didn’t realize that abortion was still illegal in any first world countries.

    Technically it’s still illegal in Germany unless it’s rape, health or life of the mother or “socio-psychological” (which is actually the exception used for terminating pregnancies with gross malformations). In all other cases I could get an illegal but not prosecuted one if I undergo mandatory counselling and am no further along than 12 weeks from fertilization (14 weeks in normal counting)

  57. Ichthyic says

    Absolutely high enough to be medically indicated, but not high enough to be covered by an “imminent threat to life” legal exemption most likely.

    but you don’t know.

    so don’t even imply it.

    seriously.

  58. steve84 says

    This is also a failure of the politicians. Both Irish and European courts have ruled that women have the right to an abortion if their live is in danger. This has been the case since the 90s. But politicians have refused to change the law so far.

  59. Ichthyic says

    *watches Tim Minchin video for 5th time in a row*

    I feel a bit less like strangling someone of the catholic persuasion now.

    thanks Tim!

  60. steve84 says

    This article explains some of the legal background:
    http://www.michaelnugent.com/2012/11/14/tragedy-shame-and-outrage-as-pregnant-savita-dies-in-irish-hospital-because-of-catholic-dogma-and-political-cowardice/

    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.

    [Two years ago] 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.

  61. Amphiox says

    Another thing to remember about the uselessness (and dishonesty) of “threat to life” exceptions is that it is easy to define “imminent” legally in such a restrictive way as to render the exception meaningless. This is a favorite tactic of US anti-abortion politicians. They go on the stump saying they are ok with it if the woman’s life is in danger and get to sound oh so much more reasonable than the Todd Akins and Rick Mourdocks (who ironically basically tried to say exactly this), but in practice it amounts to a blanket ban on all abortions all the time.

    (Not to mention wording the statutes in such away as to terrorize physicians away from performing abortions even when they would be allowed for fear of legal harassment)

  62. Ichthyic says

    it is easy to define “imminent” legally in such a restrictive way as to render the exception meaningless.

    exactly.

    which is why it isn’t worth getting into the game of trying to predict it from an outside perspective.

    we shouldn’t play that game, just focus on exactly what you said right here, which means that the exception clauses should be removed.

    then the anti-abortion laws will follow suit.

  63. pedron says

    PZ, I think you need to stop pussy-footing around and just say what you really think.

    I for one am confused as to whether you are sympathetic to the Catholic church on this issue…

  64. morgandowney says

    @21 @28

    You don’t know what you’re talking about – teh general Irish population and political system have long been seperated from the Catholic Church – which started happening long before the recent child abuse scandals. Also there are a lot more openly gay elected officials here than in the US for example. So stop guessing and applying your preconceived notions

    The issue in this case was not that there was a lack of legal mechanism for the procedure to take place – the problem is that whether to use that mechanism is down to the clinician involved – in another hospital or at another time the procedure would have happened. That is something that really annoys me – there was no “appeal” mechanism. In my view the doctor invovled should be taken to the medical standards board for placing their religious belief ahead of the best medical decision.

    Having said that – I would prefer a proper right of choice here rather than the exception clause that is here now. The problem is that – even with a right to choose – it is questionable whether this doctor would have performed the procedure.

  65. says

    Did you see this part in the article, via a representative from an anti-abortion group:

    “Ireland’s laws protecting unborn babies do not pose a threat to women’s lives, according to the obstetricians and gynaecologists who care for women every day,”

    Tell that to Mr. Halappanavar, assholes.

  66. Sastra says

    “This is our faith and this is what distinguishes us from those who do not share our faith.”

    Awwwww… it’s a person of faith. Isn’t that sweet? Let us tip-toe and not wake the dear thing up.

    People (like Stedman) who think that we ought to focus our criticism only on the religious people and ideas which are bad and praise or forgive the religious people and ideas which are good need to read and re-read this little statement of immunity and consider the implications it has for what is “good” and “bad” — and who determines it.

    When the pious make some moral judgment and explain “This is our faith and this is what distinguishes us from those who do not share our faith” we need to be able to respond with a loud and clear “Shame on you.” Shame on them for using “faith” to make a judgment regardless of whether the judgment also happens to make sense on a secular level. Making sense on a secular level alone ought to be the standard — not this mewling attempt at tribalistic othering and childish call for immunity.

    As Ophelia Benson puts it, “you believe implausible things for epistemically dubious reasons.” You do not get to sound like you’re bragging.

  67. gussnarp says

    I wish we could prosecute them all the way up the chain of command to the Pope.

    Actually, the “twitching cardiac muscle” gives me an idea. Let’s take the Pope, cut out his heart, set it on a table before all the Bishops and ask them if the Pope is dead, or if he’s still alive until the heart stops beating.

    Oh wait, we’re not monsters like they are who let people die over a quirk of biology, so never mind.

  68. Freodin says

    @59 Tsu Dho Nimh
    This is the kind of info I need to cure my lack of knowledge. Thank you!
    So these people knew what was at stake and knew what they had to do… but didn’t. Manslaughter by negligence at least, I would say.

    Murder is more difficult. You’d need to show intent for that.

    Or… german law includes “base motives” in the definition of “murder”. You think that “religious superstition” would count as a base motive?

  69. sireccles says

    I’d just like to say that I think it’s generally not the medical staff, it’s the managers.

    I had the chance to experience St Josephs Hospital in Phoenix (now part of Dignity Health instead of Catholic Healthcare West) earlier this year when my wife gave birth there. I have nothing but the highest of praise for the midwives, nurses and other medical staff who work there. The work they do is of the highest order.

    The billing department on the other hand…

  70. opposablethumbs says

    Just read the relatively brief BBC account. A woman deliberately allowed to die, surrounded by people who only had to lift a hand to save her, a family bereft.

    That’s what happens to us when the theocrats have their way, when government does nothing – or doesn’t want to – and when medical professionals either believe the crap themselves or are bullied into putting church bullshit before their patient’s life.

    I hope they are prosecuted, that the hospital is prosecuted, that the government is finally spurred to get off their arses and change the law. I wish with all my heart that Ireland and every other religion-dominated country in the world would demand a change in the law and chuck the fuckers out for good measure.

    I wish the pope and every last one of the catholic leaders from the cardinals to the bishops had septicaemia right fucking now. And couldn’t be treated, because it’s not their body but belongs to their nasty vindictive fucked-up shithead of a “god”.

  71. pipenta says

    Saw this article and it just hurt.

    This shows only one of the big problems with exceptional abortion (only in cases of rape, incest, risk of death… not like they give a shit about other damage to women’s health)

    The clock is ticking. It does not matter if the process is blocked by incompetence, red tape and paperwork, malice or whatever, by the time it is sorted out (assuming it ever gets sorted out) a woman has died, a 14 year old has carried to term. It’s bullshit, evil bullshit.

  72. says

    So have the doctors been arrested for murder yet?

    I know on house the doctors can just do whatever the hell they want regardless of policy or sanity, but in real life it is more complicated than that. A lot of things have to come together for a medical procedure, especially one that is complicated like a 2nd trimester termination. PZ is right to blame the policy imposed by the church and the church-based hospital, they ultimately control the access to resources and the availability of procedures. I am positive that the doctors are fucked up over this, and so are most people who witnessed this kind of shit. When you witness a system-caused gap in care that causes someone harm it is deeply, deeply disturbing to normal people.

  73. davidmcnerney says

    Couple of comments above blaming the doctors or the hospital.

    This isn’t the case though. A succession of Irish governments has failed to legislate on abortion in the special conditions described in the Irish constitution, as interpreted by the Irish supreme court and as verified the European Court of Human Rights.

    The doctors have no legislation to tell them what’s legal and what’s not (and they aren’t constitutional lawyers to be fair to them). As usual it’s the cowardice of politicians that killed that poor woman.

    (Of course, whoever said “this is a Catholic country” is an arsehole.)

    Interestingly, the most common Pro-Life defence used in Ireland is the ‘No one has ever been denied treatment…’ – well they can piss off now.

  74. obscurefox says

    They were not even refusing to save her based on saving her soul or the babys as both would have not been catholic, anyway they actually killed her because they probably didn’t want to have their imaginary friend upset with them for going against his supposed rules.

  75. says

    Or… german law includes “base motives” in the definition of “murder”. You think that “religious superstition” would count as a base motive?

    Actually, German law also allows for murder prosecution if you were just very reckless with the other person’s life, knowing that death was a possibility.

    sirecless

    I’d just like to say that I think it’s generally not the medical staff, it’s the managers.

    Fuck that shit, it was the medical staff that let her die. You might have noticed a tiny little difference between your wife and Ms. Halappanavar, which is that your wife gave birth, apparently healthily while the other poor woman needed an abortion and was left to die. The fact that they don’t kick all puppies doesn’t make them good people.

  76. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    sonofrojblake:

    And by the law of that democracy, passed not by priests but by elected politicians, none of the medical staff did anything illegal – indeed, if they’d done the abortion they’d have broken the secular law of that country.

    That old canard?
    I don’t care if it’s considered legal.
    The actions of the Catholic Church are inhumane and monstrous. That they get to hide behind the law…that they get to exercise their privilege behind the shield of the law and have done so for millenia is sickening.
    This poor woman didn’t have to die. She shouldn’t have died. The Catholic Church is 100% to blame. It should be illegal.

  77. says

    Couple of comments above blaming the doctors or the hospital.

    This isn’t the case though. A succession of Irish governments has failed to legislate on abortion in the special conditions described in the Irish constitution, as interpreted by the Irish supreme court and as verified the European Court of Human Rights.

    The doctors have no legislation to tell them what’s legal and what’s not (and they aren’t constitutional lawyers to be fair to them). As usual it’s the cowardice of politicians that killed that poor woman.

    You see the contradiction between those two passages?
    They might not have had a concrete law yet they had several courtcases on their side.
    They were at least fucking cowards who didn’t say “let’s safe her life and argue later”

  78. Mr. Fire says

    From the navel-gazing Catholic blog that PZ linked to up there comes this fuckheaded concern troll’s comment:

    What happened in Galway is very sad. I hope it can be discussed and doctors can figure out how it can be prevented from happening again

    […]

    But a Catholic and a person who believes it is wrong to directly take a human life needs to be careful. There are groups in Ireland using sad cases like this to push for what they really want: Abortion on request, at any stage in the pregnancy, for whatever reason.

    “I just can’t let it go! I need to stand atop this woman’s corpse and get in the last word!”

  79. Red-Green in Blue says

    @ Ichthyic #73: My sentiments entirely. However, that song is specifically about the child abuse scandals; I think it’s time he did a second one focusing on abortion. And then perhaps a third on contraception and AIDS, and then…

    Who knows, if the Catholic Church has somehow failed to collapse under the weight of its own evil hypocrisy by the time Tim Minchin has penned enough songs, at least we’ll have the material for a charity album to help its many victims? :-/

  80. steve84 says

    Doing the abortion wasn’t strictly illegal. Just in a very, very grey zone. They could have done and pointed to both the national Supreme Court decision and European law to defend themselves. But of course they were moral cowards and killed someone to cover their own asses.

  81. Matt Penfold says

    What would have happened to the medical staff had they performed a termination ?

    Almost certainly nothing. The Irish constitution allows for abortion in cases where the woman’s life is at risk. Is an Irish prosecutor really going to want to charge doctors in such a situation ? Even if they did the chances of a conviction would be very small, and would be ruled unlawful by the EHCR in due course.

    Yes, they would have been putting themselves in a difficult position, but sometimes that is what people have to do. At the very least the staff were guilty of moral cowardice.

  82. says

    The doctors have no legislation to tell them what’s legal and what’s not (and they aren’t constitutional lawyers to be fair to them). As usual it’s the cowardice of politicians that killed that poor woman.

    So what you think that doctors only get guidelines for practice from the law? That isn’t how it works at all. I guarantee you that the hospital has care protocols in place that are decided by facility or network, and that deviating from them has serious consequences for staff. This is almost always a good thing because it means your doctor has to justify their treatment of you as a patient in light of expert opinion on what produces the best outcome for your specific condition. It only becomes a bad thing when some crazy bullshit like religion gets thrown in as a consideration.

    People saying this kind of thing have no idea what has to happen to perform a surgical procedure to begin with. You have to alert and involve all kinds of people (the lab, the pharmacy, the blood bank, recovery room, scheduling, payroll, etc), get all kinds of legal documentation, secure the equipment and venue, prepare for possible emergencies (like blood loss), etc etc. You can’t just decide to do a surgery, policy be damned! Do you really think that any management who got wind of this shit would let the doctor stay in the building for long, or that it would even be possible to assemble a care team under such circumstances? The problem here is absolutely with the system in place rather than the individuals trying to practice medicine within it.

  83. Emrysmyrddin says

    I’ve been alternately raging and sobbing over this all day. If she’d been well enough for a short hop over on the ferry this woman would be alive now. Monsters. Murdering fucking monsters.

  84. Emrysmyrddin says

    I just can’t imagine the agony she must have been, the fear and helplessness, unable to move as something was dying inside of her and some fucking coward kept towering over her for days, checking and re-checking she-the-vessel for a fucking muscle twitch, all while metaphorically patting her on the head and saying, ‘There there, dearie, you’re in Catholic hands now’. Utter fucking terror. I just can’t do it. It’s so utterly horrifying.

  85. says

    “Empty every pew, loot every coffer, disband every level of the hierarchy, take all their property and turn it over to secular authorities to be managed ethically and rationally.”

    Just what exactly are you advocating here? That kind of language unnerves me, though not nearly as much as what was done to that poor woman.

  86. strange gods before me ॐ says

    nathan, perhaps he speaks to individuals who are not bound by the free exercise clause.

  87. says

    What would have happened to the medical staff had they performed a termination ?

    Almost certainly nothing.

    look, they would either have to be up front about the procedure they were planning (documented in a million places) and be stopped by the hospital (physically by security if needed), or they would have to defraud the hospital by pretending to do a different procedure (something that is risky as hell for patients because care providers cannot accurately verify what they are doing and why against documentation).

  88. mudpuddles says

    As someone who has worked at Galway University Hospitals, I feel I have to reinforce a point raised by ImaginesaBeach (comment #11):

    University Hospital Galway is not a “Catholic hospital”, in that it is not run or owned by a Catholic Order or any wing of the Catholic (or any other) church. It is managed, along with several other hospitals in the region, by a management team put in place by the Health Services Executive.

    Current guidance to Irish hospitals is that, while abortion to save the life of the mother (as a procedure) is not explicitly allowed for under Statute law, neither is it illegal, and under the Irish Constitution a doctor performing an abortion in order to save the life of the mother could not reasonably be prosecuted. Following Savita Halappanavar’s death, the main issue being reported and debated here in Ireland right now is not about the role of Catholicism per se (at least not at this moment), rather it is about the fact that for some reason (which, granted may be religious) the medical teams at the hospital did not carry out the necessary and lawful procedure; and that despite the fact that the Irish Constitution implicitly allows for termination of pregnancy in the event that the mother’s life is at risk, the appropriate legislation that would make this explicit and unambiguous has not been enacted (something which the European court of Human Rights has castigated Ireland over since 2010). An initial report to the Minister for Health indicates that the reason for the refusal of the procedure was actually because of uncertainty about the law, and today he has stated that it needs to be clarified to medical practitioners that abortion in this circumstance is lawful. Whether he has the balls or brains to enact appropriate legislation remains to be seen (but considering recent displays of moral bankruptcy in his performance of other of his duties, I think not).

    My reading of it is that some unbelieveably stupid and incompassionate assholes let a woman die in agony instead of talking action they knew might help to save her life. Regardless of the legal situation, there is no excuse for taking that conscious decision to no act. That is only compounded by the fact that they did not bother – if they were really that worried about it – to investigate the legality of the necessary procedure through legal counsel.

    I have no doubt that the assholes in this case were probably swayed by Catholic teaching, but if so it was likely on a personal level – perhaps they felt it was wrong, or they believed one of their superiors would consider it wrong – and it was not a hospital policy. That being said, the hospital may have a “Catholic ethos”, but if so it does not seem to be explicit, and I have never come across it there.

  89. Matt Penfold says

    Reading the BBC report, it seems the hospital was University Hospital Galway, which is a state-run hospital, and not a Catholic one.

  90. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    theophontes:

    Was Savita even a member of that sordid church? Why should that creepy deathcult be allowed to force itself into the secular realm?

    Nope. She expressed that as well. She told them she was Hindu.

    ****
    kevinalexander:

    Don’t you understand that that woman’s suffering was a precious gift from JESUS?

    What do you think this is… Pharyngula by Mother Theresa?
    (yes, I know you’re not being serious)

    ****
    davidmcnerney @89:

    (Of course, whoever said “this is a Catholic country” is an arsehole.)

    from PZ’s link (emphasis added):

    “Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby could they induce to end the pregnancy. The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’.

    “Again on Tuesday morning, the ward rounds and the same discussion. The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita [a Hindu] said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.

    “That evening she developed shakes and shivering and she was vomiting. She went to use the toilet and she collapsed. There were big alarms and a doctor took bloods and started her on antibiotics.

    “The next morning I said she was so sick and asked again that they just end it, but they said they couldn’t.”

  91. davidmcnerney says

    @Skeptifem

    “People saying this kind of thing have no idea what has to happen to perform a surgical procedure to begin with.”

    It has to be legal. (I don’t think I’m disagreeing with you).

    The situation in Ireland is that we have a constitutional arrangement that protects the life of the mother (we don’t have anything like Roe vs Wade) – and doctors are unclear about what they can and cannot do.

    This is a country with a population 1/100 of the United States – cases like this don’t occur every day, there aren’t really precedents and the only real solution to that is for our government to legislate on it and clearly define the legal boundaries.

    Pro-Life groups for obvious reasons don’t want this – they’d prefer more women died than even the slightest crack was opened.

    But there is a continuous pressure to get this legislation from pro-choice groups – but it is falling on deaf (by choice) ears. This will not be fixed by the hospital or the medical board or anyone else except in our parliament.

  92. crowepps says

    “just imagine the shrieking if we tried to stop them from letting women die. “

    Their shrieking got a bill that would have specifically given them permission to let women die through the U.S. House:

    the bill contains a provision that would let hospitals that receive federal subsidies refuse to treat women seeking abortions, no matter the circumstances.”

    http://jezebel.com/5849839/house-passes-let-women-die-bill-after-extremely-depressing-debate

    The Senate refused to pass it.

  93. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I don’t give a flying fuck about medical personnel afraid of discipline as compared to letting a real live woman DIE. Moral cowardice is right. No one-no one?-on that staff could bring himself to do the right thing? Fuck that.

    Yes, the system needs to change. Big time. And no, the staff aren’t responsible for the predicament that is abortion in Ireland. But decent people goddamn well have a duty not to let someone die because they’re afraid they’ll have to answer to an inquiry later.

    Seriously—that I even have to state this? Why the hell aren’t more of you already there?

  94. unclefrogy says

    >>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 mother church will decide what god wants to be done with it!

    slavery anyone?

    uncle frogy

  95. says

    Excerpts from Salon’s coverage of this story:

    Joe Walsh [Republican Representative from Illinois], just days before Halappanavar died in agony in Ireland, was campaigning on the promise that “with modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” of pregnancy that puts a woman’s life at risk. Paul Ryan, who a little more than a week ago was a contender for the second highest office in our nation, supported the ironically named Protect Life Act to allow hospitals to deny even emergency abortions.

    This is what happens when a nation drags its concept of God into medical decisions. This is what happens when doctors are cruelly thwarted in doing the job of saving people. And that’s why if you ignore the health and safety of women and you call yourself “pro-life” you are nothing but a sad, sick joke. As Irish Parliament member Clare Daly ruefully pointed out this week, “An unviable fetus … was given priority over the woman’s life.”

  96. dianne says

    I didn’t realize that there was any ambiguity in Irish law that would allow the abortion to occur before the last cardiac muscle twitch stopped. I now have absolutely no sympathy for the medical personnel in this case. They clearly killed this woman deliberately. A few problems with their care, any one of which should get them sued for malpractice at the very least:

    1. They did perform an abortion on a pregnancy that was clearly non-viable and endangering the mother’s life.
    2. They did not start prophylactic antibiotics on a patient with PROM for more than 24 hours.
    3. They did not move a patient clearly in early sepsis to the ICU.
    4. They provided inadequate pain relief. Three days of agony in the hospital is not acceptable.
    5. They provided inadequate fetal monitoring. If they weren’t, for whatever reason, willing to do the abortion before the fetal heart rate stopped, they should have been ready to do it the instant that it (inevitably) did stop. That means monitoring and keeping an OR ready and having the patient prepped. Which she clearly wasn’t.

