It was not a tragedy

Savita Halappanavar’s death was not a tragedy. To call her death a tragedy suggests it was the outcome of noble intentions gone awry. It suggests it was somehow inevitable. Most importantly, it lets the people responsible off the hook. At the very minimum, she was tortured and killed as a result of conscious and repeated decisions, taken collectively by members of this country’s legislature, who, out of a commitment to maintaining an order in which women’s bodies belong to the State, refused to legislate for the X case.

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One response to “It was not a tragedy

  1. The death of Savita Halappanavar should provoke outrage in anyone truly concerned about the health of women.Hopefully the investigation will shed some light on why Mrs. Halappanavar was refused treatment for miscarriage, when this treatment is regularly administered in this country, and is allowed for by the law and by the Medical Council.The treatment she needed was legal, so there is no question that a change in the law is what is needed here. It is medical negligence that she was not treated urgently.In cases where the fetus is still alive, the Medical Council in part 21.4 of its guidelines for medical doctors states that treatment is allowed EVEN if “there is little of no hope of the baby surviving”.The treatment that Mrs. Halappanavar should have received is legal in this country. In fact, it is standard medical procedure in cases like hers. That she wasn’t treated is a failure of the hospital and medical team, not a problem with the law.I suspect that the medical council will strike off one or more people because of this and rightly so.The greatest thing we can do to honour Savita’s life is to insist on obstetric excellence – that is what saves women’s lives, not abortion.

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