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.
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scriptedending 14th-Nov-2012 03:56 am (UTC)
Just awful. Her poor husband.
maenads_dance 14th-Nov-2012 04:10 am (UTC)
I feel like e-mailing this article to every anti-choice fuckwad politician in the US - seriously, this is what you want to see more of? Women dying pointlessly because of the arbitrary dictates of imposed religion?
seishin 14th-Nov-2012 04:32 am (UTC)

Sadly, woman are just incubators to them. They don't care. :(
chantalzola 14th-Nov-2012 04:11 am (UTC)
This is so, so horrible.
operatic_diva 14th-Nov-2012 04:12 am (UTC)
Such a tragedy.
zinnia_rose 14th-Nov-2012 04:15 am (UTC)
Of course, they denied her the termination because they're "pro-life." Way to save lives there.

This makes me feel ill. What a miserable way to die.
bananainpyjamas 14th-Nov-2012 04:18 am (UTC)
The source also has links to an article with quotes from friends and family (here), including this from her husband:

“It was all in their hands and they just let her go. How can you let a young woman go to save a baby who will die anyway? Savita could have had more babies...I am talking about this because it shouldn’t happen to anyone else. It’s very hard. It has been a terrible few weeks, very hard to understand how this can happen in the 21st century, very hard to explain to her family."

I hope the doctors responsible read this and feel unbearably guilty for basically killing this woman (though I kind of doubt they would, ugh).

Edited at 2012-11-14 04:21 am (UTC)
kaelstra 14th-Nov-2012 04:30 am (UTC)
No, I suspect the doctors do feel bad, but they also just see it as an unfortunate consequence of a choice that they'll continue to make anyway, because their religion apparently trumps a woman's rights, and a woman's right to live.
nicosian 14th-Nov-2012 04:20 am (UTC)
This is my biggest fear if prolifers had their way. I've miscarried 3x. I needed medical intervention twice.

They'd happily see me dead, I suppose, and how utterly awful for her and her family. Miscarriage can go toxic bad, really fast.

dearmisterecho 14th-Nov-2012 02:07 pm (UTC)
glad you came out of your experiences safe and sound :) *hugs* I've never been pregnant that I'm aware of..., but I've had several friends experience miscarriages and they were pretty scary and traumatic.
mollywobbles867 14th-Nov-2012 04:24 am (UTC)
Fuck everything.
kaelstra 14th-Nov-2012 04:27 am (UTC)
This is really terrible. It dismays me that there are places where the medical staff would refuse to abort because there was still a heartbeat, even though her body was miscarrying it anyway at that point. Better to let everyone die, then, rather than just let one.
ladypolitik 14th-Nov-2012 04:28 am (UTC)
This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, "this is a Catholic country".

I want to scream.
sunhawk 14th-Nov-2012 04:36 am (UTC)
Oh my god, fuck everyone involved in her death who let it happen out of antichoice bullshit principles, what the fuck.
lady_borg 14th-Nov-2012 04:54 am (UTC)
I don't know why the heartbeat of a foetus is more important than my own.

poor woman, this is such BS.
ahzuri 14th-Nov-2012 05:01 am (UTC)
Sorry didn't mean to reply to you!

Edited at 2012-11-14 05:02 am (UTC)
ahzuri 14th-Nov-2012 05:03 am (UTC)
This is why I am pro-choice, it is our right to choose what to do with our bodies and I want to throw this article at every pro-lifer (IE the rest of my family but I prefer not to have them throw Bible shit at me) I know and ask if this is what they want more of. People dying because they are refused a life saving PROCEDURE, if you are against abortions you know don't fucking have one! Fuck I don't think I could ever have one if there weren't extreme circumstances such as my own life being in danger but I'm not going to let people die because of that! Thankfully me and the husband have an agreement that if for whatever reason I were to get pregnant and he was asked to save me or the baby I'd be the one to save since we can make more babies but there is only one of me and my already born child kind of needs me.
anolinde 14th-Nov-2012 05:12 am (UTC)
Anyone who thinks that anti-abortion is "pro-life" can go fuck themselves.

This makes me so angry. Shit like this should not be happening. WOMEN ARE WORTH MORE THAN FETUSES. Jesus fucking Christ.
moonshaz 15th-Nov-2012 01:01 am (UTC)

I second this. A thousand, million, billion times. :(((((((
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