    This is just what I can figure out from one little article in the popular press. My guess is that there are at least a dozen or so more errors that would be revealed in a chart review. I hope the investigators go through it with diligence.

  97. carlie says

    An initial report to the Minister for Health indicates that the reason for the refusal of the procedure was actually because of uncertainty about the law, and today he has stated that it needs to be clarified to medical practitioners that abortion in this circumstance is lawful.

    Then that’s even worse. It wasn’t that they were afraid of eternal damnation if they did it, it was that they placed not breaking a law above saving someone’s life.

  98. dianne says

    they would either have to be up front about the procedure they were planning (documented in a million places) and be stopped by the hospital (physically by security if needed), or they would have to defraud the hospital by pretending to do a different procedure

    They had several options that might have served. They could have documented that the fetus was 100% doomed and the mother dying and said they were going to do the procedure per recommendations of the Irish and EU courts.

    Alternately, they could have lied. Very easily. Simply put a stethoscope to the patient’s abdomen, say, “Fetal heart tones not detected”, document that in the chart and go ahead with no further barriers.

    I don’t like lying, especially in medicine. And lying to the patient is always wrong. But there are worse sins in medicine. And letting a person die needlessly* is top among them.

    *Unless the patient with full knowledge of the consequences and competence refuses treatment. Then you’re just stuck.

  99. Matt Penfold says

    The claim they were uncertain about the law does not make such sense. If that were the case, why was no attempt made to get an emergency hearing before a judge ? There was time, as such things can be arranged in a matter of hours, in the middle of the night if necessary.

  100. mudpuddles says

    @ carlie, #113

    they placed not breaking a law above saving someone’s life.

    Yep, that and deference to the sick teachings of a vile, sadistic cult that loves to promote suffering.

    Like Josh (#109) says, moral cowardice.

  101. dianne says

    There was time, as such things can be arranged in a matter of hours, in the middle of the night if necessary.

    In the US at least these things can be arranged within minutes at 3 AM in the OR. They had days to get a ruling. I am moderately convinced that they were using the law as an excuse and, for whatever reason, sought to avoid saving this woman’s life by providing her with a life saving operation.

  102. davem says

    For Christians, our bodies are not our own to do with them what we will.

    So the point of a Catholic hospital is what, exactly? Looking at the BBC article listed above, and watching the Irish Prime Minister do his ‘sad face’ impression, while clearly intending to do nothing is fairly sickening. What’s the matter with these people?

    Hospitals. Fixing God’s mistakes for several hundred years.

  103. mudpuddles says

    @ Matt (#115)

    The claim they were uncertain about the law does not make such sense. If that were the case, why was no attempt made to get an emergency hearing before a judge ?

    As an Irishman I regret to say it Matt, but I have to acknowledge that right now there is a great deal about this country that does not make sense.

  104. sqlrob says

    People saying this kind of thing have no idea what has to happen to perform a surgical procedure to begin with.

    So how are emergencies handled then?

  105. Maureen Brian says

    Placing adherence to “the law” over saving a woman’s life is bad enough.

    Claiming to do so and then getting the law wrong / failing to ask someone who might know is gross malpractice – whatever the ensuing whitewash may come up with.

    As you would expect, Ireland has a Medical Council and this is what it says in its current guidance

    21 Abortion
    21.1 Abortion is illegal in Ireland except where there is a real and
    substantial risk to the life (as distinct from the health) of the
    mother. Under current legal precedent, this exception includes
    where there is a clear and substantial risk to the life of the mother
    arising from a threat of suicide. You should undertake a full assessment of any such risk in light of the clinical research on this issue.
    21.2 It is lawful to provide information in Ireland about abortions
    abroad, subject to strict conditions.
    4
    It is not lawful to encourage
    or advocate an abortion in individual cases.
    21.3 You have a duty to provide care, support and follow-up services
    for women who have an abortion abroad.
    21.4 In current obstetrical practice, rare complications can arise where
    therapeutic intervention (including termination of a pregnancy)
    is required at a stage when, due to extreme immaturity of the
    baby, there may be little or no hope of the baby surviving. In these
    exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to intervene to
    terminate the pregnancy to protect the life of the mother, while
    making every effort to preserve the life of the baby.

    At a University Hospital attached to a Medical School which claims to teach – oh! my! – Medical Ethics you’d expect someone to know where to find that manual.

    All of which leaves me wondering just how often this sort of thing happens with no-one daring to make a fuss.

  106. says

    For those people looking for reasons outside religion, the law, the uncertainty and so on fail to realize that it’s catholicism all the way down.
    Without catholicism the constitution wouldn’t be so fucked up, medical stuff wouldn’t put being a catholic country above the life of a patient, government would passed a law long ago

  107. Emrysmyrddin says

    For those people looking for reasons outside religion, the law, the uncertainty and so on fail to realize that it’s catholicism all the way down.
    Without catholicism the constitution wouldn’t be so fucked up, medical stuff wouldn’t put being a catholic country above the life of a patient, government would passed a law long ago

    QFFT.

  108. mythbri says

    @Maureen Brian #121

    Abortion is illegal in Ireland except where there is a real and substantial risk to the life (as distinct from the health) of the mother

    The very fact that they legislated life as distinct from health utterly sickens me.

  109. says

    If it were me, I’d just lie. Document that the fetal heart tones were nil whether they were or not. Lying less of a sin than murder, right?

    Especially since they’re Catholics and can get forgiveness for a few Hail Marys. Wouldn’t it be better to just sin, save a life, and then get absolution?

    Being a Scandinavian, I would recommend a more pragmatic, viking-style approach to churches and cathedrals full of silver. The Vatican? Lots of nice, burnable wood and textiles (after I get first dibs on the expensive books and paintings).

    Honestly, sometimes I think the only thing of value in a church is the architecture and the books. The only reason I care about the priests at all is because I hold firm to a principle of affording rights to ALL people, no matter how vile.

  110. greg1466 says

    Seems pretty simple. Everyone who involved in the decision to deny an abortion should be charged with conspiracy to commit murder. And since they’ve all been so kind to be very up front about it, the trial shouldn’t take long at all.

  111. DLC says

    I remember reading an article some years ago about women who think they might be pregnant going to England in order to have proper care. It wasn’t that they all wanted abortions, it was because the Irish Hospitals were staffed by nincompoops.

    It’s a horrific notion. “our bodies are sacred and must not be violated.” cries the 70 year old bishop. To which I reply: then you won’t be needing that cardiac stent then ? or that pacemaker, or those drugs that clean the triglycerides out of your rotting old carcass you lying hypocritical bastard!

  112. kantalope says

    Do we have anyone on the street, as it were, in Ireland? Are people talking about this? Is there outrage or is it page nine next to the legal announcement stuff?

  113. Forelle says

    From the Salon article:

    Prime Minister Enda Kenny is facing a wave of outrage over the case. “This is a case of maternal death where a child has been lost, a mother has died, and a husband is bereaved, that is a tragedy,” Kenny stated reservedly in Parliament on Wednesday.

    Even accepting that he really believes that there was a child, the order is so telling and infuriating. By the way, I’ve read somewhere that Halappanavar was an only child. It’s heartbreaking.

    the main issue being reported and debated here in Ireland right now is not about the role of Catholicism per se (at least not at this moment), rather it is about the fact that for some reason (which, granted may be religious) the medical teams at the hospital did not carry out the necessary and lawful procedure

    You know, this sounds like media and people are wondering: “Why didn’t they just lie? Nobody would have been the wiser,” which seems very Catholic to me. Talk instead about a damn law that respects women! Hypocrisy kills.

    I don’t mean at all that the present talk about lying doctors is idle, on the contrary. I just mean that we regular people should not rely on the lying of others.

  114. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    According to my twitter feed, kantalope, there are currently 3000 people in downtown Dublin protesting. A commonly seen sign apparently says, “Savita had a heartbeat too”

  115. silomowbray says

    Ichthyic @ 60:

    interestingly enough, it’s technically illegal here in New Zealand as well.

    Interesting! Ichthyic, would you mind speaking to this a little more? I mean how there’s an abortion law in Enzedd, and yet everyone understands it’s to be ignored. Could anyone press charges for an abortion in New Zealand? Why hasn’t it been taken off the books? Etc etc.

    You Kiwis sure do get up to things.

  116. crowepps says

    One of the comments at the linked article is:

    The miscarriage didn’t kill Savita, septicaemia did.

    which may explain why ‘Ireland has one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world’.

    I suspect women rarely die of ‘complications of pregnancy’ because instead their deaths are tabulated under septicaemia, or blood loss, or stroke, or heart failure, even when those conditions are CAUSED by the pregnancy.

  117. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    The proximate cause of death may well have been septicemia. But how did she get septicemia?

    When I was in high school, a classmate died of a crushed skull. That was the proximate cause of death. Of course, the coroner ruled it an automobile accident and found the other driver at fault.

    Savita died of septicemia. Because she did not have the abortion she needed.

  118. Forelle says

    It’s some time since I’ve felt so utterly disgusted and upset at a piece of news. And to think that this disaster probably wouldn’t make the news in the Philippines or certain American countries doesn’t help. Vile, vile people.

  119. dianne says

    Any chance of something happening on the EU level? It seems to me that this act and the Irish laws with respect to abortion in general likely violate EU human rights requirements. Can Ireland be fined or kicked out of the EU? Might improve the financial situation in the EU as a whole and would certainly improve the human rights status.

  120. says

    The miscarriage didn’t kill Savita, septicaemia did.

    Which is kind of like saying “bullets don’t kill. holes do.” Some of these people must live in a world where cause and effect are a mystery.

  121. dianne says

    I suspect women rarely die of ‘complications of pregnancy’ because instead their deaths are tabulated under septicaemia, or blood loss, or stroke, or heart failure, even when those conditions are CAUSED by the pregnancy.

    The US maternal mortality rate went up a few years ago when they stopped allowing this sort of BS and required every death certificate to include data on whether the person who died had been pregnant within one year of her death. (Or his death: there are rare instances of pregnancy in FTM transsexuals.)

  122. paleotrent says

    How many of those bishops are likely to face a difficult pregnancy? I, like PZ, have had it with accommodation.

  123. silomowbray says

    This tragedy reminds me of my friend from Ireland who was commenting on the Catholic Church. He grew up under the yoke of priests and nuns and didn’t much miss the environment. This was a few years ago when there was another spike in reported cases of child sex abuse by clergy. His words, as best as I can recall them:

    “When is everyone going to realize that the Church is simply an organization that sells and delivers unnecessary pain and grief?”

  124. steve84 says

    @dianne
    The European Court of Human Rights already ruled that women have a right to an abortion under these circumstances (just not to an elective abortion in their home country). What Ireland failed to do is translate that directive into national law.

    As for financial sanctions about that. I think that can only happen if a country violates EU law – which is NOT the same as violating the human rights charter.

  125. dianne says

    @steve: So Ireland only violated the EU human rights charter so they can get away with it? How do they live with themselves?

  126. colinforster says

    Last week in the UK the BBC ran a report by the Newsnight show which included a segment in which a victim of child abuse from the 1980s accused an elderly politician of being one of the paedophiles who had raped him.

    His account was uncorroborated and many basic journalistic checks were not done.

    Within a week, the story fell apart, the victim recanted and apologised and the Director General of the BBC was forced to resign.

    This abortion story seems to have some parallels. It is based on the account of a single individual who is the grieving husband of the deceased. As far as I know, he is not medically qualified.

    The doctors involved seem to have been tried and convicted before they have uttered a word in their own defense. Richard Dawkins himself has tweeted that they should be struck off the medical register, their careers ended, arbitrarily on the say so of a pitchforked mob.

    What the fuck are you all thinking?

  127. Beatrice says

    colinforster,

    Her husband imagined her being in agony for more than two days? Or is he just lying about it?

  128. dianne says

    colinfoster: The linked articles give details of her medical care…or, rather the lack thereof. Even the little information given makes it clear that, at the least, gross malpractice occurred. There is a hospital review underway. I hope they have the courage and the legal backup to do the right thing and reform the system. And get rid of practitioners who weren’t willing to do what they could within the system as it stood.

  129. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What the fuck are you all thinking?

    What the fuck are you thinking? We who are not on a criminal jury can come to any conclusion we conclude based on the public facts. And the public facts condemn the hospital, the doctors, and whatever third party groups like the catholic church that effected policy decisions so that appropriate medical treatement was not given in a timely fashion.

  130. Amphiox says

    “our bodies are sacred and must not be violated.”

    One would think that septicemia should count as a violation of the sacred body that people who believe this (and aren’t hypocrites) should strive to prevent….

  131. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Who had “142” as the answer to “When will the trolls show up?”

  132. Sastra says

    Assuming the basic facts are as reported, I’d say it was unlikely that concern or confusion about the law was the major problem when it came to the doctors themselves. My guess is that one or more of them was very religious, very Catholic, and very insistent that the “moral law” be followed — and the others, though less fanatic, allowed themselves to be swayed. Group dynamics combined with faith combined with legal uncertainty. Someone in that hospital must have steeled themselves to do the Right Thing and first put this woman in jeopardy, and then watch her die, while self-righteously congratulating themselves and others for exercising a holistic moral discipline which considers the soul.

    I want the Catholics to make this person a saint.

  133. Tethys says

    What the fuck are you all thinking?

    I am thinking that these doctors are guilty of murder for failing to give this poor girl proper medical care. Their actions are clearly grossly negligent, and they should lose their licences and go to jail.

    Torturing her allowing her to suffer until she became septic and died, rather than providing the clear, standard course of treatment is a heinous crime.

  134. Amphiox says

    Which is kind of like saying “bullets don’t kill. holes do.”

    Well, duh.

    I mean, if only the gunshot victim and dodged left instead of right, or wore a bullet-proof vest (personal responsibility!), or carried his own gun and blown away his killer first, then he wouldn’t have died, now would he?

  135. Amphiox says

    The doctors involved seem to have been tried and convicted before they have uttered a word in their own defense.

    What trial?

    What conviction?

    I don’t see any such thing. Just a bunch of regular human beings exercising their supposedly god-given freedom to make their own moral and ethical judgments.

  136. says

    colinforster
    I’m going to violate the 3 posts rule and I’m fully willing to accept whatever the Poopeyhead throws at me:
    Fuck you
    Fuck you for alleging that this is a sham, a story made up, a lie being told at the point when the fucking Taoiseach himself has confirmed it and put a sad face to it.
    Fuck you for the lack of a minimal amount of human decency and compassion at this moment when a family grieves the loss of their wife and daughter, a real woman of flesh and blood, a real woman who died in pain and agony.
    Fuck you

    +++

    which may explain why ‘Ireland has one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world’.

    I was puzzled about that, too, then it dawned on me:
    Maternal mortality is normalized.
    By banning abortion there’s no death from an abortion. there are, of course, more women who carry to terma and who then face the much higher risk of maternal mortality.

  137. mandrellian says

    I have friends that are Catholic. Moderate and liberal, of course, just like me. They’ve had pre-marital non-procreative sex and regularly use contraception, some have had terminations, none attend church, confession or take communion and all of them are more or less Catholic by familial association only. They all still happily identify as Catholic – despite not, in practice, being Catholic. It’s on whatever official forms ask the question and it’s what they say whenever the conversation comes up.

    And every time I read something like this (which is depressingly fucking frequently) I just want to grab their lapels and say “Why the fuck do you still willingly belong to this bunch of geriatric rapists and misogynist torturers?! Why do you let these fuckers speak for you?!”

    My most earnest fever-dream is that the new Australian Royal Commission into child abuse delves so deep into the festering roots of this cabal of medieval monsters that the whole shabby enterprise is revealed for the tumour on our country that is.

  138. rq says

    Amphiox @55
    Are you saying it’s ok for them to have waited? Unprepared? Without even giving painkillers? Because her life wasn’t in immediate danger?
    There’s a reason why, when you’re pregnant (I wonder, will you ever be?) they tell you to contact your doctor in case of any strange pains and/or bleeding, and why they recommend going to the hospital very, very fast, because it can go wrong so very quickly. And it can end very badly. Often enough, for these doctors to know. For them to know that yes, her life was in immediate danger.
    When you have blood and dying tissues in a sterile environment and festering, you have a more-than-slim (i.e. an almost certain) chance of developing septicemia. And no, if you know what to expect, you don’t give antibiotics after it has set in, you give the patient a fighting chance and do everything possible to prevent the septicemia in the first place. Especially if the fetus will not survive and that this is already known. So yes, she was in imminent danger.

    Maybe next time we should just wait, and let that car crash victim bleed out, because you never know if they’ll actually bleed to death until they do.

  139. says

    I, like PZ, have had it with accommodation.

    Well, it’s a lot easier to agree to disagree when the other side isn’t actively killing people.

    The Catholic Church is killing pregnant women and protecting child molesters from prosecution. Until that changes, I don’t see the slightest room for compromise.

  140. Gregory Greenwood says

    Horror stories like this one still sicken me, but sadly they no longer surprise me. There is truly no pit of murderous depravity that the catholic church won’t happily trawl through in order to maintain the toxic, medieval theology that empowers its decrepit priesthood.

    Damned death-cultists, one and all.

    ——————————————————————

    colinforster @ 142;

    Last week in the UK the BBC ran a report by the Newsnight show which included a segment in which a victim of child abuse from the 1980s accused an elderly politician of being one of the paedophiles who had raped him.

    His account was uncorroborated and many basic journalistic checks were not done.

    Within a week, the story fell apart, the victim recanted and apologised and the Director General of the BBC was forced to resign.

    This abortion story seems to have some parallels…

    Really? And what ‘parallels’ would they be? Why should we look at a failure of journalism within the BBC with regard to an unrelated paedophillia accusation, and use that as a basis to assume that the husband in this case is lying about the events that befell his wife? Especially when catholic church run hospitals have plenty of form when it comes to denying abortion services to women with a desperate medical need for them, and a general attitude toward women that reeks of the worst kind of misogynistic contempt?

    As noted by other commenters, this is not a court of law requiring proof beyond all reasonable doubt. This is a group of people commenting on a blog article, and as such balance of evidence will do just fine, and the balance of evidence seems to be very damning for the church indeed.

    It is based on the account of a single individual who is the grieving husband of the deceased. As far as I know, he is not medically qualified.

    Does one need medical qualifications to notice when somebody is dying in screaming agony all of a sudden?

    The doctors involved seem to have been tried and convicted before they have uttered a word in their own defense.

    ‘Tried and convicted’? In what court? You hyperbole does nothing tro render your position any more credible.

    Richard Dawkins himself has tweeted that they should be struck off the medical register, their careers ended, arbitrarily on the say so of a pitchforked mob.

    On the available evidence, it does seem that the attending medical personnel are guilty of gross misconduct at the very least. Such is indeed grounds for them to be struck off, once due process has been completed. If Dawkins stated that they should be arbitrarily struck off without any proper process undertaken – on the “say so of a pitchforked mob” as you claim – then you will surely have no difficulty linking to his actual comments to substantiate your claim, now would you?

    And yet, no link. What a surprise…

    What the fuck are you all thinking?

    We are thinking that pregnant women are still human beings, and should not be denied essential medical care in order to conform with the toxic delusions of power hungy, misogynistic priests.

    What are you thinking? Why is your first response to this story to completely ignore the human tragedy of the likely entirely needless death of this innocent woman in favour of defending a church known for its attitude that women’s lives are worthless set next to their use as subhuman incubators?

    This technique of ‘hyperskepticism’ of any criticism of the church is a well known tactic of religious apologists. It will not work here. We are wise to that trick, and every other one in the theist playbook.

    You need to think long and hard about how very disgustingly ghoulish your preparedness to trample over the corpse of this women in defence of your precious death-cult really is.

  141. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    The doctors involved seem to have been tried and convicted before they have uttered a word in their own defense. Richard Dawkins himself has tweeted that they should be struck off the medical register, their careers ended, arbitrarily on the say so of a pitchforked mob.

    What the fuck are you all thinking?

