54 thoughts on “‘Irish Doctors Can Always Intervene’

    1. john g

      I suppose the medical profession
      Is that the best you can do
      People are not stupid
      Well I correct myself because laws are to protect and the unborn need protection as they have no voice

  1. newsjustin

    What happened is doctors failed to properly assess the patient’s condition and did not intervene when they should and could have.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      The heartbeat of a dying, unviable foetus was prioritised over a then uninfected, healthy woman because of the 8th amendment. 3 days later when the unviable foetus’ heartbeat eventually stopped, infection had taken hold.

      In a civilised country, a 17 week foetus would be removed immediately to prevent this kind of Stone Age failure. A woman died a horrible, unnecessary death because the 8th.

    2. Repro-choice Bertie

      I don’t really want to get into a discussion on Savita but it is a simple truth that the Prof Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, the author of the independent report into her death, said that Savita Halappanavar died as a direct result of Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws and not simply because she contracted sepsis.

        1. mildred st. meadowlark

          Yes let’s quibble about the wording. That’s what’s really important here.

          1. realPolithicks

            Its all they have Mildred because they know they can’t argue on the substance of the issue.

          2. Bob

            The article is in a sense about quibbling, doctors are interpreting things differently.

            The advert says doctors can intervene but for some reason they are not (possibly due to a fear of prosecution).
            Some doctors are saying of course they can perform a a medically indicated termination where other doctors are saying they can’t perform an abortion.

            In the case of Savita Halappanavar “the Hiqua report, 13 different occasions on which a potentially life-saving intervention could have been made”
            so while the 8th played a major role in the doctors decisions it is a subjective interpretation to say “died as a direct result” rather than as a result of medical negligence.

            The medical negligence case taken by Mr Halappanavar was settled and “The HSE had admitted the death of the 31-year-old woman was wrongful” but as I understand it that falls short of legally admitting doctors were negligent

            People have very different interpretations of the Halappanavar case, that opinion piece from the Examiner is merely one example. You don’t have to agree with it but it indicates that it might be a better idea to not use Savita Halappanavar as an argument to try and convince undecided voters.

          3. Listrade

            I understand the point. Once the sepsis developed and wasn’t diagnosed, there was nothing to then stop them performing the abortion and the sepsis caused the death.

            But she was only in the position to develop sepsis because they refused to perform the abortion on the 2nd day before the infection started.

            Was that initial refusal incorrect under the 8th and/or PLDPA?

            However, if there was no 8th and the abortion was performed, she wouldn’t have been in a position to develop sepsis. Surely that is factual.

        2. Repro-choice Bertie

          FFS. You’re playing semantics.


          Savita Halappanavar died as a direct result of Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws and not simply because she contracted sepsis, the author of the independent report into her death has said.

          Prof Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran made the comment as he said the eighth amendment is “not working” and declared his “surprise” it has taken five years since Savita’s death for a discussion on its removal to take place.

          Asked specifically by Independent senator Lynn Ruane “if the presence of the eighth amendment cost Savita her life”, Prof Arulkumaran – who authored the report into her death – said: “It was very clear the things holding the hands of physicians was the legal issue. Anybody, any junior doctor, would have said this is a sepsis condition, we must terminate.”

          “”She did have sepsis. However, if she had a termination in the first days as requested, she would not have had sepsis. If she had the termination when asked for it, the sepsis would not arise.

          “We would never have heard of her and she would be alive today,” he said

          1. Bob

            The advert at the start of this article claims doctors can intervene.

            The Hiqua report said that there were several occasions the doctors could have intervened.

            Her death was wrongful and avoidable, but even with the 8th amendment better outcomes were possible. and her death should have been avoided.

            I think saying “direct result” is overstating the point and not as convincing as you think it is.

          2. ReproBertie (SCU)

            Well if you think you know better than the expert brought in to write the report then that’s your lookout. Out of curiosity, how much relevant experience do you have to second guess the guy brought in specifically to conduct the investigation and write the report? You know, the guy who said she died as a direct result of the 8th.

          1. Listrade

            The sepsis wasn’t diagnosed early enough. However, a miscarriage was inevitable. On the 2nd day she requested an abortion. This was refused due to a heartbeat still being present.

            So yes, no diagnosis of sepsis, however, it was an inevitable miscarriage and she was brought into hospital to effectively wait it out. If the 8th didn’t exist she would have been given the abortion and there wouldn’t have been any hesitation over the heartbeat.

            According to the 2013 Health Service report: “O&G Consultant 1 stated that the patient and her husband were advised of Irish law in relation to this. At interview the consultant stated ‘Under Irish law, if there’s no evidence of risk to the life of the mother, our hands are tied so long as there’s a fetal heart’. The consultant stated that if risk to the mother was to increase a termination would have been possible, but that it would be based on actual risk and not a theoretical risk of infection ‘we can’t predict who is going to get an infection'”.

            At the point she requested the abortion the infection was still a risk, not a reality.

