Is it not also the case that much of the threat to the mother came from allowing the ordeal to drag on for so long? If the doctors hadn't been so reluctant to induce the (in any case inevitable) abortion of the pregnancy then she could have been saved. The fact that they could have stepped in once it became clear her life was in danger is almost irrelevant - by the time that became clear, it was too late to save her.
Is there any prospect of this being a watershed moment in Ireland - the event that finally spurs on the lawmakers to do something?
According to the Irish Times 'Independent Senator Ronan Mullen said the death of Ms Halappanavar “should not be used as a wedge by abortion campaigners”.'
Independent Senator Ronan Mullen can get fucked with a rhino horn.
hofzinser - that's certainly how it looks to me, but until the investigation says so definitively there will be room for pro-life obfuscation.
in terms of whether it will be a watershed, it's already a huge scandal. a protest going on outside the dail at the moment. another planned for saturday.
enda kenny said recently that abortion law reform was "not a priority for the government". the two big parties keep rural pro-life voters onside by formally opposing abortion, knowing that thousands of women travel to england every year to have abortions. i guess you can bumble along like that for a while. then something horrible happens to confront you with the true vicious face of your hypocrisy.
the recent referenda on the issue (most recent 2002) have returned verdicts on the liberal side of the questions that were put. i think a motion to legalise abortion would now be endorsed in a referendum, even though the two major parties would probably oppose it.
Labour have always been the most vocal in calling for X Case legislation, as for why they've equivocated for 20 years, it's probably that many of their TDs have been elected in marginal rural constituencies. Sinn Féin and the ULA also fall on the pro-choice line, while FF would certainly be against. Fine Gael is more complicated, as while they have a liberal wing dating from the FitzGerald era that would favour some reform, that now only comprises about a third of the parliamentary party, with Kenny's Christian democrat element dominant since the early Nineties.
shhh, The last time anyone said that to them, they formed the biggest violent criminal conspiracy the world has ever seen.
About three or four months ago, I whimsically updated my facebook status saying that we hadn't had a good abortion row in over a decade and we were well due one. You should be careful what you wish for I suppose. This whole topic was already bubbling under the surface, even before news of this case came out.
For a start it doesn't make sense. Even the pro-life campaigners like Patricia casey and Ronan Mullen are saying that in a situation like this where the mother is going to miscarry anyway, it would be standard practice to remove the foetus. Even the hardcore anti-abortionists in Ireland don't see that as remotely contentious.
It will certainly be interesting to hear what excuses the doctor at the centre of the row comes up with.
I know this is a tangential, and far less serious, issue, but some mad shit goes on over here too. Earlier this year for example we discovered that our local GP practice offers no sexual health advice service cos the lead GP is a strict practising catholic, meaning patients are directed to the nearest clinic - more than a mile and a half away (in the West Stand at Orient, no less). Inevitably, Ms R has got involved in a campaign to change that, with some progress made.
But anyway, the main thing is I was just surprised GPs had such leeway and power over such matters in Britain.
Much more importantly, the Savita case is as stomach-churning as it is heartbreaking as it is disgraceful.
Saw that blog. Her medical analysis of the situation is good. Pity she's not Irish though, as she really doesn't seem to understand the legal situation re:abortion here.
Friend of mine who's a doctor (and who forwarded me that blog) says that the real problem is that the legislative vacuum creating such a grey area, doctors often just don't know when/if it's permissible to perform an abortion, and are often afraid to follow their own best professional judgment. Without knowing the full facts of this case, as my mother pointed out even the Catholic Church doesn't think women should be refused abortions where the alternative is the death of the mother and the child.
And am I the only person who thinks that Savita might have been treated differently if she had been Irish?
The Catholicism of the country is very much over-rated, opinion polls show a referendum on gay marriage would pass 2:1 if held tomorrow.
No doubt, but it's the remaining Catholickiness that's important here, don't you think?
I'm always a bit bemused by the line of argument that says, in effect, "Catholicism isn't that bad really, because nobody takes any notice of the bad bits." Especially when, quite clearly, some people do.
Or imagine they do.
The Catholic position that would have applied in this case, was outlined by Pope Pius XII in 1951:
”If the saving of the life of the future mother...should urgently require a surgical act or other therapeutic treatment which would have as an accessory consequence, in no way desired nor intended but inevitable, the death of the foetus, such an act could no longer be called a direct attempt on an innocent life.
"Under these conditions the operation can be lawful, like other similar medical interventions — granted always that a good of high worth is concerned, such as life, and that it is not possible to postpone the operation until after the birth of the child, nor to have recourse to other efficacious remedies."
To blame Catholicism in this instance seems misplaced.
Well, the incident happened in a culture which is massively influenced by catholicism, and, in this case, its close-to-absolute anti-abortion line. The doctors are cuplable too, to a degree, as are policy makes who have muddied the waters, but this particular medical tragedy wouldn't have happened in pretty much any other country in Europe, and that's largely because of the deep hold that catholicism has over Irish society.
To absolve Catholicism in this instance seems misplaced
The Catholic church in Ireland for decades fostered a climate where abortion was a mortal sin, nothing less. To quote a piece of doctrine that even 99% of Catholics wouldn't be immediately familiar with and claim that it absolves Catholiscism of guilt is bullshit. Most of the clergy were happy to have people labour under the impression that abortion is always wrong. They themselves didn't fail to treat this woman but they created an environment that facilitated savageries like this one to happen. In any remotely civilised country, free from the kind of draconian religious stranglehold on people's minds that the Catholic church has currently in Ireland, this would never have happened.