    We’re thinking that the staff involved were complicit in the death of Savita.
    We’re thinking that the staff adhered more to Catholic rules rather than the best interests of the patient (which were ignored).
    We’re thinking it’s horrible and tragic that she died when her life could and *should* have been saved.
    We’re thinking the Catholic Church has once again proven itself to be the pit of human filth, a cesspool from which the dregs of humanity get to exercise their every whim and be excused by their sky daddy.
    We’re thinking with compassion and empathy towards another human being, as well as outrage at Catholicism, and those involved.

    And at this point, many of us are thinking: WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

    This isn’t trial. This is a blog where people are weighing in with their opinions. We can “try” the case all we like. This isn’t a courtroom. That’s where “innocent before proven guilty” holds sway. That’s where pronouncements of guilt are issued and must be followed legally.
    Here, outside the courtroom, we are free to speak out minds.

    You ought to stop speaking yours until you learn to read for comprehension (then you can have an informed opinion).

  142. says

    This abortion story seems to have some parallels. It is based on the account of a single individual who is the grieving husband of the deceased. As far as I know, he is not medically qualified.

    You seem to ignore that this is far from an isolated incident. There are multiple cases where doctors have done an abortion to save the life of the mother and have been sanctioned by the Catholic Church for it.

    For example (one google search – 30 seconds):
    Nun excommunicated for approving abortion
    Hospital has Catholic status revoked for doing abortion

    This is not an isolated, extraordinary case. Don’t pretend it is.

  143. says

    BTW, the nasty part of my brain came up with an appropriate sentence for the medical personal involved:
    For the rest of their lives, twice a year, at Savita’s birthday and the day of her death, they have to sit for 12 hours in a room with nothing but a big picture of her, saying “Hello, it’s my birthday. I could have celebrated it with my family if it hadn’t been for you” and “hello, on this day I died because of you”.
    They are kindly reminded of the days coming up with official letters 2 and 4 weeks in advance…

  144. Mr. Fire says

    Last week in the UK the BBC ran a report by the Newsnight show which included a segment in which a victim of child abuse from the 1980s accused an elderly politician of blah blah blah

    Worthless, concern-trolling non-sequitur.

    It is based on the account of a single individual who is the grieving husband of the deceased. As far as I know, he is not medically qualified.

    A medical qualification is not required to know that she went days without treatment for a serious yet easily treatable medical condition, and didn’t get it because of Catholicism.

    But you continue masturbating over the idea that the reliability of her husband’s testimony vis-a-vis her suffering is some kind of relevant and winning point.

  145. nolajim says

    While there is plenty of blame here to heap on the Church at Rome, let’s be more realistic. The Irish constitution prohibits any official church. The victim is dead as a result of the laws of the secular state of Ireland. You can’t even blame the doctors, whose hands were tied by that law (the life-threatening septicemia wasn’t diagnosed until after the fetus had died).

    Had Irish law permitted abortion on demand, the victim would most likely be alive and well. But since Irish law counts an unborn fetus as worth more than an adult female, she died. The government and or people of Ireland can change that law, and they don’t have to get permission from Rome to do it.

  146. says

    @160 – A hospital having it’s Catholic status revoked seems like an ideal outcome of a hospital performing a medical procedure the “celibate” men in dresses oppose. More of that please!

  147. says

    Come on now guys. Just because the man is alone now doesn’t mean he’s medically qualified to state that his wife is dead. And we call ourselves skeptics! /snark

  148. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    *sigh* 157 comments. There’s some stupid sack of shit defending the murderers, isn’t there?

  149. Beatrice says

    Azkyroth,

    It must be your lucky day! There is a stupid sack of shit defending the murderers and there is a stupid sack of shit saying Catholic Church isn’t to blame.

  150. Mr. Fire says

    The Irish constitution prohibits any official church. The victim is dead as a result of the laws of the secular state of Ireland.

    Perhaps you have an idea as to how the taboo on abortions does not stem directly or indirectly from pressure exerted by the Catholic Church.

    Care to share with us how restrictions on abortion are a secularly-derived value?

  151. steve84 says

    @163
    Their hands weren’t tied. The law was unclear, but there were enough advisory opinions, as well as legal and medical directives to spell out that they could have done something.

    While abortion on demand is illegal, abortion to save a woman’s life isn’t. It’s just not explicitly legal. It’s a grey area and they could have done the procedure. It’s nearly certain that nothing would have happened. There may have been an investigation and the child rapers would have a hissy fit, but do you really think they would have been prosecuted? They had the opinions of the highest Irish Court and one of the highest European courts on their side.

  152. campbell says

    Outraged and completely agree the EU judgments should have teeth, the Irish law should be clarified and enforced and the entire medical staff and administrators involved are moral cowards. Every person in my “real” life who eye-rolled and mocked me for getting all upset about the Republican Rape Gang (“oh they misspoke” or “oh those guys are just fringe” or “the platform isn’t policy” or “Ryan didn’t really say that” or “you feminists are over-reacting”) can just. fuck. off.

    I’d be very interested in knowing what the Irish Conference of Bishops has said with regard to these issues in Catholic-run hospitals. I realize the hospital in this case isn’t Catholic, but knowing what the Irish Church says with regard to their own hospitals tells us something about just how far into stupid and cruel this hospital’s actions were. In the U.S., the specific directives governing health care promulgated by the U.S. bishops would have allowed the abortion. See Directives 45 and 47 at http://www.usccb.org/about/doctrine/ethical-and-religious-directives/

    Of course, as we learned in the Phoenix case and other examples, we can’t assume that individual providers, hospitals, or bishops will follow their own rules.

    Finally, I get the “shut ‘em down” outrage PZ expresses and I agree that liberal and progressive Catholics are deluded to think they can change the RCC from within and should be ashamed to label themselves Catholic. (And it makes me even more pissed at whatshername the ex-atheist who’s now supposedly Catholic; “intellectual reasons” my ass.)

    However, to literally “shut ‘em down” if we’re talking about the hospitals would be pretty bad for the already f’d up U.S. health care system. Catholic hospitals (many run as non-profits) disproportionately care for the poor, the elderly, medicaid and medicare patients–overall, I think the figure is something like 1 in 6 hospital patients is in a Catholic hospital, 12% of all hospitals in the US are Catholic-run. I agree the downside of their ubiquity is their awful policies regarding reproduction, birth, sterilization, and euthanasia, but what do we replace them with when we shut ‘em down? I want their policies to change but given the paranoia we saw from the RCC in the U.S. over employee insurance contraceptive coverage, I don’t have much hope it’s possible. Meanwhile, people–often with no other choices in their towns–walk into Catholic hospitals with no clear idea of how they may be treated. Or whether they’ll walk out.

  153. nolajim says

    Some commentators above seem to think I’ve tried to absolve the church of its responsibility in this matter. I have not done so, and clearly stated there is plenty of blame to heap up there.

    But if you think that Irish law is ambiguous in this case, you are just not facing reality. The mother’s life was not in danger when she first arrived at the hospital, and under those circumstances, the prohibition against abortion applied. The law does not allow abortion just because continued pregnancy MIGHT turn into septicemia or some other life-threatening complication, which is always true of every pregnancy.

    Yes, the influence of the Church is strong in Ireland, and yes they should be blamed for persuading the people and government to keep abortion illegal. But it is a plain fact that Ireland requires no permission from Rome to change its law.

    Fixing this terrible situation in Ireland does not require priests or Bishops. It requires elected officials and voting citizens.

  154. says

    campbell – My worry is that they have been very active at purchasing more and more hospitals in the US. Formerly independent hospitals that suddenly have to adhere to Catholic teaching. Despite what the Bishops said, I get a real sense that the Catholic teachings they want hospitals to follow do not allow abortion.

    Not too long ago a woman had to leave a Catholic hospital to have an ectopic pregnancy dealt with. The Catholic hospital would have done nothing until after the fallopian tube ruptured. I believe PZ posted on it, in fact.

  155. Beatrice says

    The mother’s life was not in danger when she first arrived at the hospital, and under those circumstances, the prohibition against abortion applied.

    Let’s say that at the point of arriving to the hospital delaying abortion was “only” endangering her health and not her life, but then her condition changed (sometimes during those days while she was in agony), and the doctors still refused to perform the abortion.

  156. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Nolajim.

    You seem to have a very vague understanding of facts.

    Savita’s cervix was dilated and she was leaking amniotic fluid. Her fetus was actively dying, and there was zero chance of saving it. Zero. None.

    This was an obvious risk of infection! This is obstetrics and gynecology 101.

    That she developed an infection was entirely predictable.

    Do you know how infections work? Left untreated – which includes an open, gaping wound being untended infections turn into septicemia. This is microbiology and infectious disease 101.

    Savita Halappanavar’s death was predictable. And they did nothing while she screamed in pain.

    Because Jesus says so.

  157. nolajim says

    Mr. Fire: I did not say that prohibition of abortion is a secularly derived value. What I did was to reiterate the plain fact that the law of the state or Ireland comes from its elected legislature, not from any council of Bishops or from Rome. Yes, we can blame the church for this mess, but you’re not going to change the church anytime soon. You can, however, get the legislature to behave more rationally.

  158. d.f.manno says

    @Giliell, Approved Straight Chorus (#91):

    Actually, German law also allows for murder prosecution if you were just very reckless with the other person’s life, knowing that death was a possibility.

    So does U.S. law. It’s called “depraved indifference” murder and usually constitutes murder in the second degree.

  159. nolajim says

    Esteleth: I agree that what the doctors did was cruel, unethical, and medically ill advised. I have said nothing above that could be construed as suggesting otherwise. What I did say is that Ireland’s abortion law is much clearer in this kind of situation than you seem to realize.

  160. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    When she initially presented, she was having a miscarriage. The staff told her that in a few hours, it would all be over. And in a typical case, they would have been right, and Savita would be at home, and maybe she and her husband would be discussing when they would try again.

    But her uterus did not – for whatever reason – expel the fetus. And when that happened – when the staff realized that the miscarriage was not spontaneously completing, the calculus of care changed. Her prognosis changed. And what was necessary to save her changed.

  161. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    The thing about pregnancies is that sometimes something that seems perfectly fine and healthy and normal can turn toxic in a hurry. A woman can walk in, feeling and seeming fine, and 48 hours later start showing signs of pre-eclampsia or something. The assessment of when her life is in acute danger is – and should – be made at the time.

  162. nolajim says

    No argument there: by medical and ethical standards, the Drs. SHOULD have intervened sooner than they did, including aborting the pregnancy.

  163. says

    What I did say is that Ireland’s abortion law is much clearer in this kind of situation than you seem to realize.

    Wait, you mean the law that they actually don’t have? The law that they’ve been adamant about not having for the past 20 years.
    Is it that law that youR’e referring to?
    Thought so.

  164. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What I did was to reiterate the plain fact that the law of the state or Ireland comes from its elected legislature,

    Then you need to show that the legislature can and will tell the catholic church to go to hell on telling it what to do. Or, as PZ claims, it is de facto taking orders from Rome. Logic 101. Which your little bit of sophistry doesn’t change.

  165. nolajim says

    BTW: Irish law says that anyone (doctor or not) who performs an illegal abortion can be imprisoned for life.

  166. nolajim says

    Gilliel: Please explain. I’m not sure what you mean by the law they don’t have. As far as I can tell, the prohibition against abortion is on the books and enforced in Ireland.

  167. dianne says

    what do we replace them with when we shut ‘em down?

    So, don’t shut them down, take them over. They’ll make nice public hospitals, I’m sure. And if they really take as many of the poor and uninsured as they claim, there won’t even be a change in payer mix.

  168. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    BTW: Irish law says that anyone (doctor or not) who performs an illegal abortion can be imprisoned for life.

    So.

    Despite Irish law saying that abortion is permissible to save the life of the mother, and Savita dying, and there being no hope for the fetus, a pack of doctors didn’t do anything because they valued themselves over her.

    Glad to know Irish doctors are so generous.

  169. Beatrice says

    No problem there, since they would have performed a legal abortion. I think we already concluded that abortion in case of the woman’s life being n danger is allowed. We’ve been over that several times.

  170. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    The doctors involved seem to have been tried and convicted before they have uttered a word in their own defense. Richard Dawkins himself has tweeted that they should be struck off the medical register, their careers ended, arbitrarily on the say so of a pitchforked mob.

    What the fuck are you all thinking? – colinfoster

    Well right now, we’re all thinking you’re at best an idiot, because the doctors have not been charged, let alone tried and convicted, nor have they been threatened with pitchforks.

  171. nolajim says

    Nerd of Readhead: There is no sophistry here. “Logic 101″ as you say, requires us to face the facts. The law of Ireland is passed by the elected legislature, not by the Pope. Yes, it might take more balls than some have to stand up to the Church. But stand up to the powerless church is all they have to do if Ireland wants to change this law.

  172. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Nolajim, 20 years ago, in the X case, the Irish Supreme Court ruled that abortion was permissible to save the life of the mother.

    This is the absolute law of the land.

    Not long ago, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the failure of Ireland to enact laws and policies enabling women whose lives were endangered by their pregnancies to get an abortion was a violation of human rights and was unpermissible.

    Savita getting an abortion was completely legal under Irish law.

  173. Ogvorbis: resident of Threadruptia (and broken) says

    The mother’s life was not in danger when she first arrived at the hospital, and under those circumstances, the prohibition against abortion applied.

    Er, I call bullshit on this.

    Her water had broken. Her uterus was dilated, open for any bacteria present. Allowing bacteria into a nutrient rich environment, with necrotic tissue, is a recipe for a raging infection. Raging infections are life threatening. So, even with no infection present when she arrived, the doctors had to know that failure to treat, failure to remove the dead and dying tissue, failure to protect her uterus, placed her life in danger.

    . Yes, we can blame the church for this mess, but you’re not going to change the church anytime soon. You can, however, get the legislature to behave more rationally.

    And if the legislature in question is willingly acting as an agent for the Catholic Church? What then? Where do you think the legislature got the idea to outlaw abortions? Planet Kolob?

    What I did say is that Ireland’s abortion law is much clearer in this kind of situation than you seem to realize.

    Then why were doctors, trained professionals, confused as to what they could, and could not, do?

  174. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    So, despite the fact – documented all over the damn place – that the Catholic Church dominates Ireland culturally and more-or-less owns a large number of politicians, Ireland’s retrograde laws are a secular problem and the Church is powerless? Who the what now?

  175. Amphiox says

    Are you saying it’s ok for them to have waited? Unprepared? Without even giving painkillers? Because her life wasn’t in immediate danger?

    No. I was saying that the law was structured in a fashion that encouraged them to wait, and that this was a BAD thing. Good laws should encourage people to do the right thing, make it easy to do the right thing, rather than make it hard to do the right thing. Good laws should be structured such that doing the right thing becomes the path of least resistance, so that it doesn’t take heroic levels of courage to do the right thing.

    I also said (in later posts) that in many instances the laws are DELIBERATELY structured in this fashion for hypocritical political reasons, and that this too, is a BAD thing.

  176. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yes, it might take more balls than some have to stand up to the Church. But stand up to the powerless church is all they have to do if Ireland wants to change this law.Until the legislature proves by action it is capable of doing so, then they are under the effectivew control of the church. Period, end of story. Why are you so dense on that issue? Why?

  177. Ogvorbis: resident of Threadruptia (and broken) says

    But stand up to the powerless church is all they have to do if Ireland wants to change this law.

    Powerless church? What the hell planet do you hail from? The RCC is very powerful in the politics of many nations (including the US and Ireland). They lobby (and spend lots of money doing it (overtly and covertly)) to make their twisted version of morality the law of the land. And in lots of nations, they have succeeded.

  178. nolajim says

    Esteleth: I agree that the influence of the church in Ireland is large, and the leads to all manner of nightmares, including the present situation. Yes, we should blame the church for keeping Irish law in the dark ages. But it is the Irish state that killed this victim, not the church. And this problem can be fixed by the state, with or without the support or permission of the church. How many voting citizens or Ireland really believe any of that godrot anyway?

  179. Beatrice says

    Yes, it might take more balls than some have to stand up to the Church.

    Or less balls, depending on how you look at it.

  180. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, borked the blockquote in #195. It should read:

    Yes, it might take more balls than some have to stand up to the Church. But stand up to the powerless church is all they have to do if Ireland wants to change this law.

    Until the legislature proves by action it is capable of doing so, then they are under the effective control of the church. Period, end of story. Why are you so dense on that issue? Why?

  181. Mr. Fire says

    Yes, the influence of the Church is strong in Ireland, and yes they should be blamed for persuading the people and government to keep abortion illegal. But it is a plain fact that Ireland requires no permission from Rome to change its law.

    You appear to be wrestling with a strawman entirely of your own making.

    I did not say that prohibition of abortion is a secularly derived value.

    Alright.

    You alloted a portion of blame to the Catholic Church, and then placed a separate portion of blame on…somthing else.

    What is that something else, exactly? Because when you say things like:

    What I did was to reiterate the plain fact that the law of the state or Ireland comes from its elected legislature, not from any council of Bishops or from Rome

    …it seems like you are either too dense to see how the two can be intertwined, or you are disingenuous.

  182. says

    Nolajim

    Please explain. I’m not sure what you mean by the law they don’t have. As far as I can tell, the prohibition against abortion is on the books and enforced in Ireland.

    For 20 years since the Case X Irish legislation has refused to make the necessary legislation that would have applied in this situation and given everybody clear guidelines to save Savita’s life as they were told to do by their own court 20 years ago and quote recently by the ECHR

  183. Mr. Fire says

    How many voting citizens or Ireland really believe any of that godrot anyway?

    Let Savita eat cake.

  184. campbell says

    @barbyau: I agree with your concern re spread of Catholic-owned hospitals.

    Yes, I followed the thread re ectopic pregnancy and shared the outrage over the RCC’s “Doctrine of Double Effect.” A small correction to your characterization, though: it’s not that “The Catholic hospital would have done nothing until after the fallopian tube ruptured.” Rather, it’s that the hospital would not have allowed the administration of abortifacient drugs and instead would have surgically removed a portion of the tube (a more medically dangerous procedure and one that puts the woman’s future fertility at risk).

    Finally, I’m not sure I understood what you meant by this: “Despite what the Bishops said, I get a real sense that the Catholic teachings they want hospitals to follow do not allow abortion” since the Bishops’ Directives on health care ARE the Catholic teachings. And those directives, if properly followed (and I already granted they aren’t always followed) would allow an induction and delivery of a non-viable fetus, which is what I understand should have happened in the Irish hospital.

  185. nolajim says

    Gilliel: I agree with that. They have failed to make the legislative changes that would have clarified this situation and saved Savita’s life. That being the case, the law on the books stands, which would have imprisoned the doctors had they aborted Savita’s fetus before she had Septicemia.

  186. nolajim says

    I can see I’m outnumbered. I don’t think I’m being in the least bit dense or tricky here. I share all the vitriol everyone here has toward the church for this unfortunate woman’s unnecessary death. But I also think the anger of great many of you is significantly misplaced. Contrary to romanticized and unrealistic notions about religiosity in Ireland, the church does NOT run the place. Ireland is a modern, secular state, not a theocracy. The Irish state killed Savita, not the Catholic Church. Place blame where it belongs. Hold the state accountable, and pressure it to update its laws.

  187. Gregory Greenwood says

    nolajim @ 190;

    The law of Ireland is passed by the elected legislature, not by the Pope. Yes, it might take more balls than some have to stand up to the Church. But stand up to the powerless church is all they have to do if Ireland wants to change this law.

    Given the vast social and indirect political power that the catholic church weilds in Ireland, it simply is not credible to describe it as ‘powerless’ in this context. The fact is that the church has the means to weild great influence over public policy in Ireland, and as of yet the legislature has shown little in the way of the neccessary will to change that state of affairs, in part because the political risk in doing so would be substantial. Until the legislature changes its stance, it will continue to effectively function as an agent of the vatican. The vatican is fully aware of this, and actively employs its available ‘soft power’ to push for policies and promote social attitudes that will lead to more tragedies such as this one.

    It is not as though the idea that abortion is so morally objectionable that it is better to let an innocent woman die needlessly developed in a vacuum without any input from Rome.

  188. d.f.manno says

    @sastra (#150):

    Someone in that hospital must have steeled themselves to do the Right Thing and first put this woman in jeopardy, and then watch her die, while self-righteously congratulating themselves and others for exercising a holistic moral discipline which considers the soul.

    I want the Catholics to make this person a saint.