        3. Repro-choice Bertie

          From the report (page 5)
          When the patient and her husband enquired about the possibility of having a termination, this was not offered or considered possible by the clinical team until the afternoon of the 24th of October due to their assessment of the legal context in which their clinical professional judgement was to be exercised.
          Page 6:
          We strongly recommend and advise the clinical professional community, health and social
          care regulators and the Oireachtas to consider the law including any necessary constitutional change and related administrative, legal and clinical guidelines in relation to the management of inevitable miscarriage in the early second trimester of a pregnancy including with prolonged rupture of membranes and where the risk to the mother increases with time from the time that membranes are ruptured including the risk of infection and thereby reduce risk of harm up to and including death.
          Page 33:
          O&G Consultant 1 stated that the patient and her husband were advised of Irish law in
          relation to this. At interview the consultant stated “Under Irish law, if there’s no evidence of
          risk to the life of the mother, our hands are tied so long as there’s a fetal heart”. The
          consultant stated that if risk to the mother was to increase a termination would have been
          possible, but that it would be based on actual risk and not a theoretical risk of infection “we
          can’t predict who is going to get an infection”.
          Page 71:
          The records and interviews confirmed that – from the time of her admission, up to the
          morning of the 24th of October – the management plan for the patient was to “await events”
          and to monitor the fetal heart in case an accelerated delivery might be possible once the fetal
          heart stopped. The interviewees stated to the investigation team that this was because of
          their interpretation of the law related to pregnancy termination. The investigation team
          emphasises that, in the legal context related to termination in Ireland, there is a need for
          increased vigilance in clinical assessment of the patient in relation to the risk of infection,
          especially, infection in the uterus as failure to offer termination of pregnancy directly
          increases these risks.
          Page 73:
          The interpretation of the law related to lawful termination in Ireland, and particularly the lack
          of clear clinical guidelines and training is considered to have been a material contributory
          factor in this regard.
          Page 76:
          The investigation team considers that the situation was complicated by the difficulty
          associated with the application of the law in Ireland relating to the termination of a
          pregnancy. The investigation team is satisfied that concern about the law, whether clear or
          not, impacted on the exercise of clinical professional judgement.


      1. john g

        Bertie you keep twisting words
        To suit your agenda
        Major role is not direct result

  2. newsjustin

    I’d like to discuss this further with anyone who wants to but BS have placed all of my comments under moderation since Listradegate and there’s a frustrating delay in all my posts.

        1. Neilo

          When Restless C..k Syndrome sufferer Michael Colgan had his recent difficulties, I presume some wag here claimed Gategate?

    1. Sentient Won


      You did well to last so long.

      BS – editors and commentators – hate people who refuse to comply with their mind-fupp programming.

      I doubt Listrade is in moderation.

      1. john g

        After today I will be in moderation or banned
        I see in another thread a charger salmon suddenly appears with a horrific story of having to have to abort at 5 months a baby with 6 fingers and the brain outside the skull in a sac
        He states thank god he was in the UK as an abortion was offered and taken
        On researching a similar case in the states where on reflection the parents refused the abortion
        This baby was delivered and lived
        The baby’s name was Bentley Yoder
        The parents under advice of abortion for some reason changed their minds, you can imagine the emotional hell they went through, the decision they had to make, but for one moment they thought deep and hard and refused
        After 5 months in BCH baby Bentley was given extensive brain surgery that corrected the problem
        That child is a smiling happy child healthy and normal about 2 years old
        Google it

        1. Nigel

          And it’s good they had that choice. But it was their choice. Don’t use hindsight to second guess the choices of people in terrible situations.

    2. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      I didn’t see that scrap but I don’t think you’re an ‘in moderation’ type. Always courteous even when you’re completely fupping wrong.

      1. newsjustin

        There was absolutely no scrap.
        BS published a piece by the ever thought-provoking Listrade.
        There was a very clear and fundamental error in it.
        I politely pointed it out.
        The article disappeared.
        I’ve been in moderation since then.
        Listrade has since explained and apologised for his error.
        I remain in moderation.

          1. Bob


            I try to support my comments with at least 1 links but if I use 2 links I automatically get put in moderation.

            I understand the need to block spam but if the system could be changed to whitelist links to the Irish Times or other major Irish publications I think other people might use links more often and it could help raise the level of discourse.



          2. italia'90

            Can you also ask on my behalf why I have been in moderation for over 6 months and if anything can be done about it? Thank you.

          3. Bernie

            While you’re freeing the ‘sinners’, Bodger, can you free the memes one? Cheers x

    1. Listrade

      And this. Never forget this whenever they try to use this legislation.

      Anyway the above is cleverly worded. Does “endanger” have to mean risk to life, risk of serious harm or risk of harm?

      The Supreme Court were clear that the 8th only allowed for abortion where there is a risk to life (including suicide).

      So before the PLDPA, the judgement doctors have to make is based on them having been instructed on the interpretation and judgement of the 4 judges who agreed to abortion in those circumstances. They had to judge if the risk was of death and not just harm.

      I wouldn’t criticise doctors that much as it isn’t a lot to go on.

      The few colleagues he refers to (think last count was over 1000), are using endanger to cover more than just risk of death. And on that basis, they are right.

  3. Bruncvik

    “So what happened to Savita Halappanavar?”

    The law was passed because of her. She passed away in 2012. However, the 2013 law didn’t prevent a hospital to tie down a suicidal rape victim and force feed her until they could remove her viable baby via c-section in 2014. Risk of suicide is a valid reason for abortion, according to the 2013 law.

    1. Starina

      don’t forget the teenager who trusted her doctor to help her travel and he sectioned her instead

      1. mildred st. meadowlark

        My blood chills when I remember that case. Imagine your child having to go through that.

  4. SOQ

    THIS difference of medical opinion is exactly why the 8th must go. It is near russian roulette as to which doctor a woman will get because they can’t all be right. Surely that is something everyone can agree with?

    Give me one other example in medicine where such a potential difference in the continuity of care is accepted in this manner. Give me one other example where a law could even be used as an excuse because of it’s ambiguity.

  5. Aine

    When the PLDPA act was being debated, the loveboaters were totally against it saying it would open the floodgates and women would be faking suicide. Now they are saying its the solution to all the problems the 8th brings up.
    The woman in this story should have had a termination under the new act but hospital didn’t want to act so she ended up going to the UK. She’s lucky she’s not another statistic.

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