Savita Halappanavar’s Death

As you know, it was recently reported that a woman named Savita Halappanavar was killed in an Irish hospital when she was not given proper medical treatment for religious reasons. One of the last conversations she had was with hospital employees who told her and her husband that this was an "Irish Catholic Hospital" so of course there would not be a termination of a pregnancy, which was in the process of a long and problematic miscarriage, even if the patient, Savita Halappanavar, might die with out it. Well, she did die, at the hands of the hospital staff. First, the fetus died, but the miscarriage involved complications that later killed Halappanavar. Halappanavar was neither ethnically Irish nor Catholic.

So, do the Catholic hospital staffers get to go to heaven because they killed a Hindu? Or what? Someone please explain the logic, and the consequences, from a religious point of view, if you can, because I don't understand that.

Biodork has written about it here. Almost Diamonds discusses it here. Dana Hunter's comments are here.

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As an Irish person, I burn with shame and anguish at the death of Sanita Halappanavar. She died at the hospital where my older daughter and my three grandchildren were born.

Indeed, an acquaintance was once told by staff at the same hospital that her baby had a genetic syndrome that meant it could not survive, but she would have to go to the United Kingdom for a termination. This she did.

These circumstances are due to political cowardice. The Irish Supreme Court has declared abortion to be legal under the Constitution when the mother's life is at risk. However, the Parliament cannot agree on legislation that will probably define what is legal for a doctor to do in emergency situations, so that they almost always take the cautious option.

Hoewver, it is not yet entirely clear what actually happened. Mrs Hallappanavar did ask for a termination, which was refused. She then miscarried, caught an infection and died. It does seem as if she would have survived if she was allowed the termination when requested. But the circumstances and chain of events are not yet clear, and there is much rumour in the public domain.

Personally, I would rather leave absolute condemnations until all the facts are known.

In the meantime, I do hope this death is given some meaning if it forces the Irish Parliament to finally legislate on the conditions that can allow abortions to take place in Irish hospitals. As you might understand, there is a propaganda machine at work, and "abortion" raises all sorts of hackles. It has been a thorny subject in Irish politics for the last half-century.

no she went in to hospital suffering back pain with a WANTED pregnancy & they told her she was miscarrying but they cldnt do anything till the fetal heart stopped beating, toby, i can see you havent read ANY of the many news articles about what happened so maybe YOU shld not have the opinion eh??

By Sgaile-beairt (not verified) on 15 Nov 2012 #permalink

"She then miscarried, caught an infection and died."

Wrong. Wrong. Right.

The most incompetent intern in ER could have discovered that she was fully dilated during the initial examination of her 17 week pregnancy. At that point, fully dilated, losing amniotic fluid - she was miscarrying right then and there. No doubt, no question. At that point, it is also common practice to allow the miscarriage to complete itself within a few hours. It didn't.

From then on, it was entirely within the power of her doctors to intervene to save her life because the pregnancy was doomed, the foetus just hadn't expelled yet. They chose both to deny her the procedure to complete the miscarriage *and* the antibiotics needed to deal with the wholly expected septicaemia. (Any number of hours, let alone days, with the uterus open to vaginal flora is inviting septicaemia.) They only began antibiotic treatment when she showed florid signs of extreme infection.

There may some doubts about some details of how this woman was subjected to a prolonged, agonising death, but the outlines are pretty clear. Standard care in most countries would have had the pregnancy over and done with a couple of hours after arrival at hospital with the cervix open and amniotic fluid draining from the uterus. She would have been home the next day with an antibiotic prescription, an appointment for a follow-up visit where she could have confirmed when she and her husband would be able to try again for the baby they wanted.

But she's dead. No life or children for her. No wife and family for her husband.

I can't believe people are even debating an abortion was needed. Heck yeah, what ever is needed save a women when the treatment exists. Shocked at the hypocrite religious nutcases with no value for a women except for the purpose of a baby incubator. what good is a women's life if she can't produce babies right ? moronic f*ck heads, wish you die in pain and agony for days and no one comes to help -- really really wish that anyone who is debating around if she was complaining about a minor back pain.

If savita was in a country without such moronic catholic rules, she would still be alive or had the best chance possible in the world of modern medicine. Ireland is no worse than the women hating taliban or saudi mullah.

Adelady, I cannot for the life of me, understand why (at the very least) antibiotics were not started as soon as they knew she was leaking amniotic fluid. Any first year med student would know the outcome untreated would be a septicemia. On top of everything else, it would seem that those doctors were suffering from a large dose of incompetence to go along with the cowardice.

Gwen, even worse are some of the circumstances we now hear. They were saying that they'd not do the termination while there was a fetal heartbeat. So, did they attach a heart monitor so that they could carry out the procedure promptly in accord with their own half-wit rules? No. They only checked the heartbeat at routine observations.

Which, I fear, lines up with the failure to give antibiotics. The mixture of the strong antibiotics needed to cover all bases (without waiting for pathology to determine specifics) is apparently contra-indicated in pregnancy. So they treated her as a continuing pregnancy rather than as a failing miscarriage.

If the whole six of them are de-registered after this, I'll not weep.

Savita died because of poor medical care. Irish medical Council guidelines clearly state that it is acceptable to end the life of the foetus to save the mother. if the guidelines were followed she would be alive.

By Mary Flaherty (not verified) on 18 Nov 2012 #permalink

Irish people voicing concern on this pathetic death are sure to be a minuscule minority. The majority is the brain-dead Catholics.

In all issues, as is usual, The Vatican will be silent and will come out with their glorious statement "The world is gossiping".

The worst part is that the Protestant Church will not talk about this, as "Ecumenical Contracts" prevent them.

Doctors guided by Fear of religious Governments.....that is Irish Taliban.

God will be happy if some of the brain-dead Catholics start questioning their religious leaders. I know such a wish is a lost case.