    And I want the civil authorities to put this person in a cage until his bones turn to dust. And require anyone seeking a license to practice medicine in Ireland to visit that cage before getting the license.

  189. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    I don’t think I’m being in the least bit dense or tricky here. – nolajim

    Well it’s one or the other. It’s a plain fact that the law exists as it does because of the Catholic Church and that it has not been repealed because of the Catholic Church. Yes, politicians share some of the blame – because they have been too cowardly to stand up to the Catholic Church.

  190. Ogvorbis: resident of Threadruptia (and broken) says

    Hold the state accountable, and pressure it to update its laws.

    Did it ever occur to you that one of the major reasons the Irish state has not updated its laws is due to pressure, intense pressure including threats of excommunication (which is quite important to many Catholics), from the Catholic Church?

    And machintelligence, all I can do is scream incoherently at my monitor.

    AN INTERNATIONAL symposium on maternal healthcare in Dublin at the weekend has concluded that abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of a mother.

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!!

  191. dianne says

    Savita getting an abortion was completely legal under Irish law.

    I can understand they’re feeling nervous about performing the abortion needed to save the patient’s life. The “pro-life” movement has no hesitation in bombing and shooting doctors who perform abortions, so I can see a “pro-life” country prosecuting doctors who perform abortions that are perfectly legal.

    However, that’s no excuse. If you’re so scared of the possibility that you might be prosecuted for participating in a legal abortion that a patient needs to live that you can’t do it then you shouldn’t be an obstetrician. End of story. There are plenty of fields the doctors involved could go into instead and never have to worry about being prosecuted for saving a patient’s life again. For instance, I’ve never heard of a general surgeon getting death threats for performing a necessary appendectomy. Grow some backbone or get out of the field.

  192. erichoug says

    nolajim @#207. While I agree with you on the responsibility being largely with the Politicians, I believe that the Church bears at least as much if not more responsibility.

    Also, why didn’t any of the doctors at the hospital just say “Fuck It” and save this poor woman’s life.From all the reports I have read, the doctors at the hospital seem to have been incredibly blase about this case. Can we punch them in the face along with the Church and the State?

  193. mudpuddles says

    FWIW, here’s some more info from a discussion on Irish radio this evening:

    It may have been the case that the absolute medical need for an abortion in order to save Savita Halappanavar’s life was not established by the responsible care team. An abortion was requested by Savita and by her husband, and she was denied that abortion on the basis of it being illegal to give an abortion on demand i.e. that request was apparently dealt with in isolation and separate from the issue of her risk of septicaemia.

    This raises two immediate questions in my mind. First, if it is true that the need for (or likely life-saving benefit of) an abortion was not established, then as Elsteth points out (comment #175) the medical practitioners involved were GROSSLY incompetent. If they could not immeditely identify and act to limit the significant risk of infection, magnified by the fact that Savita was miscarrying, then WTF???

    Second, I can just about understand the rejection of a woman’s request for an abortion in a country where abortion on demand and in non-life threatening circumstances is very clearly illegal, BUT in this case, when they knew that the woman in question was in intense pain, miscarrying and at very real risk of death, why was her request and / or the possibility of terminating the pregnancy as a life-saving intervention not raised at the daily medical team briefings? And if it was raised at those meetings, then WT bloody F???????

    It is impossible for me to see the whole sorry situation as a shining example of medical negligence and malpractice. I will go out on a limb here and suggest that the fact that Savita Halappanavar was Asian and Hindu made it easy (or easier) for some of the staff to dismiss her request – “she’s not Irish, she doesn’t understand our system”. I’m not implying that the staff are overtly racist – I have worked at UHG and I know of no-one on the staff who is; but I regret that Ireland is an appallingly racist country, and I would not be surprised if attitudes that are ultimately dismissive of others based on their ethnicity are as much a problem in the medical commmunity as everywhere else. Sorry if that offends anyone, but unfortunately it is a fact that in Ireland non-natives, and particularly non-European natives, are often treated with less respect, urgency or deference than “native” Irish people.

  194. raven says

    put this woman in jeopardy, and then watch her die, while self-righteously congratulating themselves and others for exercising a holistic moral discipline which considers the soul.

    I want the Catholics to make this person a saint.

    Sure. No problem.

    The Catholics are very good at making murderers into saints.

    1. Cardinal Bellarimo, the guy who torched Bruno and almost torched Galileo is a saint. There is a college in Kentucky named after him. I’m sure they are very disciplined.

    2. Saint Thomas More made his reputation by hunting down and killing heretics. And what goes around came around.

    I’m sure if one looked further they could find more mass murderer Catholic “saints”.

  195. Rodney Nelson says

    nolajim,

    What is your point? Is the Church completely blameless for Irish abortion laws? Is the Church totally to be blamed for the laws? Something in between? What exactly are you trying to say?

  196. dianne says

    I’m not implying that the staff are overtly racist – I have worked at UHG and I know of no-one on the staff who is; but I regret that Ireland is an appallingly racist country

    I haven’t ever been to Ireland, much less worked there, but if it’s anything like the US…I’ve never seen anyone working in a US hospital make an overtly racist comment about patients. But I’ve seen a lot of people making dog whistle statements about immigrants. I find it highly likely that racism was a part of the problem.

  197. markr1957 (Patent Pending) says

    I was 11 when my parents aborted the RCC. I didn’t know why for years after, but it was related to problems during the birth of my youngest sister which required my mother to either have a hysterectomy or die.

    Our parish priest and local bishop decided it was contraception and mother was excommunicated while father was told that he and his children were still welcome at church – we never went again after that! Thanks to that decision my mother lived another 35 years.

  198. says

    nolajim

    which would have imprisoned the doctors had they aborted Savita’s fetus before she had Septicemia.

    A) So, you have magical superpowers that tell you that they would not only have been charged but also convicted
    B) It seems clear that she already suffered from Septicemia while the fetus was still alive and they still refused to help her.
    Because she didn’t develop it surprisingly in the 10 minutes after the fetus was dead.

    I don’t think I’m being in the least bit dense or tricky here.

    No, you just go on making excuses.

    Contrary to romanticized and unrealistic notions about religiosity in Ireland, the church does NOT run the place.

    Been there, done that. Really, lived there. Thankfully never became pregnant, yadda, yadda.

    Ireland is a modern, secular state, not a theocracy.

    Yes, that’s why the care this woman got was more like you would expect in Afghanistan than say the UK

    The Irish state killed Savita, not the Catholic Church.

    Yes, because the RCC never ever influenced Irish politics or politicians. Or people who voted in stupid referendums, for that matter. Never ever threatened anybody with hell. Sure, totally unrelated. That thing about “catholic country”, that’s just an individual’s misguided opinion.

    Dianne

    The “pro-life” movement has no hesitation in bombing and shooting doctors who perform abortions

    Not in Europe, so the excuse doesn’t stand

  199. anteprepro says

    How many voting citizens or Ireland really believe any of that godrot anyway?

    Apparently the people in the hospital and Irish government are playing a particularly morbid game of pretend.

    Contrary to romanticized and unrealistic notions about religiosity in Ireland, the church does NOT run the place.

    Contrary to your unwillingness to see the obvious, Catholicism can affect the law in a majority Catholic country without shoving the legislature full with cardinals and bishops.

  200. dianne says

    Ok, I think I see the problem. From Libby Anne’s blog: “A professor at the medical school attached to the hospital where she died recently organized a conference concluding that abortion is never medically necessary to save a woman’s life.”

    Obstetricians at the hospital where she was (not) treated recently declared abortion to never be necessary to save a woman’s life. Then, a few weeks later, they were confronted by proof positive that their position was BS. I’m guessing that they fought the realization, claiming that she just needed antibiotics, that the abortion would happen spontaneously given enough time, that she was in no real danger, etc. Up until she died.

    In short, they killed her to soothe their egos.

  201. d.f.manno says

    @campbell (#171):

    However, to literally “shut ‘em down” if we’re talking about the hospitals would be pretty bad for the already f’d up U.S. health care system. Catholic hospitals (many run as non-profits) disproportionately care for the poor, the elderly, medicaid and medicare patients–overall, I think the figure is something like 1 in 6 hospital patients is in a Catholic hospital, 12% of all hospitals in the US are Catholic-run. I agree the downside of their ubiquity is their awful policies regarding reproduction, birth, sterilization, and euthanasia, but what do we replace them with when we shut ‘em down?

    We don’t “shut ‘em down.” We turn them into publicly owned and operated hospitals. We remove all Catholic clerics from management. We require all medical staff to pledge as a condition of further employment to perform all legal medical treatment. If they don’t want to take the pledge, we’ll hold the door open for them as they leave. We take a negative and make it positive.

  202. nolajim says

    Rodney Nelson: I’m trying to say that you can blame the church all you want in this case, but that won’t change the church or its position. If we want to prevent a repeat of this travesty, we have to change Irish secular law, not the church. And contrary to the apparent beliefs of many here, Irish law is not written in Rome.

  203. texasaggie says

    I spent 12 miserable years married to an Irish catholic, so I while I don’t understand the sick minds that are responsible for this vile behavior, I’m not surprised. The catholic church has absolutely no concern for the well-being of people. As far as the hierarchy and the “faithful” are concerned, common people are just something to be used for the glorification and advancement of the institution, and incidentally, the people high up on the ladder. Everyone else is mud on the soles of their shoes.

  204. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And contrary to the apparent beliefs of many here, Irish law is not written in Rome.

    Then you should have no problem showing with citations the legislature giving the church the middle finger salute repeatedly on subjects the church holds very dear, proving their total independence.

  205. No Light says

    Nolajim

    Her cervix was fully dilated and the amniotic sac was ruptured. The uterine cavity must be kept sterile, or chaos ensues. So her cervix is low and open, and what’s next to her vagina? Her anus. What lives in the gut? Dangerous enterotoxins like Eschericia coli.

    So giant gaping wound, directly next to an area teeming with coliforms = death.

    Colinfuckingforster

    You know WHY he identified Lord McAlpine as his abuser? Because the fucking police told him that’s who it was, when he picked the photo out of a photo line-up.

    Now why, why would they do that? I can’t think why. Certainly not to derail the investigation and throw suspicion on the abused, rather than the abusers. Nah, that can’t be it…

    skeptifem

    People saying this kind of thing have no idea what has to happen to perform a surgical procedure to begin with.

    Are you being sarcastic here? Seriously?

    If you’re being serious, then it sounds like MRA-type hyperskepticism of the kind levelled at women who’ve been raped.

    Here’s the procedure:

    Obs/gynae consultant on call picks up phone, calls theatre head nurse, asks “Is there a theatre free? I’ve got a 31 year old woman in need of an emergency D&C”

    TTheatre nurse books him in, pages the on-call anaesthetist and any other staff.

    Meanwhile, consultant’s SHO gets patient or NOK to sign consent forms.

    Piece of fucking piss.

    ~No Light, formerly of the NHS.

  206. sgailebeairt says

    @mudpuddles –because as long as there was a fetal heartbeat, the d&c wld be “murder” in the eyes of the Church, like taking Terry schiavo off the feeding tube. Letting it die passively, & coincidentally letting Savita die around it, keeps their hands free of blood in their mind…. i used to study & teach theo before i couldnt stand the double think, i was a prolifer before i knew better, i know ALL the excuses…. they think “Double Effect” arguments will save them from Hell if they dont do any “active” harm…..

    letting a woman die in agony isnt “doing harm” in their book….these are the same medical culture that made “symphysiotomy” a thing for irishwomen to suffer for so long (dont google it unless you have a REALLY strong stomach!!)

  207. anteprepro says

    I’m trying to say that you can blame the church all you want in this case, but that won’t change the church or its position.

    You can say this about anything, really. Why criticize what you (probably) can’t change?

    If we want to prevent a repeat of this travesty, we have to change Irish secular law, not the church.

    When are you going to stop insisting that we attack the symptoms instead of the disease? Just shut the fuck up and move along. You have nothing to say aside from reiterating that the Irish government, no matter how Catholicism soaked they may be, aren’t the Vatican. Thank you very fucking much for the geography lesson. But since we already knew that and you remain unable to imagine how it could be possible that Catholicism could still be to blame when there aren’t any Priests in the Legislature (Warning: Potential movie title), maybe you should come back when you have a clue?

  208. Matt Penfold says

    The mother’s life was not in danger when she first arrived at the hospital, and under those circumstances, the prohibition against abortion applied.

    Yes it was. The pregnancy was no longer viable. The fetus was going to die, and if nothing was done, so was the mother.

    Please explain why you made such an idiotic comment. Are you stupid, a liar or just fucked in the head ?

  209. anteprepro says

    By the way, the answer to “Why criticize what you (probably) can’t change?” is “Why fucking not.” It’s a worth a shot. And shouting down people for daring to try is fucking part of the problem.

  210. says

    I’m trying to say that you can blame the church all you want in this case, but that won’t change the church or its position.

    We don’t want to change it. We want it gone. And we think that showing the world what a horrible bunch of sick criminals they are is a way to achieve that.
    If politicians are ashamed to declare their allegiance to the bunch of woman-killers and child-rapists we’ll have done a good thing in moving towards a free and truely secular society.

  211. nolajim says

    Anteprepro: Granted we essentially disrespect one-another’s positions. But let’s try to be pragmatic here. If we go your route, addressing what you call the disease rather than the symptom, we’ll never accomplish anything. Neither you, nor I, nor a protest in Dublin is going to enlighten the church on abortion. Trying to “fix” the church merely reifies the problem. The more pressing problem is to prevent a repeat of this disaster, and that is going to happen many orders of magnitude faster if we concentrate on what Irish law says rather than on trying to change the Roman Catholic Church.

  212. Rodney Nelson says

    noeljim #223

    In other words, you’re stating and restating the obvious just in case the rest of us thought Benny Ratzi was the Taoiseach and another name for the Dáil Éireann was College of Cardinals.

  213. nolajim says

    Rodney Nelson: I might be stating the obvious, I’m not sure. It seems a great many commentators here seem to think exactly what you’ve just said, that Irish law is written by the Catholic Church. Failing that, they seem to think that what happened in this case was a matter of a doctor or a hospital imposing private religious beliefs on others, instead of accepting the fact that Irish law prohibited abortion in this case until it was far too late to save the mother. I think Irish law on abortion has to change. But in order to accomplish that, I wouldn’t waste any breath trying to alter or exterminate the RCC. I would concentrate more pragmatically on a secular political process. Certainly, there is now an opportunity for this.

  214. mudpuddles says

    @ sgailebeairt, # 227

    Hi there sgailebeairt,

    because as long as there was a fetal heartbeat, the d&c wld be “murder” in the eyes of the Church…

    The church does not run the hospital. UHG is not run or owned by the Catholic church. The consultants involved are not under the direction of the church in their day to day activities.

    I don’t doubt that at least some of the medical team involved may have been Catholic, nor do I doubt that their religious upbringing may have influenced the general outlook on abortion of any of those team members who are Catholic. But several surveys have indicated that the majority of Catholics in Ireland do not agree with a complete ban on abortion, and I would seriously doubt that all of the relevant senior staff at UHG would be so devout as to mutlilaterally and categorically dismiss any chance of abortion because of what the Pope says.

    If it is true, as reported, that Savita was told that abortion was not possible because “this is a Catholic country”, then from my own experience I think that it was probably the dismissive statement of a nurse or junior staffer or otherwise a pig-ignorant consultant, who was responding not on a question of absolute medical need for a patient at critical risk, but rather to a question from an Asian Hindu who – in his or her mind – didn’t garner the same empathy and attention as a white Irish woman. Savita pleaded that she was not Irish and not Catholic, and I am afraid that the mental response was probably “Exactly, but you are in ireland now, so leave it to us to make the decisions thank you very much.”

  215. Matt Penfold says

    Rodney Nelson: I might be stating the obvious, I’m not sure. It seems a great many commentators here seem to think exactly what you’ve just said, that Irish law is written by the Catholic Church.

    I see no evidence of that. Are you being dishonest again ?

    What people here seem to think is that the RCC has historically had huge influence in Ireland, including in what legislation gets passed. The RCC might not have written the law on abortion, but it was clearly drawn up with the views of the RCC in mind.

    Oh, and I asked you to explain why you lied about Suvita’s life not being in danger when she was first admitted. Your silence suggests you cannot explain your lack of honesty.

  216. revjimbob says

    It brings to mind Ed Brayton’s post about Secular Blasphemy – here in Scotland I could get arrested for saying this in public –
    Fuck the Pope.

  217. Rodney Nelson says

    nolajim #235

    It seems a great many commentators here seem to think exactly what you’ve just said, that Irish law is written by the Catholic Church.

    Trust me, nobody thinks Irish law is written by the RCC. What we do believe is the RCC has a massive amount of influence on which laws are written and how they’re written. The X case was settled in 1992. For the past 20 years, the Dáil has failed to write a law conforming to the Supreme Court’s decision in that case.

    Savita died despite the fact that the Irish Constitution allows for abortion in cases where the life of the pregnant woman is in danger. This right to life on the part of the woman has been affirmed by the electorate. Despite what the constitution says and what the Irish people have said, the has failed to enact legislation which would enforce the constitutional right and the will of the people.

    The Dáil’s inaction is not because the TDs are being inattentive. Rather they’re afraid of the Catholic backlash over any law seen as liberalizing abortion. So don’t tell us the Catholic Church doesn’t have any influence on the Dáil. We’re not quite as ignorant as you seem to think we are.

  218. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Matt Penfold, I completely agree with you about the fuckwittery, but in all honesty, when she initially was admitted, her life was in fact not in acute danger. Had the miscarriage completed spontaneously – as they usually do – then she would have had a low risk of suffering severe harm. It was the failure of the miscarriage to complete that set everything else going.

    But.

    That the miscarriage was not completing spontaneously was apparent a day after she was admitted. At that moment, any halfway intelligent medical professional would have realized the immense risk she was in.

  219. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    Beatrice @168:
    Perhaps we should direct all stupid sacks of shit out of this thread and over to the Thunderdome. It’s been so quiet over there. No chewtoys to practice teeth sharpening on.
    That would leave this thread for those with empathy and reading skills.

  220. mudpuddles says

    @ Rodney, #240

    So don’t tell us the Catholic Church doesn’t have any influence on the Dáil. We’re not quite as ignorant as you seem to think we are.

    Agreed. The religious lobby here is still massive and very influential, but thankfully becoming smaller and weaker. I reckon the main reaosn for persistent Dáil inaction is fear of the backlash from the church and faith-based organisations. I could be wrong, but I don’t ever remember any one of the three main political parties ever categorically accepting as an element of party policy that a formal statutory response to the X Case, as recently demanded by the European Court of Human Rights, should be enacted.

  221. sgailebeairt says

    @mudpuddles don’t you know this is the same hospital that had that symposium that just came out with the “news” that women NEVER need an abortion to save their lives?? an institution doesnt have to have “owned by Rome” on the deed to be under the influence of Catholicism…. if all the drs & nurses are catholics who think that obeying Rome is more imprtnt than ‘man’s laws” then good luck getting an abortion, a vasectomy, an iud, a prescription for the Pill, anything that is “contrary to Catholic morals & Teaching”

    http://www.personhoodusa.com/news/medical-symposium%E2%80%99s-findings-abortion-never-necessary-%E2%80%9Clife-mother%E2%80%9D-%E2%80%98exceptions%E2%80%99-substantiate-p

  222. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    campbell @171:

    However, to literally “shut ‘em down” if we’re talking about the hospitals would be pretty bad for the already f’d up U.S. health care system.

    I assumed by the title of this post, that PZ was talking about shutting down the Catholic Church, not hospitals.

  223. Matt Penfold says

    Matt Penfold, I completely agree with you about the fuckwittery, but in all honesty, when she initially was admitted, her life was in fact not in acute danger. Had the miscarriage completed spontaneously – as they usually do – then she would have had a low risk of suffering severe harm. It was the failure of the miscarriage to complete that set everything else going.

    Thanks for the correction.

    nolajim, I owe you an apology for saying you lied about that. Now all you have to explain is your claim we all think the RCC writes Irish law.

  224. says

    Shorter apologists for the Church: Just because the Church used to be heavily involved in the government and public institutions, and most of the people who are in government are Catholic, there is simply no way to correlate the abortion laws of Ireland and the Catholic Church.

    People who say that culture matters, frequently invoke faith as being a foundation of our culture, somehow can’t see how things in our culture are a shaped by religious belief. Yet another example of having it both ways.

