ONTD Political

Woman 'denied a termination' dies in hospital

12:39 am - 11/14/2012

Two investigations are under way into the death of a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant, at University Hospital Galway last month.

Savita Halappanavar (31), a dentist, presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st, was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicaemia a week later.

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told 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.

Intensive care

The dead foetus was removed and Savita was taken to the high dependency unit and then the intensive care unit, where she died of septicaemia on the 28th.

An autopsy carried out by Dr Grace Callagy two days later found she died of septicaemia “documented ante-mortem” and E.coli ESBL.

A hospital spokesman confirmed the Health Service Executive had begun an investigation while the hospital had also instigated an internal investigation. He said the hospital extended its sympathy to the family and friends of Ms Halappanavar but could not discuss the details of any individual case.

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.”

Critically ill

At lunchtime the foetal heart had stopped and Ms Halappanavar was brought to theatre to have the womb contents removed. “When she came out she was talking okay but she was very sick. That’s the last time I spoke to her.”

At 11 pm he got a call from the hospital. “They said they were shifting her to intensive care. Her heart and pulse were low, her temperature was high. She was sedated and critical but stable. She stayed stable on Friday but by 7pm on Saturday they said her heart, kidneys and liver weren’t functioning. She was critically ill. That night, we lost her.”

Mr Halappanavar took his wife’s body home on Thursday, November 1st, where she was cremated and laid to rest on November 3rd.

The hospital spokesman said that in general sudden hospital deaths were reported to the coroner. In the case of maternal deaths, a risk review of the case was carried out.

External experts were involved in this review and the family consulted on the terms of reference. They were also interviewed by the review team and given a copy of the report.
(The Irish Times)

There are no words for now sad and angry this makes me feel. It's time my homeland woke the fuck up to the 21st century. And we are no longer a solely Catholic nation - it's not like that religion did much for us anyway.
betray802 14th-Nov-2012 10:46 am (UTC)
THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE is why I jumped fucking ship in 1987 at the tender age of twelve. My Methodist grandfather -- the only thing holding my psychologically abusive nightmare train wreck of a "neither fish nor fowl" family together -- died, and I overheard my aunt telling my grandmother that God had taken Grandpa because timely medical intervention had saved my mother and 11-weeks-preemie younger sister in 1984. It took Gawd three more years to 'punish us' by taking Grandpa, for not letting Mom and little sister die.
jenny_jenkins 15th-Nov-2012 06:44 am (UTC)
I just burst into tears reading this comment.

I've been reading all of them - and that is so horrifying. I can't believe you had to hear that.
betray802 15th-Nov-2012 09:02 pm (UTC)
Nobody ever accused any female on my father's side of humanity. Several of them have been accused of impersonating human beings, but we can never seem to gather enough evidence to convict.

My mother came very near to snappity in 1988, and had to voluntarily commit herself. My grandmother seized the opportunity to involve the state (which my school loved her for, my mother was getting in their way) and I was treated to; "I should have called them back when [my little sister] was born, and Betray802 had the chicken pox! I volunteered to open my home -- even knowing my husband wasn't in the best health -- to care for my sick granddaughter while her mother was expecting, but she turned me down! I tried to tell my son that the hateful malicious witch he'd married was trying to kill her unborn child, but he refused to listen!"

I did end up staying at my grandparents' house for a week when my sister was born (happened to be April break anyway) but by then i was over the chicken pox. If I had gone while I was sick, and it had tipped my grandfather's health over THEN, guess who's fault that would have been.

Good fences make good neighbors. Several states between me and certain relatives makes a wonderful fence.
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