    Religion is the basis for all of this rule of law stuff. Except for when it isn’t.

  225. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    I hope that this case forces the Dáil to finally enact laws pursuant to the X case. And maybe go further. And maybe start rolling back the absurd influence of the Church in Ireland.

  226. Matt Penfold says

    @mudpuddles don’t you know this is the same hospital that had that symposium that just came out with the “news” that women NEVER need an abortion to save their lives??

    The link you posted says the symposium took place in Dublin, which is the other side of the country to Galway.

  227. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    nolajim:

    You can, however, get the legislature to behave more rationally.

    And what could possibly be influencing their less than rational behavior?
    Nah. Couldn’t be the influence of the Raping Children Church. Must be something else.

  228. dianne says

    Do you think that the fact that she requested a termination of pregnancy was held against her?

    Yes.

  229. mudpuddles says

    @ sgailebeairt, #244

    don’t you know this is the same hospital that had that symposium that just came out with the “news” that women NEVER need an abortion to save their lives??

    Wrong again. That symposium was in Dublin, which is on the exact opposite side of the country to Galway, where Savita died.

    That “symposium” was organised and hosted by the Committee for Excellence in Maternal Healthcare, a Catholic anti-choice organisation, whose committee members include several people who have been vociferously anti-abortion. It was not organised or endorsed by the Galway University Hospitals.

    In the same way that Answers in Genesis likes to claim that it is a scientific organisation because it is includes scientists as members, the Committee for Excellence in Maternal Healthcare and its “symposia” claim to argue from authority based on including “medical experts” in their ranks. Which is a bunch of arse, as we say over here.

  230. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    nolajim:

    Contrary to romanticized and unrealistic notions about religiosity in Ireland, the church does NOT run the place. Ireland is a modern, secular state, not a theocracy.

    You *are* being dense, because you fail to understand that the antiquated and wrong headed views of the Church have *clearly* influenced the attitudes of those in power in Ireland. Why else would there be a law on the books that only allows for abortion in the case of a threat to the life of the mother? There is no secular reason to deny a woman the right to bodily autonomy. Catholicism would like people to think there’s a good reason to deny that right to women, but Catholic teaching is all about denying women full status as human being all the while elevating fetuses to a level of humanity that their birthing chambers don’t benefit from.

  231. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    The anti-choice fuckwits are already out in force to obscure what happened here. Libby Anne links to a bit of blather [NOTE: FUCKWITTED ANTI-CHOICE RHETORIC] about how this was totes tragic, but her lack of an abortion isn’t what killed her.

    Instead, either it was the failure of the doctors to administer antibiotics in a timely fashion that killed her, or some heretofore unknown thing.

    There was, however, an incredibly telling comment:

    Experts commenting on the case have made it clear that in such cases the main concentration of the medical team treating any woman in this situations would be on maintaining her health. “In such situations, you expedite delivery,” one Obstetrician told the Irish Times. Interventions to deal with the cause of the illness are not considered a therapeutic termination of pregnancy, another Dublin-based practitioner told the newspaper.

    So…she needed to not be pregnant any more. Right?

  232. Matt Penfold says

    Ireland is post-catholic in the same way that the USA is post-racist.

    I don’t think Ireland has yet reached the same level of post-Catholicism as the US has of post-racism. At least in the US the law has been changed to reflect more modern attitudes to race, although practice still lags far behind. Ireland has not even reached the stage of being able to remove the effects of Catholicism on its laws.

  233. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    nolajim:

    It seems a great many commentators here seem to think exactly what you’ve just said, that Irish law is written by the Catholic Church.

    So in addition to being dense, you can’t read for shit.
    No one has said Irish law is written by the Catholic Church.
    We’ve been saying the Catholic Church has a strong influence on those in power in Ireland. Significant enough influence that Catholic “teachings” directly impacted abortion laws in the country.
    Why else would Ireland have an anti abortion law? It’s certainly not for secular reasons.

  234. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    mudpuddles @236:
    from PZ’s link (emphasis added):

    “Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby could they induce to end the pregnancy. The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’.

    “Again on Tuesday morning, the ward rounds and the same discussion. The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita [a Hindu] said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.

    “That evening she developed shakes and shivering and she was vomiting. She went to use the toilet and she collapsed. There were big alarms and a doctor took bloods and started her on antibiotics.

    “The next morning I said she was so sick and asked again that they just end it, but they said they couldn’t.”

  235. Matt Penfold says

    Strictly speaking Ireland has never passed a law on abortion. When it gained independence from the rest of the UK in 1922 the new state adopted the laws in force in the UK (and applicable to Ireland) in force at the time. Most of the laws so adopted have been repealed, replaced or amended since. However the The Offences against the Person Act 1861 which covered abortion has never been amended in respect of the clauses relating to abortion.

    So it is not such us thinking the RCC wrote the Irish law but rather the RCC has been instrumental in the failure to amended the law in 90 years.

  236. A. R says

    A frog’s heart will beat for up to two hours after you destroy its nervous system, and 20 minutes after you cut it out if its body. Is the frog still “alive” in any meaningful sense after you destroy its brain an spinal cord, let alone remove its heart? Oh, yeah: FUCK YOU CATHOLIC CHURCH!

  237. mudpuddles says

    @ Tony, #260

    Thanks mate, that statement you highlight is what I’ve based my suspicions on.

  238. campbell says

    @ d.f. manno (#222): Sold. I can get behind that plan.
    @ tony, QDO (#245): Yup. I over-focused on the don’t let the church run hospitals part; my bad. I’m on board with shutting down the RCC. As it stands, ex-Catholics are the 2nd largest “denomination” in the U.S. The RCC’s pivot even further to the Right is gonna eventually kill it in the U.S. Not soon enough for my taste. And not soon enough–most importantly–for the people’s whose lives are at risk. Time for “cultural” and “Progressive” Catholics to admit they’re enablers/collaborators.

  239. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    This woman, this person, this thinking, feeling human being had a history. She had a past webbed with connections to other thinking, feeling humans, people whom she loved, people by whom she was loved in turn.

    This woman, this person, this thinking, feeling human had a future. A future rich in all the beautiful, wondrous possibilities that make up a human’s time upon this earth.

    But she wasn’t allowed to walk into that future. Was. Not. Allowed. Instead she was forced to suffer agonies beyond our ability to comprehend as she rotted from within. She dribbled her life away in a flush of pus and gore as those who could have saved her stood by and refused that which could have saved her.

    And you nolajim, you want to play games with the responsibility? Fuck you, you loathsome piece of bilious spume. Fuck you for reducing this horror, this torture death, to a false dichotomy. Blame is not a single indivisible unit, it’s damn near an infinite resource. And right here, right now you can have your share. A great heaping, steaming pile of it for reducing the slow, grinding snuffing out of a thinking, feeling human being’s life into some kind of rhetorical game.

  240. nolajim says

    When I see that some here seem to think the RCC writes Irish Law, I am trying to call attention to the blame being heaped here on the Church INSTEAD of the state. Yes, the Church deserves plenty of blame here (which I said repeatedly, although a few seem not to have noticed at all). But the state is the immediate culprit. The state wrote/maintained the law that required the doctors not to perform an abortion in this case. Yes the church should be criticized for that, but if you want to prevent a recurrence, you’ve got to get the state to change its law. Trying to change or eliminate the church or at least its influence, however laudable, is a process that will take decades, perhaps centuries.

  241. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    nolajim:

    Yes the church should be criticized for that, but if you want to prevent a recurrence, you’ve got to get the state to change its law.

    And how do you propose that be accomplished when they’re so strongly influenced by Catholic teachings?
    By Thor you’re being dense. The Church should get the lion’s share of the blame because it’s their fault that odious laws regarding abortion are on the books to begin with. What’s a secular argument against a woman’s right to bodily autonomy? Oh, that’s right:
    THERE ISN’T ONE.
    Women aren’t treated with full rights to bodily autonomy because of the impact of Church teachings. If we want to prevent a recurrence, we have to eliminate the influence of the Church by convincing/persuading people that the teachings are wrong. Or at the very least by convincing/persuading people that laws should be based on empirically testable evidence rather than 2000 year old wishful thinking.

  242. Matt Penfold says

    When I see that some here seem to think the RCC writes Irish Law, I am trying to call attention to the blame being heaped here on the Church INSTEAD of the state. Yes, the Church deserves plenty of blame here (which I said repeatedly, although a few seem not to have noticed at all). But the state is the immediate culprit. The state wrote/maintained the law that required the doctors not to perform an abortion in this case. Yes the church should be criticized for that, but if you want to prevent a recurrence, you’ve got to get the state to change its law. Trying to change or eliminate the church or at least its influence, however laudable, is a process that will take decades, perhaps centuries.

    Did you not bother asking yourself why no Irish Government has introduced a bill to amend the law on abortion ? Do you think there will be opposition, and if so, who do you think will be leading that opposition ? Yes, the Irish parliament need to change the law, but please acknowledge the firestorm that will ensue when they try to do so, and who will be to blame for that firestorm.

  243. nolajim says

    Dear Fossilfishy:
    I have not done anything that even remotely implies any kind of dichotomy, false or true, which you would realize if you had actually read what I wrote above. Yes, the church is culpable, AS I HAVE SAID. But it was the power of the state, not the church that directed the doctors’ actions. If they performed an illegal abortion, they faced life in prison. That is the power of the state, not the church. And given the (poor) state of Irish law on abortion, what little gray area there was in this particular case was not enough for them to rely on in hopes of avoiding prosecution. WORK TO CHANGE THE LAW, and leave the church to find its own way to oblivion

  244. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Nolajim, yes the fucking state should have done something about their draconian laws.

    But: the Church is why they have not.

    Odd parallel here!

    Savita died of septicemia. She got septicemia because she didn’t have an abortion.

    The state has failed to enact basic laws. They have failed to do so because of the Church.

  245. Matt Penfold says

    The Church should get the lion’s share of the blame because it’s their fault that odious laws regarding abortion are on the books to begin with.

    Actually, the blame should be because they are still on the books. The RCC had little to do with the introduction of the law, as it was a law passed at Westminster in 1861. RCC influence at Westminster was not strong at the time.

  246. nolajim says

    WHO is being dense?? Yes, you are all right: the church is a HUGE stumbling block to getting Irish abortion laws updated. But: 1) it is still the laws of Ireland you have to change, not the laws of the church and 2) the power of the church is not insurmountable. This case is a huge opportunity. Now stop complaining about the damned church and start working on the secular political process to change the law!

  247. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Ah. So nolajim thinks that this:

    “The influence of the Church in leading Ireland to do terrible shit is awful!”

    is absolving the Irish State of responsibility.

  248. Matt Penfold says

    WORK TO CHANGE THE LAW, and leave the church to find its own way to oblivion

    To change the law the influence of the RCC needs to be further curtailed, otherwise the parliamentary votes may not be there to get the law passed. The RCC is the impediment to changing to the law, and for you to claim otherwise is laughable.

  249. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Yeah, “the legislators just need to stand up to the RCC!” is not really a fix. They should, of course, but so long as the RCC holds as much influence as it does, such a course of action is untenable.

  250. nolajim says

    CASE IN POINT: quoting from the Irish Times today: “Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute said the loss of Ms Halappanavar’s life was not caused by Ireland’s ban on abortion, and it was “very sad to see abortion campaigners rush to exploit this case”.
    “We need to ensure that mothers and babies are best protected, and abortion is not part of best medical practice. It is medieval medicine,” she said.”

    THERE is no doubt that the opinions of Ms. O’Brian and the Life Institute are due directly to the RCC. But look at what she said. She has not quoted scripture or Papal bulls. She is playing a game, trying to appear more scientific and secular than she really is. And if you think about that for a moment, you realize that what that means is that EVEN SHE realizes that the matter is ultimately going to be decided on a secular basis rather than a religious one.

  251. nolajim says

    Esteleth, I’m not sure how you could possibly characterize my remarks as you just did. I’m clearly arguing in favor of holding the state accountable.

  252. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Nolajim, where are you getting the idea that the RCC has little influence in Ireland and that it is an easy thing to defy it? It may well be weaker than in the past (the child-raping scandal has helped, surely), but it is not weak.

  253. nolajim says

    Esteleth: I AGREE WITH YOU: The influence is the church in Ireland is strong. I’ve never said otherwise.

  254. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Nolajim, you seem to be categorizing our (mine and others here) comments critiquing the RCC as absolving the state.

  255. Matt Penfold says

    Esteleth, I’m not sure how you could possibly characterize my remarks as you just did. I’m clearly arguing in favor of holding the state accountable.

    Since her characterization seems fair, I imagine she could do so quite easily.

    Is there some reason you could not work that you for yourself ?

  256. nolajim says

    Um…. am I reading #273 wrong?? Esteleth there appears to me to say I’m trying to absolve the state. Which is exactly the opposite of EVERYTHING I’ve written above (if you’ve paid any attention at all)

  257. Matt Penfold says

    Esteleth: I AGREE WITH YOU: The influence is the church in Ireland is strong. I’ve never said otherwise.

    You have been saying it is not the reason the law in Ireland has not been changed. You have been making that point a lot.

  258. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Nolajim, you are reading my 273 exactly backwards. You have been saying that me saying that the RCC’s influence on Irish law is horrific is an act of absolving the state of responsibility.

    Also, you appear to be a moron.

  259. nolajim says

    Ing:Intellectual — Please address the reality of the discussion. I have by no means said that the church isn’t to blame.

  260. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Nolajim seems to be of the belief that:
    1. The RCC’s influence in Ireland is strong,
    2. The RCC has antediluvian views on a whole matter of shit, but
    3. The Irish State’s laws have little to do with either (1) or (2).

  261. nolajim says

    Look, if you’re going to criticize me, please read what I actually wrote instead of the preceding seven misquotes and mischaracterizations made by other not-very-perceptive bloggers here.

  262. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    I have a theory that we’re secretly debating Bobby Jindal, Ing.

  263. John Morales says

    nolajim, you’re neither equivocating nor confusing the proximate with the ultimate cause — you’re ignoring it.

    I quote Giliell @231 with my own due emphasis:
    We don’t want to change it. We want it gone. And we think that showing the world what a horrible bunch of sick criminals they are is a way to achieve that.
    If politicians are ashamed to declare their allegiance to the bunch of woman-killers and child-rapists we’ll have done a good thing in moving towards a free and truely secular society.”

    A touch hyperbolic and conflates the institution with its members, but nonetheless addresses what you ignore, presumably because you find it impractical — but a less modest aspiration than yours.

  264. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Really, Nolajim? Care to explain just what the relationship is between the RCC, its views on matters, and the current state of Irish law?

  265. Matt Penfold says

    Um…. am I reading #273 wrong?? Esteleth there appears to me to say I’m trying to absolve the state. Which is exactly the opposite of EVERYTHING I’ve written above (if you’ve paid any attention at all)

    What you have been saying is that whilst you agree that the RCC is the major obstruction to changing the law, the problem does not lie with the RCC but the Irish Parliament’s inability to get to grips with the issue. It is nonsense of course, because you seem incapable of understanding why the Irish Parliament has been so reluctant to do. The path to getting the law changed requires dealing with the RCC, which is something you do not want done.

  266. nolajim says

    Now that’s funny. Me, Catholic. No.. I’m just a realist. I detest religious involvement with secular affairs. But religion isn’t the only evil in the world. Often, anti-religious people (of which I am one), in their rush to blame religion for everything, fail to see the plainly obvious: that sometimes worldly money, and power are the real sources of conflict, and sometimes religion is just a convenient set of labels to layer on top of that. This has certainly been an example of that. The church has been evil in its influence on the matter, but don’t let the secular state off the hook because of that.

  267. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    I detest religious involvement with secular affairs.

    Good!

    But religion isn’t the only evil in the world. Often, anti-religious people (of which I am one), in their rush to blame religion for everything, fail to see the plainly obvious: that sometimes worldly money, and power are the real sources of conflict, and sometimes religion is just a convenient set of labels to layer on top of that.

    True enough.

    This has certainly been an example of that.

    No it isn’t. Idiot.

    The church has been evil in its influence on the matter, but don’t let the secular state off the hook because of that.

    HOW ARE WE LETTING THE STATE OFF THE HOOK!? WE CAN CRITICIZE THE RCC FOR INFLUENCING THE STATE AND THE STATE FOR BEING INFLUENCED SIMULTANEOUSLY.

  268. nolajim says

    Ing: I think you just proved my point at #294. All you can think of is blaming the church. And I AGREE it deserves blame. But stop using your rage as an excuse not to change the world for the better. Fix this problem. Change Irish Law. That CAN be done by a secular political process, in spite of the tremendous influence of the church. If you want to accomplish nothing, than continue clinging to your anti-church rage, and by all means go piss into the wind.

  269. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    That CAN be done by a secular political process, in spite of the tremendous influence of the church.

    The influence of the church is WHAT IS STOPPING the secular political process. So long as the church holds in the influence it does, it WILL CONTINUE TO HOLD UP SECULAR PROGRESS.

  270. Matt Penfold says

    The church has been evil in its influence on the matter, but don’t let the secular state off the hook because of that.

    No one is letting the state off of the hook, except in your head.

    That the reason the state has not changed the law is because it does not want to deal with the shitstorm that will come its way when it tries to, and the chief protagonists in that shitstorm will be the RCC. Therefore when you claim we should not concentrate on the RCC if we want the law changed you are are arguing against getting the law changed.

    You are simply not being honest if you claim you want to see the law changed but do not want to see the RCC challenged.

  271. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    In other words, if we want progress in the secular political realm, we must lessen the RCC’s power and influence. And the only way to do that is to directly confront it.

  272. John Morales says

    nolajim:

    But religion isn’t the only evil in the world.

    … therefore, it’s an evil that doesn’t merit opposition?

    (Your argumentative armamentarium is meagre that you resort to that)

  273. Matt Penfold says

    The influence of the church is WHAT IS STOPPING the secular political process. So long as the church holds in the influence it does, it WILL CONTINUE TO HOLD UP SECULAR PROGRESS.

    I cannot see how it can be put any clearer than this. If nolajim still cannot grasp the point, I doubt he ever can. We might just have to accept we are past the limits of his intellectual capacity.

  274. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    At this point, I think nolajim is a disingenuous fuck. It’s been explained multiple times to hir that the problem is the tremendous influence the RCC has over the Irish government. It’s been pointed out to hir that as long as the RCC wields the power it does, that it will be difficult to change the laws. Yet xe still argues that what’s needed is changing the law. How can xe not understand that Catholic beliefs are at the root of the problem?

  275. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Matt, I think nolajim – for all his (and somehow, I’m pretty sure that nolajim is male) asserted non-religiosity, has a soft spot in his heart for the RCC, and they must be protected. Maybe he’s a Stedmanite.

  276. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    Matt @304:
    You’re right.
    At this point, nolajim is one of those shrieking trolls in a tornado.

  277. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gonna call nolajim as catholic…anyone else taking bets?

    That was obvious from its early attempts to deflect responsibility from the church to the state. And it hasn’t shown that the state is utterly independent of church influence. It loses with every post not showing that implicit claim.

  278. nolajim says

    I do feel I’ve accomplished a little something here. At least we’ve got to the point where several of us are admitting that both the church and state deserve some blame here, which is no more and no less than I said in the beginning and have said all along (in spite of the refusal of some posters here to read what I actually wrote).

    You go confront your church. Shout at it. Scream. Knock yourself out. While you’re wasting your time and resources, some of us will be circulating petitions, speaking to groups, getting out the vote, and otherwise engaging in real-world activities that might actually change the law to prevent a recurrence of this tragedy. However often the church and its position will come up in those discussions, it is ultimately the secular political process that will change things, and not the wasted energy of church-obsessed whiners.

  279. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    Esteleth:
    I was thinking much the same thing about nolajim’s apologies for the Catholic Church.
    (and yes, if you’re reading this, nolajim, you’re making excuses for the Church; they’re the real problem, as we’ve been trying to tell you, but you refuse to recognize).

  280. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nolajim, cite the laws where the legislature has contradicted major church beliefs in order to prove it is independent of church influence. Or it is under church influence, and you lose until it is no longer under that influence. Show (don’t tell) how that must happen….

  281. Matt Penfold says

    And let us not forget that until recently, the influence of the RCC was such that any attempt to change the law would almost certainly have failed.

    The child abuse scandals have diminished the church’s influence, but it still retains a large amount of influence, especially outside of the major urban areas. Any attempt to change the law is not going to get an easy passage, and it would take up a lot of parliamentary time. It could not be done with the backing of the governing party. Ireland is also facing a serious economic crisis, which is also taking up a considerable amount of parliamentary time.

  282. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Nolajim, please explain how secular progress can happen in the presence of a powerful force working directly to impede said progress.

  283. John Morales says

    nolajim:

    You go confront your church. Shout at it. Scream. Knock yourself out. While you’re wasting your time and resources, some of us will be circulating petitions, speaking to groups, getting out the vote, and otherwise engaging in real-world activities that might actually change the law to prevent a recurrence of this tragedy.

    Epitome of a false dichotomy, that is.

  284. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    nolajim:
    No, you don’t get to claim a win.
    While some people (myself included) have said that the state bears responsibility, the ultimate blame lays with the Church, because their teaching is what has created the horrible situation where a woman was denied a life saving abortion. The laws on the books are there because of the Raping Children Church. Until their power and influence is diminished (preferably eliminated–peaceably), it’s going to be difficult to effect much secular change. The organization you’re protecting will fight tooth and nail with its *considerable* resources, power and influence to keep the status quo as it is. They want women to be second class citizens without full autonomy.

  285. Anri says

    I can see I’m outnumbered. I don’t think I’m being in the least bit dense or tricky here. I share all the vitriol everyone here has toward the church for this unfortunate woman’s unnecessary death. But I also think the anger of great many of you is significantly misplaced. Contrary to romanticized and unrealistic notions about religiosity in Ireland, the church does NOT run the place. Ireland is a modern, secular state, not a theocracy. The Irish state killed Savita, not the Catholic Church. Place blame where it belongs. Hold the state accountable, and pressure it to update its laws.

    What secular reason does Ireland have for its stance on abortion?

    If the answer is “Um, gee, none at all”, than we can safely settle the matter of the source of the stance, and the source of the majority of the opposition to any change in that stance, yes?

    I wonder if there would be any way to figure out what that mysterious influence might be? If only there was some… secret society, perhaps a large and wealthy group, of which a substantial portion of the populace considered themselves members, and which held itself up as the source for moral guidance for everyone, members and otherwise and had a well-known and well-established policy on the issue at hand?
    Why, we’d assume that mysterious society was the reason for the law, wouldn’t we?

    Now… what if that society wasn’t secret?

    This is why people are calling you dense.

  286. Anri says

    However often the church and its position will come up in those discussions, it is ultimately the secular political process that will change things, and not the wasted energy of church-obsessed whiners.

    Um, right, because outside pressure has never caused any church to change its stance on anything.

    That’s why Galileo is still under house arrest, there’s no such thing as a black Mormon, and no Catholics use birth control.

  287. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    nolajim Fuck you’re dense. Your continued insistence that we preferentially blame the legislature, despite many and varied comments agreeing with you that the legislature in indeed blameworthy, doesn’t resemble a false dichotomy? Really?

    And now you’re implying that one can’t oppose the church and actively work to change the law. What is it with you and binary thinking? I beginning to worry that if the stupid in your comments becomes any denser they will begin to bend light.

    At this point the only reason I can see you continuing this line of argument is a desire to be validated as being correct. Using a woman’s torture death as a means to ego gratification through rhetoric is contemptible. Fuck off.

  288. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    nolajim,

    I’ve quoted Voltaire previously: “If they can make you believe absurdities, they can make you commit atrocities.”

    And no, while the Catlick church has no official role in Ireland, Ireland is still a Catlick country, because its people are overwhelmingly Catlick. It is the absurd beliefs of the people that lead to the absurd laws of the nation that lead to the atrocities.

    Remedy the absurd beliefs, and the laws can change. However, the church will fight tooth and nail over every inch of the country. They will fight as if their life depended on it–because it does.

  289. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    At this point the only reason I can see you continuing this line of argument is a desire to be validated as being correct

    Which is not likely to happen around here.
    Perhaps at a Catholic blog, but here, where people value the lives and desires of women…nope.

  290. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Indeed Tony. One of the many reasons I love it here.

  291. Mr. Fire says

    Ha!

    We’re all getting mad at the RCC in a thread.

    It therefore follows that we will all lose sight of the goal of pursuing legislative change.

    Unless nolajim saves us with revelations many of us had considered obvious.

  292. No Light says

    I’m a tad behind on things, but is “NolaJim” the same prattling arsecarbuncle as “Noelplum aka Jim”?

    It seems annoyingly familiar.

  293. nolajim says

    I don’t want to try to rob anyone of their justified rage. Many here might have good reason for the hatred of the church. But a few of you here need to see a therapist. Not because your anger is invalid, but because it is directed in impractical directions. Confront the church if its part of your individual recovery from a personal injustice. Work to change or eradicate the church if you’re really willing to expend multiple life-times on such efforts. But if you’re concerned about a situation like Savita’s, and you want to make a difference before the time of your great-grandchildren, work for change at the secular level.

    CONSIDER The following letter to the Irish Times

    A chara, – I first learned of the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar over one week ago. It made me both ashamed and angered to be Irish. Ultimately what angered me most was that this was both a preventable and predictable death.

    She died because successive governments have neglected to legislate for the 1992 Supreme Court common law ruling, permitting abortion if “real and substantial risk” to the life of the mother is present.

    She died because my profession have not been sufficient advocates for women in these situations. She died because reportedly she was told we are a “Catholic country” when we are in fact secular. She died because our nation chooses not to listen to Human Rights Watch, the European Court of Justice, Amnesty International and internationally published research (including my own research published in September 2012, in the European Journal of General Practice, highlighting many cases when mothers with real and substantial risk to their lives were forced to travel abroad for termination of pregnancy).

    She died needlessly.

    I cannot imagine the pain and suffering experienced by her family. – Is mise,

    Dr MARK MURPHY GP,

    Strandhill,

    Sligo.

  294. Rodney Nelson says

    Okay, nolajim, you’ve done your best to ease the Catholic Church out of the limelight. Go tell your priest you gave it a good try, I’m sure he’ll give you an extra Hail Mary the next time you go to confession. IOW, I don’t believe you when you pretend you’re not a Catholic.

  295. John Morales says

    [meta]

    nolajim:

    Not because your anger is invalid, but because it is directed in impractical directions.

    Surely your obtuseness is wilful.

  296. anteprepro says

    But a few of you here need to see a therapist. Not because your anger is invalid, but because it is directed in impractical directions…Work to change or eradicate the church if you’re really willing to expend multiple life-times on such efforts. But if you’re concerned about a situation like Savita’s, and you want to make a difference before the time of your great-grandchildren, work for change at the secular level.

    What part of “false dichotomy” don’t you understand? You’ve managed to say the same thing over and over and haven’t been able to absorb what people have said in response to you at all. Congratulations on being a fuckwit.

  297. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    nolajim:

    Many here might have good reason for the hatred of the church.

    I dare say if anyone gives proper thought to the actions of the Raping Children Chruch, most people on the planet have a reason to hate them.

    Not because your anger is invalid, but because it is directed in impractical directions. Confront the church if its part of your individual recovery from a personal injustice. Work to change or eradicate the church if you’re really willing to expend multiple life-times on such efforts. But if you’re concerned about a situation like Savita’s, and you want to make a difference before the time of your great-grandchildren, work for change at the secular level.

    My god you’re a dimwitted, disingenuous, duckshart.

    How can you not understand that the teachings of the Church have directly led to the laws that you’re arguing need to be changed?
    How can you not understand that trying to change the law is going to be exceptionally difficult because of the Catholic Church?
    How can you be so thickheaded as to not understand that your binary thinking (as rightly called out by FossilFishy) is wrong headed?

  298. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but because it is directed in impractical directions

    Nope, your excuses are directed in impratical directions. You still haven’t presented evidence that the legislature in Ireland isn’t under the thumb of the RCC. That is because such evidence doesn’t exist, and you know that.

  299. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Nolajim does not seem to believe that it is possible to sign petitions, march, call legislatures and otherwise agitate for change AND criticize the church simultaneously.

  300. says

    I would be interested to know whether any of the medical staff involved in this matter(also, in this bizarre conference where it was falsely proclaimed that abortion never saves the life of the mother that was linked above) graduated from Catholic universities.

    I have long been convinced that doctors who study at religious universities are unfit for medical practice, in particular in areas like O&G where religious dogma and belief may influence necessary medical decisions.

    Here in Australia medical students can study at Catholic unis, for example at Notre Dame in Sydney, and their core curriculum consists of lessons in catholic ethics and theology. Catholic universities operate under restrictions set by the RCC, such as Pope JP II’s “APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF JOHN PAUL II ON CATHOLIC UNIVERSITIES”, which contains stuff like this:

    13. Since the objective of a Catholic University is to assure in an institutional manner a Christian presence in the university world confronting the great problems of society and culture(16), every Catholic University, as Catholic, must have the following essential characteristics:

    “1. a Christian inspiration not only of individuals but of the university community as such;

    2. a continuing reflection in the light of the Catholic faith upon the growing treasury of human knowledge, to which it seeks to contribute by its own research;

    3. fidelity to the Christian message as it comes to us through the Church;

    4. an institutional commitment to the service of the people of God and of the human family in their pilgrimage to the transcendent goal which gives meaning to life”(17).

    Given this kind of indoctrination, I am not surprised that we see outcomes like the one at Galway. These people are unfit to practice, and the Consultant who told this patient about Ireland being “a catholic country” needs to be removed from office.

  301. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Ah well, until nolajim condescends to give us xe’s explanation of why this must, must I tell’s yah, be an issue where two courses of action cannot be pursued, let me indulge in my own bit of false dichotomy:

    nolajim: Sooper-sekrit Catlick liar for Jeebuz.

    OR

    nolajim: Egotistical douchetouque who must be right at all costs.

    Surely a harder choice has never been posited?

  302. says

    So I see(via Ophelia) that one of the organizers of this conference was this guy:

    one of the organisers of the conference was Eamon O’Dwyer, professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynaecology at NUI Galway, which is attached to University Hospital in Galway, where Savita Halappanavar died.

    A hardcore godbotherer if the available info can be believed. If that guy is in charge of O&G there, that would explain a lot.

  303. nolajim says

    Well, I’m not sure, FossilFishy. While I think I’m making a valid point, I don’t feel a need to be right at the expense of facing reality, and I certainly am not saying you can’t BOTH criticize the church AND take political action (Anteprepro: you’re the one creating the false dichotomy, not me: I have all along admitted that there is blame for both). We can certainly agree that, in theory, there is room for both, although I have some reservations about a single person’s ability actually to DO both.

    And I really don’t see why I’m being accused of being pro-Catholic or pro-Church or even pro-Religion merely for calling attention to some of the more obvious neuroses we’re tripping over here.

    I am reacting to the extensive anti-church rhetoric I’ve seen in these comments, not because they criticize the church, but because they’ve tended to let the Irish state off the hook too much. I realize that doesn’t apply to everyone here.

    Why does it bother me?

    #1: Because by making this an issue about the church, one is making it an issue of religion, and that makes it much more likely that the church will win. You can’t win on their home court, at least not in the short term. By “confronting the church” you become a tool of the church, keeping the focus on religious debate, that most people will just walk away from, instead of making this an issue of medicine, law, and politics, which you might actually be able to do something about NOW.

    #2: Because it seems to demonstrate a peculiar notion of modern Ireland as too much liken the Ireland your (Americans) great-great-grandparents emigrated from. Yes the church is an obstacle to progress in Ireland. But modern Ireland *is* a secular state, not a bunch of farmers who still believe in fairies or things that go bump in the night.

  304. says

    because they’ve tended to let the Irish state off the hook too much

    from the OP:

    because lawmakers in that country shied away from learning how their policies killed women

    from a skimming of the first dozen comments:

    Ireland, rise up and get rid of these laws

    It seems Irish politicians have swept the abortion issue under the carpet for years

    conclusion: nolajim can’t or won’t read.

  305. says

    You can’t win on their home court, at least not in the short term

    some of us are fighting this fight for the long term, as well as the short term.

    the Ireland your (Americans) great-great-grandparents emigrated from

    LOL

    someone explain to nolajim how the internet works, because he(?) seems to think he’s the only non-American on it.

  306. Mr. Fire says

    nolajim, you continue to dismiss the notion that people are able to hate the church and act for change at the same time.

    You stubbornly, inexplicably persist in your groundless insinuation that we far too busy yelling at the church to do anything practical. Not only is this not true, but even if it were true, it still wouldn’t be correct.

    This whole time…you’ve been beating a strawman while thinking you had something original to say.

  307. Koshka says

    #2: Because it seems to demonstrate a peculiar notion of modern Ireland as too much liken the Ireland your (Americans) great-great-grandparents emigrated from. Yes the church is an obstacle to progress in Ireland. But modern Ireland *is* a secular state, not a bunch of farmers who still believe in fairies or things that go bump in the night.

    You appear to be going for the “stupid Americans dont know shit” argument. Many people here are not American.

    Also the 2011 census showed that 84% of Irish population is Catholic.
    They may as well believe in fairies.

    Also please refrain from using mental health insults in your comments. It makes you look like an arsehole.

  308. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    nolajim:

    While I think I’m making a valid point

    Really?
    Where?

    I don’t feel a need to be right at the expense of facing reality,

    I think you’re a liar.
    You’ve been ignoring reality this entire thread. It’s like you live in an alternate reality. Are you a Catholic Republican?
    It’s been pointed out repeatedly to you that the Catholic Church’s influence is significant enough to affect legislation in Ireland.
    You’ve had multiple people inform you that the very secular laws you want to change are going to be fought tooth and nail by the RCC.
    You have failed-utterly-to grasp the simple fact that the Roman Catholic Church holds tremendous sway in the political arena in Ireland (and around the world for that matter). You continue with this simple minded attitude that the proper thing to do is change the law-while failing to realize where lawmakers are getting their “values” from.
    You’ve been saying your same crap over and over, as if you’re right at the expense of facing reality.

    And I really don’t see why I’m being accused of being pro-Catholic or pro-Church or even pro-Religion merely for calling attention to some of the more obvious neuroses we’re tripping over here.

    You can’t see it because you’re closing your eyes. Try opening them up and reading for comprehension.
    You’re making excuses for the Catholic Church. You say on the one hand that they bear responsibility, but by the rest of your insipid words, you don’t hold them accountable. You hold the government accountable. As if the Church doesn’t influence them at all. As if the laws could be changed without the Church fighting back with their not-inconsiderable resources.

    One more time:

    This *is* an issue of religion.
    There is no secular reason to deny a woman the right to bodily autonomy.
    The reason to deny women the right to an abortion is rooted in
    R-E-L-I-G-I-O-N. That “reason” is based upon the superstitious wishful thinking of bronze age goat herders who knew jack shit about the world and how it works. That superstitious wishful thinking has carried over into the 21st century, well beyond its shelf life. That superstitious wishful thinking has influenced laws across the entire planet. Including laws in Ireland. If you’re going to fight against anti-abortion laws, you’re going to fight against the Catholic Church. You’re seeing part of the problem, but you’re not seeing the root of it.
    You refuse to accept that the Christianity is like 2000 year old spoiled milk. It’s GIGO.

  309. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    Jadehawk @341:

    Given his reading comprehension skills, how many syllables should we stick to with our explanation?

  310. John Morales says

    nolajim:

    We can certainly agree that, in theory, there is room for both, although I have some reservations about a single person’s ability actually to DO both.

    So you foolishly condemn the one whilst advocating for the other because of these reservations.

    And I really don’t see why I’m being accused of being pro-Catholic or pro-Church or even pro-Religion merely for calling attention to some of the more obvious neuroses we’re tripping over here.

    There’s an adage: “Intent isn’t magic”.

    What you intend is not necessarily what you achieve; and what you do is a de facto apologia for the Church and its influence when you decry activism against it because you have reservations as to whether that also allows for policy advocacy.

    (But still you persevere at ostensibly failing to grasp this simple point)

    #1: Because by making this an issue about the church, one is making it an issue of religion, and that makes it much more likely that the church will win.

    We’re acknowledging it rather than making it, isn’t it, and how so?

    #2: Because it seems to demonstrate a peculiar notion of modern Ireland as too much liken the Ireland your (Americans) great-great-grandparents emigrated from.

    There’s observation of (and reaction to) the reality of “modern Ireland”*, yes — Pharynguloids do not deny reality.

    (Perhaps there’s how it seems to you, and there is what is, and the two aren’t fully congruent)

    * Woman died in agony over several days because the perceived sacredness of a doomed fetus overrode the reality of that woman’s life.

    (Fact)

  311. Ichthyic says

    would you mind speaking to this a little more? I mean how there’s an abortion law in Enzedd, and yet everyone understands it’s to be ignored. Could anyone press charges for an abortion in New Zealand? Why hasn’t it been taken off the books? Etc etc.

    sorry, running a 102 fever atm. can’t think straight enough to even answer one question.

  312. anteprepro says

    Because by making this an issue about the church, one is making it an issue of religion, and that makes it much more likely that the church will win.

    If pointing out that religion is to blame for an atrocity is playing to religion’s strengths, then we are fucked. Game fucking over. Might as well just find a bunker and wait for the fundies to bring us back to the Stone Age.

    keeping the focus on religious debate, that most people will just walk away from, instead of making this an issue of medicine, law, and politics, which you might actually be able to do something about NOW.

    As if ignoring the religious influence will make it go away. As if people don’t walk away from the debate as soon as it gets “political” either.

    Yes the church is an obstacle to progress in Ireland. But modern Ireland *is* a secular state, not a bunch of farmers who still believe in fairies or things that go bump in the night.

    America is a secular state as well. As much as that helps. As has been explained to you, a country doesn’t need to be a theocracy for the religious elements of society to affect its “secular” laws.

    (Anteprepro: you’re the one creating the false dichotomy, not me: I have all along admitted that there is blame for both).

    Fucking idiot. You are the one who just wrote this:

    Not because your anger is invalid, but because it is directed in impractical directions. Confront the church if its part of your individual recovery from a personal injustice. Work to change or eradicate the church if you’re really willing to expend multiple life-times on such efforts. But if you’re concerned about a situation like Savita’s, and you want to make a difference before the time of your great-grandchildren, work for change at the secular level.

    You are the one saying “either fight the church or fight the government”. You are the one bringing up the Irish government in order to say that criticism of the church is either inaccurate or ineffective. You are the fucking moron denying your own words and pretending we don’t notice. Just fuck off.

  313. Mr. Fire says

    you’re the one creating the false dichotomy, not me: I have all along admitted that there is blame for both

    Ok. I’m losing faith in your integrity, nolajim.

    You originally said:

    Work to change or eradicate the church if you’re really willing to expend multiple life-times on such efforts. But if you’re concerned about a situation like Savita’s, and you want to make a difference before the time of your great-grandchildren, work for change at the secular level.

    To which anteprepro replied:

    What part of “false dichotomy” don’t you understand?

    You write respectably well, but in reality, you either lack reading comprehension or you are a liar.

  314. Ichthyic says

    From the navel-gazing Catholic blog that PZ linked to up there comes this fuckheaded concern troll’s comment:

    of note is that this same fuckhead, John, has appeared on most of the other blogs (i count him on 8 so far) to say the same thing.

    … but he seems to be one of the few that are saying this, which tells me that he is likely just a fucking troll, not even a concern troll.

  315. Ichthyic says

    I am reacting to the extensive anti-church rhetoric I’ve seen in these comments, not because they criticize the church, but because they’ve tended to let the Irish state off the hook too much.

    if there was no church, Irish legislators would be knuckle biting over having to pander to it.

    so, no, the proper focus IS the church, and HOW WE GET RID OF IT ENTIRELY.

  316. Ichthyic says

    Yes the church is an obstacle to progress in Ireland. But modern Ireland *is* a secular state

    …and yet there are OBGYNs associated with the hopital in question who are ON RECORD saying that there is NEVER ANY NEED FOR AN ABORTION FOR HEALTH REASONS.

    now, if we focus on the state… HOW DOES THAT FIX THIS?

    it doesn’t. The problem clearly lies with the religious dogma that has fucked up these people’s minds so badly, likely because of severe compartmentalization, that they no longer are able to not just make sound decisions on healthcare, but even make sense!

  317. anteprepro says

    Um, sorry to be your echo chamber, anteprepro.

    I think everything needs to be repeated for him anyway, in order for it to have a chance to pierce through his thick skull.

    However:
    We both may have misunderstood the sheer magnitude of nolajim’s stupidity. He followed that statement with this:

    We can certainly agree that, in theory, there is room for both, although I have some reservations about a single person’s ability actually to DO both.

    I see now how he is denying the false dichotomy: He is not denying that he said one can only either protest the church OR protest the government; he is denying that someone could actually do both. He is not denying using a false dichotomy, he is denying that the dichotomy is false. Because it is unthinkable that one could oppose religion for its influence on politics, while also opposing the actual politics that were the impetus for opposing religion in the first place. I mean, it’s not like there isn’t a certain brand of Atheism, invented by someone on Freethoughtblogs, bearing a certain mathematical symbol, displayed on the right-hand side of this very blog, that is specifically about that kind of thing. Nope, to nolajim, it is damn near impossible to both oppose the church for the way it fucks up politics, and to oppose the actual fucked-up politics.

  318. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I am reacting to the extensive anti-church rhetoric I’ve seen in these comments, not because they criticize the church, but because they’ve tended to let the Irish state off the hook too much.

    Until the church says “Ignore RCC dogma in your votes”, and means it, the church needs full force of our scorn compared to the wimpy state. Why can’t you acknowledge that? Oh, that’s right, you have no point or evidence, just OPINION absolving the church of any wrongdoing. Even if the wrongdoing is pressuring the legislature to vote for church dogma….

  319. Ichthyic says

    I often wonder sometimes if Henry VIII had the right idea…

    maybe a repeat?

    sack the church and kick them the fuck out of ALL of the UK.

  320. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Well, Henry VIII really didn’t want to kick the Catholics out, he simply wanted to make himself head of the church. And bone Anne Boleyn.

  321. nolajim says

    Yes, I’m calling your activist bluff. For those who claim they can complain about the church AND take practical, secular action, I send praise and urge you to do it, and do it now. The reality is that few of you will do both. Most of you will do neither. You will vent your rage at the church on blogs, which is fine for you. But you won’t directly confront the church, work to change its policies from within, or take real-world action to stamp it out. And if you did (more praise), results won’t come in that battle for generations. At the same time, you won’t engage in the grass-roots political activism that is necessary to change Ireland’s abortion laws, even though the problem is one that has been part of the Irish political conscience for 20 years and a perfect test case has been handed over to you.

    I don’t know any of you personally, and will be happy to be wrong about this. I am, however, projecting on the basis of experience both at blogging and at political field work.

  322. Amphiox says

    I often wonder sometimes if Henry VIII had the right idea…

    Executing your wife on trumped up charges because her uterus didn’t produce a child of the gender you wanted?

    Kicking one church out only to replace it with another that is basically the same except for a few minor details doesn’t really fix the problem….

  323. Mr. Fire says

    If nolajim signs off with a declaration of victory, or a Romneyesque re-assertion of the same discredited strawmen, or another passive-aggressive swipe at people’s potential traumatic experiences, everyone who reads this will owe me $50.

  324. Ichthyic says

    Kicking one church out only to replace it with another that is basically the same except for a few minor details doesn’t really fix the problem….

    LOL

    yeah, maybe I’m thinking of the modern Anglican church more than the historical one.

  325. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You will vent your rage at the church on blogs, which is fine for you. But you won’t directly confront the church, work to change its policies from within

    Fuckwitted illiterate idjit, we are atheists. We don’t work from within a religion. Only fuckwitted delusional liars and bullshitters like yourself pretend that. You haven’t shown that the church isn’t influencing the legislature. Therefore, the church can a will be criticized for imposing its will on the secular state. What part of that don’t you understand. Oh, where the evidence points, as you don’t want to acknowledge reality.

  326. anteprepro says

    So now the dichotomy is “opposing religion online” vs. “political activism offline”? Completely ignoring opposing politics online in order to glorify activism, and completely ignoring the possibility of real life anti-religious activism? And you think it is unlikely that one will both involve themselves in political activism AND criticize religious institutions on the internet?

    Dumber by the fucking minute.

  327. Esteleth, Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo says

    Nolajim, we here are an amorphous bunch. Some of us do in fact spend a lot of time lobbying lawmakers in our respective countries (and for the record, a lot of us are not American). Some of us do in fact spend a lot of time agitating for secularism and a dismantling of the power of religious institutions.

    But if you think we’re apathetic and don’t care, fuck you. Recently – in the past two weeks – in response to a plea from a commenter, the commenters here chipped in and raised $2000 to get a woman in need and her child way from her abusive ex. So fuck you. We care. We act. We agitate in our own ways. And we fucking take care of each other.

  328. Mr. Fire says

    Ok, add to that list: hubrisitic sweeping assertions about what we are or are not capable of doing with our lives.

  329. Ichthyic says

    Completely ignoring opposing politics online

    …and completely ignoring that it was the viral online spreading of this very case that is the reason he came here to whinge.

  330. anteprepro says

    At the same time, you won’t engage in the grass-roots political activism that is necessary to change Ireland’s abortion laws, even though the problem is one that has been part of the Irish political conscience for 20 years and a perfect test case has been handed over to you.

    So weren’t we all Ugly Americans who didn’t know anything about Ireland and how it was Truly Secular just a few minutes ago? Now we are all Irish, and should be ashamed for not starting an Irish grass-roots movement?

    Nolajim will learn how the internet works eventually, I hope.

    and completely ignoring that it was the viral online spreading of this very case that is the reason he came here to whinge.

    But, you see, that’s not politics. Because something something something religion something something secular law.

  331. John Morales says

    nolajim:

    Yes, I’m calling your activist bluff.

    FFS. I’m not Irish, nor am I an activist; pretty much all I do is comment on blogs and dispute claims when people IRL make them.

    You, however, are being (at best) disingenuous*.

    (Your shift to argument to incredulity and appeal to personal authority is duly noted)

    * Do you at least admit that the Catholic Church is a pernicious institution which perverts people’s morality?

  332. says

    Here in Saskatchewan we actually had a Catholic hosptial cease to be Catholic. The hospital in the city of Humboldt was Catholic run, but was eventually taken over by the publicly run Saskatoon Regional Health Authority in 2007. Controversy had arisen over Catholic influence over what procedures would be conducted in the hospital, the only one in Humboldt. A specific issue was the refusal to do tubal ligations.

    Saskatoon has three hospitals, the publicly run City Hospital, Royal University Hospital, which is part of the University of Saskatchewan, and the Catholic run St. Paul’s Hospital. St. Paul;s and University are the locations of Saskatoon’s full time emergency departments, while the emergency department at City is open between 8:30 AM and 8 PM.

  333. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    And nolajim flounces again, trailing a jaunty argument from ignorance behind. Bravo I say, bravo…[wild applause]…you truly are a treasure.

    Pssst. Come here…[whispers] Five’ll get ya ten xe can’t stick the flounce…any takers?

  334. nolajim says

    * Do you at least admit that the Catholic Church is a pernicious institution which perverts people’s morality? (John Morales @#373).

    Yes.

    I’ll go further. Christianity is a peculiarly problematic religion that sets the moral/ethical bar terribly low, and confuses “faith” or “being religious” with morality and/or ethics.

    At NO point above have I said otherwise. Everything I said above acknowledges that the church is an obstacle in ethical progress in a case such as Savita’s (and in many others).

  335. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    nolajim:

    But you won’t directly confront the church, work to change its policies from within, or take real-world action to stamp it out.

    I hope you don’t think you’ve steered this conversation in another direction.
    You haven’t.
    You’re still wrong.

    Heck, you’re even wrong with your divergence.
    Why the heck would atheists work to change church policy from within?

    Why would anyone want to change church policy anyways?
    I want churches *gone*.
    I want religion *gone*.
    I want superstitious thinking *gone*.
    Not through force.
    Not through blackmail.
    Not through intimidation.
    I want that accomplished by persuasion and strong arguments.
    Religion is a pox on humanity and belongs in the dustbin of oblivion.

  336. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    nolajim:

    Everything I said above acknowledges that the church is an obstacle in ethical progress in a case such as Savita’s (and in many others).

    And yet you think your simplistic answer “attack the government” is the answer. Despite the pernicious influence of Roman Catholic doctrine in Ireland.

  337. nolajim says

    And I agree with Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– @#377. Not the part about me, but certainly the part about religion being a pox that needs to be eliminated by strong argument.

  338. anteprepro says

    At NO point above have I said otherwise. Everything I said above acknowledges that the church is an obstacle in ethical progress in a case such as Savita’s (and in many others).

    Which means that all your handwringing has been over nothing in particular, and was basically all just pedantry/concern. What a fucking relief that is.

  339. nolajim says

    But unlike what Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– just wrote, I have not suggested anyone should “attack” the (or any) government.

  340. says

    Yes, I’m calling your activist bluff.

    don’t ever play poker, you’d suck at it.

    work to change its policies from within

    fascinating.

    results won’t come in that battle for generations

    actually, results are ongoing. victory will take a while longer, but so does every social justice fight. Feminism is officially in its 2nd century of fighting, and we’re nowhere near done with that either (and it took over 70 years to just get women the vote, to begin with)

    At the same time, you won’t engage in the grass-roots political activism that is necessary to change Ireland’s abortion laws

    to the degree that non-residents of Ireland can do anything to engage at that level, this is already being done (someone clearly missed where the appropriate e-mail addresses were linked to earlier, for example)

    but keep on whining, I’m sure your whining here is totes grass-roots activism for overthrowing ireland’s abortion laws.

    will be happy to be wrong about this.

    like fuck you will

    I am, however, projecting

    quite.

  341. anteprepro says

    Honestly, I would almost prefer godbots to the mounds of non-believers who rant on and on about their Superior Tactics, and heap scorn on any of us who don’t bow down and immediately start spreading non-belief and/or liberalism through the specific means that they have dictated to us, and stop attempting to spread it through means that they have deemed Inferior. If they actually had a good argument, I might make an exception, but they usually don’t and they are often just as thick as any other breed of idiot.

    I have not suggested anyone should “attack” the (or any) government.

    He meant it figuratively, dumbass. As a synonym for protest, criticize, etc.

  342. says

    0:08 pm

    nolajim, please take your holier-than-thou preaching and stuff it.

    I think I can safely say there’s now NO doubt that he’s Catholic

    According to this idiot every instance of organized crime in Sicily is the fault of the government for allowing themselves to be influenced by the Mafia! We should focus on the state not waste our time going after or attacking the Mafia!

  343. nolajim says

    Thank you, Anteprepro. I felt the distinction between “attack” and “participate in the political process” was an important one. Is that another one of my “false dichotomies?”

  344. says

    I felt the distinction between “attack” and “participate in the political process” was an important one.

    jesus. illiterate pedants are the worst.

    do you get equally pearl-clutchy when people “attack” problems instead of “solving” them?

  345. says

    At NO point above have I said otherwise. Everything I said above acknowledges that the church is an obstacle in ethical progress in a case such as Savita’s (and in many others).

    Ok got that? He never said the Church wasn’t involved in cases like this? Let’s check comment number one!

    While there is plenty of blame here to heap on the Church at Rome, let’s be more realistic. The Irish constitution prohibits any official church. The victim is dead as a result of the laws of the secular state of Ireland.

    Or to paraphrase, while the Church has plenty to be mad about (unstated OTHER issues) *THIS* was the fault of the secular state and not the Church.

    Hey everyone, remember Bog Boy Pants Roberts from before? We got another protean troll. Who wants to try to nail Jello to a wall!

  346. nolajim says

    Ing:Intllectual: your Catholic-detecting radar is REALLY bad. I have no religion, have little patience with religion in general, and am especially uncomfortable with Christianity, in spite of growing up with it.

  347. Anri says

    Everything I said above acknowledges that the church is an obstacle in ethical progress in a case such as Savita’s (and in many others).

    Just not an obstacle worth trying to remove.

    Gotcha.

  348. says

    http://www.cracked.com/funny-3809-internet-argument-techniques/

    For reference we have the Backtracker and Hotel California Guest.

    I just wanted to point out to the asshole that people are well aware of his bullshit game .

    I felt the distinction between “attack” and “participate in the political process” was an important one.

    Ok pendant, here’s one for you. Go fuck yourself. Literally. You really need to shove your own body up your own ass. Sideways

  349. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    nolajim:

    But unlike what Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– just wrote, I have not suggested anyone should “attack” the (or any) government

    You have trouble understanding the words on the screen?
    I suppose I should spell things out better for you.
    Instead of attacking criticizing the Catholic doctrines that led to fucked up laws about abortion, you’d rather attack criticize the Irish government.
    I know that you have not advocated any violence against any institution.

  350. nolajim says

    But Ing:Intellectual, I don’t understand why you just mis-paraphrased what I’ve written. I *did* say this is the fault of the secular state. But I clearly *did not* says “and not the Church.” You put words in my mouth, words I did not write and that can not be logically inferred from what I *did* write.

  351. anteprepro says

    nolajim must think that every cry of “personal attack” brought up in debates is actually an attempt to file a police report.

    nolajim must think that “attack ads” are from a dystopian future where people are hunted down by robots that look like Nascar vehicles.

    nolajim must frantically search for a schedule boxing or MMA match every time a politician says they will “fight” for something.

  352. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    yawn, pointless fuckwitted idjit still being obtuse and ignorant. Boring, nothing cogent said, and its unevidence opinion can *POOF* be dismissed as nothing but noise.

  353. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    nolajim:

    1: to set upon or work against forcefully
    2: to assail with unfriendly or bitter words
    3: to begin to affect or to act on injuriously
    4: to set to work on
    5: to threaten (a piece in chess) with immediate capture
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/attack

    [emphasis mine]

    I hope this helps you understand what I meant when I used the word attack.

  354. says

    But Ing:Intellectual, I don’t understand why you just mis-paraphrased what I’ve written. I *did* say this is the fault of the secular state. But I clearly *did not* says “and not the Church.” You put words in my mouth, words I did not write and that can not be logically inferred from what I *did* write.

    You fucking liar.

    “While many attacks can be blamed on feral dogs the fact remains that Charles Von Mustacheride was antagonizing the dog that wound up biting him”

    While there is plenty of blame here to heap on the Church at Rome, let’s be more realistic. The Irish constitution prohibits any official church. The victim is dead as a result of the laws of the secular state of Ireland.

    Those are your words. That is what you said. You fucking lying liar

    Full fucking quote for context

    While there is plenty of blame here to heap on the Church at Rome, let’s be more realistic. The Irish constitution prohibits any official church. The victim is dead as a result of the laws of the secular state of Ireland. You can’t even blame the doctors, whose hands were tied by that law (the life-threatening septicemia wasn’t diagnosed until after the fetus had died).

    Had Irish law permitted abortion on demand, the victim would most likely be alive and well. But since Irish law counts an unborn fetus as worth more than an adult female, she died. The government and or people of Ireland can change that law, and they don’t have to get permission from Rome to do it.

    You are a fucking liar. Your first comment did exactly what I said. It put all the blame on the secular state and specifically said that the Church isn’t to blame, nor are the doctors.

    You are a horrible person.

  355. nolajim says

    Look, I’m not quibbling over words here for the fun of it. Rather, this group has jumped to some odd and unfounded conclusions about my position, based on some process I cannot see, and having nothing to do with the words I wrote here. I actually share much of the concern and position here, and have actually proposed only a pragmatic re-focus.

  356. nolajim says

    Now you’ve become totally irrational Ing:. You’ve correctly quoted what I said, which clearly and unequivocally places blame on the church as well as the state. Then you say I’ve excluded the church and you call *me* a liar. Look at what you just posted.

  357. says

    @nolajim

    I’m sorry that frelling ENGLISH to you is some uncomprehensible process.

    Yeah I’m sure EVERYONE misread what you meant and you either aren’t a shit head or an idiot. Since you’re arguing not that you miswrote, but that everyone MISREAD YOU and that what you wrote was fine and not what everyone else INDEPENDENTLY read it as the evidence suggests you’re an arrogant shit head.

    When people complain of your breath do you sit in shocked awe that so many people have the same olfactory hallucination?

  358. says

    Now you’ve become totally irrational Ing:. You’ve correctly quoted what I said, which clearly and unequivocally places blame on the church as well as the state. Then you say I’ve excluded the church and you call *me* a liar. Look at what you just posted.

    Are you a fuckign idiot? Everyone can read it You clearly said it was the state’s fault and that you can’t EVEN blame the doctors, much less the Church.

  359. anteprepro says

    Rather, this group has jumped to some odd and unfounded conclusions about my position, based on some process I cannot see, and having nothing to do with the words I wrote here. I actually share much of the concern and position here, and have actually proposed only a pragmatic re-focus.

    That’s an odd way to apologize for not communicating clearly and consistently failing to understand what several people have said in response.

    Here’s a hint: Your “pragmatic re-focus” involved completely avoiding opposition to the church. For “pragmatic” reasons. Your arguments for this “re-focus” have been bullshit. Your responses have revealed even more idiocy. And all this has served to simply distract everyone from the fact that a woman has fucking died, in order to make the conversation all about you and your pet arguments. Congratulations on your success with that one. Will you fuck off now?

  360. nolajim says

    I’m not sure what part of my exact and clear words “While there is plenty of blame here to heap on the Church at Rome,” your just not comprehending, or why.

  361. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m not sure what part of my exact and clear words “While there is plenty of blame here to heap on the Church at Rome,” your just not comprehending, or why.

    And what part of “you need to show that the church isn’t engaged in lobbying for church values” don’t you comprehend? Where is your evidence that the church isn’t trying to have an effect on public policy? That’s right, you have no evidence for that, as all the evidence points at them trying keep the country “catholic”. Either put up or shut the fuck up.

  362. says

    which clearly and unequivocally places blame on the church as well as the state

    you suck at communication if you think the following structure assigns blame equally rather than placing it squarely on the state (in this case)

    While there is plenty of blame here to heap on the Church at Rome, let’s be more realistic. The Irish constitution prohibits any official church. The victim is dead as a result of the laws of the secular state of Ireland.

    1)”while” –> “let’s be more realistic” is a negating construction of whatever follows after the while; it’s how you carve out an exception, or how you draw a distinction
    2)the following sentence then presents the contradiction/exception, pointing to the supposed separation of church and state, thus placing the blame with a non-Catholic-influenced state

    if that’s not what you meant to convey, then you probably should polish up on English a bit. but to be honest, I don’t think you meant to portray anything else, given that to do so would have been to agree with everyone else here.

  363. anteprepro says

    I’m not sure what part of my exact and clear words “While there is plenty of blame here to heap on the Church at Rome,” your just not comprehending, or why.

    The fact that every other sentence after that minimizes it? The fact that you say that woman died as a “result” of “the laws of the secular state of Ireland” with no other implication that the Catholic church had anything at all to do with it? The fact that you end your original post by emphasizing how Ireland can change their laws without Vatican input, clearly doing your damndest to lay blame on the state and minimize the role that Catholic beliefs play in affecting the laws of the “secular state”?

  364. says

    When you say “while blah blah blah” and then everything else is antithetical to blah blah blah, people don’t fucking care about your hedging bullshit.

    You literally said “while the church definitely has some blame, it is entirely the state’s fault!”

    Not even blaming the people who watched a woman die horribly of a treatable illness while in their care when the law was ambiguous or on their side.

  365. nolajim says

    Ing:, you are deeply confused about what happened in this case, and are not alone. I’ve been trying to fix here on this blog for a long time, to no avail. The doctors hands *were* tied by Irish Law, which prohibits abortion unless the mother’s life is at risk, a condition which did not apply when Savita checked in. The doctors and hospital administrators discussed this for days and reached the only conclusion that Irish law allows. If you doubt this, you need to review existing Irish abortion law and the medical facts described in the news articles in the Irish Times.

    And this point is critical to understanding all the rest of my position, which I agree makes no sense without it. Neither the doctors nor the hospital sustained their anti-abortion position in this case because of religion (directly). They sustained because they did not want to spend life in prison.

  366. says

    Ing:, you are deeply confused about what happened in this case, and are not alone. I’ve been trying to fix here on this blog for a long time, to no avail. The doctors hands *were* tied by Irish Law, which prohibits abortion unless the mother’s life is at risk, a condition which did not apply when Savita checked in. The doctors and hospital administrators discussed this for days and reached the only conclusion that Irish law allows. If you doubt this, you need to review existing Irish abortion law and the medical facts described in the news articles in the Irish Times.

    And this point is critical to understanding all the rest of my position, which I agree makes no sense without it. Neither the doctors nor the hospital sustained their anti-abortion position in this case because of religion (directly). They sustained because they did not want to spend life in prison.

    YOU HAVE BEEN CORRECTED ON THUS MULTIPLE TIMES YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE

  367. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Oh now I see, it all becomes so clear: no one except nolajim is capable of engaging in activism. And most especially not Irish doctors. Got it.

  368. says

    If you doubt this

    boring strawman is boring

    as I’ve already demonstrated, any claims that the state is not partially responsible are purely a figment of nolajim’s imagination and his inability to read the many comments saying the things he so vehemently doesn’t want to have been said.

  369. anteprepro says

    Neither the doctors nor the hospital sustained their anti-abortion position in this case because of religion (directly). They sustained because they did not want to spend life in prison.

    Still ignoring the role that Catholicism played in those laws? Still trying to minimize Catholicism’s influence?

    Fuck it, you aren’t worth the time. It would be more fruitful to argue with an actual Catholic than with this incorrigible fuckwit.

  370. nolajim says

    The law was by no means ambiguous. I don’t where this idea comes from. Let’s be clear. Irish Law does *NOT* permit abortion just to reduce a pregnant woman’s suffering, nor because there is a risk that a pregnancy *MIGHT* become life-threatening. These are modifications to Irish law that have been kicked around for years, but have *NEVER* been implemented (as indicated by the letter from the Irish doctor to the Irish Times I posted hours back). This is WHY I am so angry at the Irish government and political process, and why I believe a political process undertaken now could yield positive results. NO, I don’t think they’ll make abortion legal on demand. Yes, I think they’ll give doctors much clearer latitude in situations like Savita’s.

  371. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    Ing:
    I don’t think you need to quote nolajim any further than this:

    While there is plenty of blame here to heap on the Church at Rome, let’s be more realistic.

    Translation:
    It’s not realistic to attack the Roman Catholic Church for Sativa’s death.
    He thinks it’s more “realistic” to attack-sorry CRITICIZE-the government.
    If nolajim really thinks the RCC bears any responsibility for Sativa’s death, he wouldn’t think it unrealistic to criticize them.

    Moreover, criticizing the RCC vs criticizing the Irish government?
    Yeah, I’m totally seeing how it’s more realistic to attack one over the other.

  372. chigau (棒や石) says

    The only reason I can think of for the RCC to be an unstoppable force or an immovable object would be if it had the backing of a supernatural entity.
    Is that why fighting it is a waste of time?

  373. nolajim says

    You will win this by attrition: I’ll go to bed soon (not quite yet). PLEASE: get clear on the medical facts of this case AND the (quite short) Irish abortion law.

  374. says

    When you say “while blah blah blah” and then everything else is antithetical to blah blah blah, people don’t fucking care about your hedging bullshit.

    it’s not even hedging, is how you construct a specific kind of contradiction:

    “while it’s been chillier than in the previous weeks, it is not yet time to break out the scarves” -> it’s not cold

    “while some critics disliked the play, many who had seen it said they’d enjoy seeing it a second time” -> the play was good

    etc.

  375. anteprepro says

    YOU HAVE BEEN CORRECTED ON THUS MULTIPLE TIMES YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE

    Yes, but he is so right that all he has do is repeat the same shit over and over and eventually we will be so overcome by the glory of his argumentation that we will instantaneously convert to whatever blend of Radical Apathy he is peddling. We too will see the value in not calling out religion for its negative impact on society, and in pretending that local battles with the after-effects of its influence are the only kind of battles that we should dare commit to. He will convince us, eventually. Just a few more hundred repetitions to go.

  376. anteprepro says

    You will win this by attrition: I’ll go to bed soon (not quite yet)

    Looks like Mr. Fire might not get his money. He didn’t guess “Passive aggressive acknowledged forfeit”.

  377. says

    You will win this by attrition: I’ll go to bed soon (not quite yet). PLEASE: get clear on the medical facts of this case AND the (quite short) Irish abortion law.

    The medical facts? Oh you little fucking shit. The fact that “SLAB OF ROTTING MEAT LOBBED INSIDE SOMEONE” == “DEATH” is basic fucking medicine. It’s not even year one med school, this is shit they expect you to have picked up by mere nature of having an interest in frelling medicine. This isn’t ambiguous medical scenarios here, this is basics that were well understood in frontier medicine.

    The miscarriage didn’t put her in risk of death just as a knife being stabbed at you doesn’t put you in risk of puncture.

  378. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    nolajim@419:
    Please see steve84’s comment @74 (which he provides a source for)–>

    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.

    Now, was Sativa’s life in danger at any point during her hospital stay?
    Perhaps not on the first day, but by the second, hell yes.
    The doctors had plenty of latitude between choosing to save Sativa’s life and letting her die. Those were the two options. They chose to let her die.

  379. MissEla says

    From steve 84 @ 74:

    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.

    From the esteemed Maureen Brian @ 121:

    As you would expect, Ireland has a Medical Council and this is what it says in its current guidance

    21 Abortion
    21.1 Abortion is illegal in Ireland except where there is a real and substantial risk to the life (as distinct from the health) of the mother. Under current legal precedent, this exception includes where there is a clear and substantial risk to the life of the mother arising from a threat of suicide. You should undertake a full assessment of any such risk in light of the clinical research on this issue.
    21.2 It is lawful to provide information in Ireland about abortions abroad, subject to strict conditions.
    4
    It is not lawful to encourage or advocate an abortion in individual cases.
    21.3 You have a duty to provide care, support and follow-up services for women who have an abortion abroad.
    21.4 In current obstetrical practice, rare complications can arise where therapeutic intervention (including termination of a pregnancy) is required at a stage when, due to extreme immaturity of the baby, there may be little or no hope of the baby surviving. In these exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to intervene to terminate the pregnancy to protect the life of the mother, while making every effort to preserve the life of the baby.

    Try reading for comprehension again, halfwit.

  380. nolajim says

    BTW: Where was I “Corrected.” One poster who accused me of not having the medical facts even apologized above.

  381. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Fuck you’re stupid.

    Quoting Nepenthe #30:

    Since 1992 there’s been a “life of the mother” exception to the abortion ban. If there was ever a time when that criterion was fulfilled, this is it.

    And even if that weren’t true, why exactly are you calling for political action from everyone but Irish doctors.

  382. says

    Abortion is illegal in Ireland except where there is a real and substantial risk to the life (as distinct from the health) of the mother.

    In any other instance OTHEr than “pregnant woman” do you think the scenario of “huge area of septic tissue inside the body” would be considered NOT a substantial risk to life? FFS people have had their foot cut off for less risk

  383. Ichthyic says

    “While there is plenty of blame here to heap on the Church at Rome,” your just not comprehending, or why.

    no. we get what you’re saying. really.

    you’re wrong on how things change politically, that’s all.

    you don’t change things from the top down, that NEVER works, because politicians in a democratic society always feel they must pander to an easily controllable base in order to win elections.

    we’ve seen it here in the states for decades; starting most obviously (though really even years before) with Nixon’s “Southern Strategy”.

    no, the thing that must be done, that has NEVER been done, throughout history, is to remove the irrational base, so that politicians won’t feel they can take advantage of it.

    best way to do that ISN’T by tackling the politicians… but the BASE.

    get rid of the church, dispel this fucking centuries-old mythology, and the rest will take care of itself.

  384. John Morales says

    nolajim:

    Irish Law does *NOT* permit abortion just to reduce a pregnant woman’s suffering [why not?], nor because there is a risk that a pregnancy *MIGHT* become life-threatening [why not?].

  385. Ichthyic says

    Here in Saskatchewan we actually had a Catholic hosptial cease to be Catholic. The hospital in the city of Humboldt was Catholic run, but was eventually taken over by the publicly run Saskatoon Regional Health Authority in 2007. Controversy had arisen over Catholic influence over what procedures would be conducted in the hospital, the only one in Humboldt. A specific issue was the refusal to do tubal ligations.

    I’m feverish, this is good news, yes?

  386. consciousness razor says

    The Irish state killed Savita, not AND [so did] the Catholic Church.

    Fixed.

    It’s as if you think only one person/group can be responsible for something. That’s absurd.

  387. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    Ing:

    What could the common trait be!?

    A. Echo Chamber
    B. Group Think
    C. PZ’s sock puppets
    D. all of the above

  388. Ichthyic says

    Savita was 17 weeks pregnant, which is not “extreme immaturity.”

    the extreme immaturity appears to be all your own.

    come back when you’ve taken the wax out of your damn ears.

  389. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Hmmm, have this lost and lonely question mark: ?

    And note to self: must type faster.

  390. MissEla says

    Holy shit, nolajim, you are an imbecile. With current medical intervention 23 weeks is the minimum fetal age for viability, with a whopping 20-35% survival rate. Link. How could a 17-week fetus *possibly* survive?!?!?!

  391. nolajim says

    Sigh. Again. Savita’s Septicemia did not set in until AFTER the fetus had died. When she checked in, she did not have septicemia, her life was not at risk, so there was no exceptional situation that could make an abortion legal. Yes, this would be considered malpractice in many other countries, where the high *RISK* of septicemia setting in would make an abortion legal. That legal situation does not exist in Ireland.

    It is not appropriate for you to call me a *fuckwit* when you simply do not have the medical and legal facts. Look it up!

  392. says

    You know since you admitted you’ll lose by attrition, everyone here is already soured on you due to both the inanity of your arguments and the repulsiveness of your personality, and the ‘irrationality’ of everyone here you can make all parties happy by cutting the chance and leaving.

    Repeating the same shit isn’t going to convince anyone, there is nothing to gain here.

    Except the need to get the last word. You’re free to prove me wrong but I think you’re going to keep spinning in that door due to being a shit head.

  393. MissEla says

    Nolajim–Where is it stated that septicemia ONLY occurs AFTER fetal death? Septicemia occurs from an open wound in a non-sterile environment. An open cervix, leaking fluid, not being treated is what brought on septicemia. This is not difficult.

  394. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    consciousness razor @440:
    The power of thinking is not strong with that one.

  395. says

    Sigh. Again. Savita’s Septicemia did not set in until AFTER the fetus had died. When she checked in, she did not have septicemia, her life was not at risk, so there was no exceptional situation that could make an abortion legal.

    I think someone already used the logic that someone wasn’t wounded UNTIL the bullets hit them, ergo they were in no danger when the gun was fired.

    The fact that this inevitable miscarriage, which was what was happening, would lead to septicemia is basic medicine, it’s going to be dead tissue. Are you willing to have a slab of spoiled beef surgically implanted in your viscera and wait for us to remove it only when things go pear shaped?

  396. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Sigh. Again. Savita’s Septicemia did not set in until AFTER the fetus had died. When she checked in, she did not have septicemia, her life was not at risk, so there was no exceptional situation that could make an abortion legal.

    Who could have guessed that a dying fetus could somehow have an adverse effect on a woman’s body? Definitely not a doctor.

  397. consciousness razor says

    Than you, Consciousnous Razor, for correcting my error.

    You’re welcome to stop making egregious and repeated fucking errors any time.

  398. Ichthyic says

    Sigh. Again. Savita’s Septicemia did not set in until AFTER the fetus had died.

    based on the available evidence, this is not the case.

    but, I’ll go ahead and wait for the coroner’s report so you can come back and tell us you were wrong.

  399. nolajim says

    MisEla@#449: I don’t think it says anywhere that Septicemia occurs ONLY after fetal death. I certainly didn’t say that. What I did say is that in this particular instance (Savita’s death), septicemia was not present when she checked into the hospital and was not diagnosed until after the fetus had died. This is as described in the Irish Times coverage of the case.

  400. Ichthyic says

    so there was no exceptional situation that could make an abortion legal.

    where are you getting this?

    all the reports I have seen have her leaking fluid, suggesting membrane rupture, 2 days before she died, and all the doctors who are obgyns that have been commenting said there was indeed a significant risk long before the “heartbeat stopped”.

  401. consciousness razor says

    Are you thus ready to apologize and admit everyone actually was reading what you wrote then?

    Patience, Ing. We need more flagrant bullshitting before we’ll be ready for that.

  402. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    What I did say is that in this particular instance (Savita’s death), septicemia was not present when she checked into the hospital and was not diagnosed until after the fetus had died.

    Who could have guessed that a dying fetus could somehow have an adverse effect on a woman’s body? Definitely not a doctor.

  403. nolajim says

    No, Ing:, your persistent mischaracterization of my position is something you need to take responsiblity for.

  404. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    nolajim @445:
    You really, truly cannot read for SHIT.
    From the link in PZ’s post:

    Speaking from Belgaum in the Karnataka region of southwest India, Mr Halappanavar said an internal examination was performed when she first presented.

    “The doctor told us the cervix was fully dilated, amniotic fluid was leaking and unfortunately the baby wouldn’t survive.” The doctor, he says, said it should be over in a few hours. There followed three days, he says, of the foetal heartbeat being checked several times a day.

    “Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby could they induce to end the pregnancy. The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’.

    “Again on Tuesday morning, the ward rounds and the same discussion. The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita [a Hindu] said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.

    “That evening she developed shakes and shivering and she was vomiting. She went to use the toilet and she collapsed. There were big alarms and a doctor took bloods and started her on antibiotics.

    “The next morning I said she was so sick and asked again that they just end it, but they said they couldn’t.”

    Clearly we can see that this (from you):

    Savita’s Septicemia did not set in until AFTER the fetus had died.

    is false. Her septicemia set in while the fetus was still alive.

  405. nolajim says

    Janine: You are quite right. The Doctors MUST have seen the risk. It is most unfortunate that the LAW in Ireland didn’t allow that risk to be managed properly.

  406. says

    No, Ing:, your persistent mischaracterization of my position is something you need to take responsiblity for.

    Ok I’m concluding now that you’re an intentional troll going for lulz now

    You know since you admitted you’ll lose by attrition, everyone here is already soured on you due to both the inanity of your arguments and the repulsiveness of your personality, and the ‘irrationality’ of everyone here you can make all parties happy by cutting the chance and leaving.

    Repeating the same shit isn’t going to convince anyone, there is nothing to gain here.

    Except the need to get the last word. You’re free to prove me wrong but I think you’re going to keep spinning in that door due to being a shit head.

  407. Ichthyic says

    No, Ing:, your persistent mischaracterization of my position is something you need to take responsiblity for.

    ok, that’s it, fucking flounce ya moron.

  408. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Nolajim, most of the people here understand exactly what you are saying. And have pointed out your flaw. She was in deep danger long before the fetus died.

  409. Ichthyic says

    It is most unfortunate that the LAW in Ireland didn’t allow that risk to be managed properly.

    and it WON’T, ya fucking moron, not ever, until YOU GET RID OF THE CHURCH THERE.

  410. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Janine: You are quite right. The Doctors MUST have seen the risk. It is most unfortunate that the LAW in Ireland didn’t allow that risk to be managed properly.

    *facepalm*

  411. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    nolajim:

    What I did say is that in this particular instance (Savita’s death), septicemia was not present when she checked into the hospital and was not diagnosed until after the fetus had died.

    The second half of your sentence is misleading. While septicemia may not have been diagnosed until after the fetus died, the *symptoms* of it were present before the fetus died. Given that doctors know the signs of septicemia, and given that she had miscarried, the proper course of action should have been to abort the child when she started displaying symptoms.
    Actually the proper course of action should have been to abort the child the minute she requested.

  412. says

    @Ichthyic

    Except the law DOES have an out for risk to life (but not health…which one has to question how you can even do that as people have a tendency to die when their health deteriorates).

    It’s almost as if the problem is that the doctors were so entrenched in the Catholic position and so enslaved to it that they were afraid to make use of the allowance the law grants!

  413. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    And once again: why are Irish doctors exempt from your call to political activism norajim? Is activism only valid when it doesn’t flout the law?

  414. nolajim says

    Icthyc at #461: I agree with the analysis in the link you provided. As that doctor points out, one of the possible explanations is that “1) Irish law does indeed treat pregnant women as second class citizens and denies them appropriate medical care. The medical team was following the law to avoid criminal prosecution.” He does not reach a conclusion one way or the other, because he does not directly know the applicable Irish Law.

  415. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    nolajim:

    It is most unfortunate that the LAW in Ireland didn’t allow that risk to be managed properly.

    A woman DIED because of the pernicious effects of religion. That is what is an unfortunate tragedy.
    Given how fucked up your moral compass is to say the above, I have a hard time believing you’re not Catholic.
    The proper thing to say, if you have an ounce of compassion:
    It is most unfortunate that the doctors in the hospital chose to let a woman die, rather than perform a life saving operation.

  416. nolajim says

    I don’t understand your point FossilFishy. The doctor’s COULD have taken an activist stance, I suppose, but they would have been risking life in prison, which is what the applicable law requires for illegal abortion.

  417. consciousness razor says

    Your mischaracterization is something I have to take responsibility for

    Don’t feel too bad. Ultimately, it’s all Rebecca Watson’s fault.

  418. nolajim says

    I’m feeling pretty comfortable about my moral compass, Tony-Queer Duck. Yes, the doctors *should* have terminated the pregnancy right away. Yes, that was the moral and ethical decision. But in so doing, they would have violated Irish law, and risked imprisonment. It is not fair to heap blame for them under the legal circumstances.

  419. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Icthyc at #461: I agree with the analysis in the link you provided. As that doctor points out, one of the possible explanations is that “1) Irish law does indeed treat pregnant women as second class citizens and denies them appropriate medical care. The medical team was following the law to avoid criminal prosecution.” He does not reach a conclusion one way or the other, because he does not directly know the applicable Irish Law.

    Leaving aside the sheer fuckwittedness of the church and state colluding in keeping such an inhumane law in place, doesn’t the hospital have lawyers on staff who could let the doctors know what they can do to get around these laws?

    Those doctors failed the patient. The ultimate fault falls upon the RCC and the Irish Government but the medical staff did little to prevent want they knew was possible.

    Why is this so hard for you to understand?

  420. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    From Icthyc’s link

    As Ms. Halappanavar died of an infection, one that would have been brewing for several days if not longer…

    From nolajim

    septicemia was not present when she checked into the hospital and was not diagnosed until after the fetus had died.

    nolajim again

    Icthyc at #461: I agree with the analysis in the link you provided.

    Are you now saying that you do believe that septicemia was in fact present before the fetus died?

  421. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    Ing:
    You’re killing me.
    You should probably do a group apology to all the members of the Horde you’ve mischaracterized, lest you be here all night long :)

  422. consciousness razor says

    The doctor’s COULD have taken an activist stance, I suppose, but they would have been risking life in prison, which is what the applicable law requires for illegal abortion.

    They not only could but also should do that.

    Go to prison doing something just, because of an unjust law? Yep, that’s the just thing to do. That’s how justice works when there are unjust laws.

    So now we’re back to whether you really agree that the laws are unjust, and whether you really agree that justice is more important than the law.

  423. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    nolajim:

    I’m feeling pretty comfortable about my moral compass,

    Great.
    Wonderful.
    I hope you never try to convince us, because judging by the shit you’ve posted, you need to hit ctrl/alt/delete on your moral compass.

  424. John Morales says

    [meta]

    nolajim.

    He does not reach a conclusion one way or the other, because he does not directly know the applicable Irish Law.

    By ‘he’, you refer to Dr. Jen Gunter.

    (Did you note Jen’s physiognomy in the link provided?)

  425. consciousness razor says

    But in so doing, they would have violated Irish law, and risked imprisonment. It is not fair to heap blame for them under the legal circumstances.

    You would kill a person to avoid going to prison? And you wouldn’t be morally responsible for killing them, simply because you risked going to prison if you hadn’t done it?

  426. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    Are we really about to reach 500 comments, because one RCC apologist with a skewed moral compass can’t read?

  427. nolajim says

    Consciousness Razor: At a certain level, I agree with you. Ideally, the doctors SHOULD have ignored the law. And I do feel the law is unjust, and the justice is more important than law. But I would not presume to criticize a doctor with a life and a practice and a family, who opted to avoid the very real risk of being put in jail for the rest of his life.

  428. Tony–Queer Duck Overlord of The Bronze– says

    Ing:
    There’s no need to comment on nolajim’s sense of ethics.
    It’s catholicism all the way down.