Thursday, November 15, 2012

HOW IS IT PRO-LIFE TO ALLOW A YOUNG WOMAN TO DIE?


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.

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.
I simply cannot understand why any church that calls itself Christian would teach that an incomplete spontaneous abortion can't be completed by medical assistance. For doctors to stand by and watch this beautiful young woman die in prolonged agony for the sake of their tender consciences is far beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior. First, do no harm. The medical staff could have saved one life.   

The treatment of Savita in the hospital demands an investigation, which is now in progress.   The Roman Catholic hierarchy has a lot to answer for in the "Catholic country" of Ireland if its teaching demands or encourages this type of cruel treatment by doctors, whose mission it is to heal, in complete disregard for the life of Savita.  How is this behavior pro-life?  How is this treatment in any way compassionate?  The more I think about this sequence of events, the more horrified I am.    

H/T to Jezebel. 

27 comments:

  1. You should be horrified. It is cruel. That is the fruit of "righteousness," as commonly practiced: sacrifice, not mercy.

    Nor does it stop there. You should pray that your last days and hours are not spent trapped in unbearable pain because of some rule that ultimately traces back through a long, winding path to some anonymous, unaccountable board of ethics, with some whiny little righteous eggsucking weasel saying "well I just don't think it's right" to let someone die in peace.

    It can happen to you. I could tell you stories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Russ, I know a little. I had to endure the hostile stares of some of the hospital staff when my mother was hospitalized several times after a debilitating stroke when I reminded them that she had a DNR order. I had to fight the pressure from the nursing home staff to insert a feeding tube when my mother stopped eating. Thank God the doctors were on my side. My mother wanted to die after 8 miserable months of living with the after affects of the stroke followed by one complicating medical problem after another. She did not want a feeding tube. Mercifully, she died of a hemorrhage from a bleeding ulcer soon after.

      In the old days when people died in their beds, if they stopped eating, they died.

      Delete
  2. I am not for involving the legal system in this, but if ever there was a clear case of medical malpractice, this is it. It's also a very clear call for clarity in legislation.

    I pray for this woman, her husband and the country of Ireland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elizabeth, there should be a law that makes it clear this kind of malpractice will result in serious consequences for the medical staff.

      Delete
  3. Q: "HOW IS IT PRO-LIFE TO ALLOW A YOUNG WOMAN TO DIE?"

    A: It's not.

    This edition of "Brief Answers to Questions Occasioned by OBSCENE Hypocrisy" courtesy of JCF.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is so incomprehensible to me. Of course, I come from a religion which would view an abortion in those circumstances (or any set of circumstances in which the mother's life was in danger) as MANDATORY, at any time in the pregnancy up to the point that (as the Mishnah puts it) the head begins to emerge from the birth canal (meaning at that point, the infant becomes an independent human life which itself must be saved if at all possible)--the rationale is the mother's right to self defense.

    To put a Christian gloss on this--that's been Jewish law since (probably) well before the time of Jesus; yet among all the things Jesus criticized, he didn't seem to feel it necessary to criticize that aspect of Jewish law.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. kishnevi, the actions of the medical staff in Ireland are incomprehensible to me. And no, so far as we know from the Gospels, Jesus never addressed the matter.

      The thinking on abortion has not been consistent throughout the history of Christianity, although condemnation of abortion seems to have been the rule rather than the exception. Important figures in the church, including Augustine, Jerome, Thomas Aquinas, and Pope Gregory XIV differed and considered early abortions allowable.

      Delete
    2. Just to be clear, Jewish law essentially prohibits any abortion that can't be squeezed into the "saving the life of the mother" category....And of course, up until a few decades ago, those doctors would probably have never been able to detect the "fetal heartbeat", and therefore almost certainly would done what was necessary to save the mother.

      BTW, further thought on "the end of life" matters. As much as it's probably no good to the dying person, feeding tubes etc. are probably necessary for the relatives many times. I know when my stepmother was in her last months--almost half a year in PVS, with progressive deterioration of her kidneys and other bodily functions--it wasn't until the last couple of weeks that my father could accept the fact that she was never going to wake up, and that allowing nature to take over and letting her die was the best thing he could do for her--and that was only after the doctors had told him that even machines couldn't stave off the end much longer.

      Delete
    3. kishnevi, if the dying person is suffering, I don't have a lot of patience with relatives who want to prolong the suffering of a loved one to soothe their own feelings.

      I have left specific instructions for myself, and I can't only hope that if I am incapacitated, my family will follow them and that the doctor will respect my wishes.

      Delete
    4. Mimi, may you and your family never be in that place! But I can't imagine any member of your family not respecting your wishes! They certainly wouldn't want the wrath of Mimi on their heads!

      But it's not a case of soothing people's feelings. In those situations, the cycle of mourning and grief has to begin before the actual death, and the family has to reach the acceptance stage of grief before they can truly accept the need to turn off the life support.

      Delete
    5. Agreed it's the family's decision to make. I'm thinking of the dying person.

      Delete
  5. I believe at least manslaughter charges should be pressed. The RCs seem to be finding more and more ways to bankrupt themselves. Both monetarily and spiritually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Piskie, in this instance, I doubt the RCC will suffer consequences from the law. It will be the medical staff.

      Delete
  6. Any rational examination will reveal that the so-called "pro-life movement" is a bald-faced lie, no matter how much emotion may be invested in it.

    The Roman Church viewed abortion as a merely venial sin up until the time of Pius IX. Evangelical Christians' claim that "life begins at conception" is younger than the Happy Meal.

    Sharia Law is bad politics, whether the country imposing it is Saudi Arabia or Ireland. It is also anti-human. The Devil loves such people and doubtless will welcome them home when their time comes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, Paul (A.). I've never been able to understand the dissonance in rules forbidding contraception and yet, at the same time, forbidding abortion. What the "Pro-life" people want is to make abortions illegal and dangerous, for surely they know banning abortions will not stop them. It will only mean that women are more likely to die from unsafe abortions, and how is that "Pro-life"?

      So abortion was allowed by the RCC until the 19th century? As I said, the church's teaching has not been consistent.

      Delete
  7. Appalling case and, coming on top of the still-unfolding child abuse monstrosity, will be another nail in the coffin of "traditional" Roman Catholic Ireland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe at least some of the caterwauling about contraceptives and abortions is to distract from the ongoing child abuse and cover-up scandal. Plus, the RC laity put a big dent in the power structure of the hierarchy in the election here in the US. Take that!

      Delete
  8. Rules are made for people, but people are not made for rules. People are made to lead a good life.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I ache for her poor husband and it brings up a memory for me. When I was 16 my mother was pregnant with her 8th child. At about 8 months she started hemorrhaging severely and was taken to the hospital (catholic). Our doctor first worked to save mother's life and told the nuns, who wanted him to immediately deliver the baby, that he was not going to let a woman with 7 children at home die to save an infant. the infant lived only a few hours. We have always been grateful for his courageous stance, especially me as I would have had to take care of my younger siblings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amelia, thank God your mother's doctor had his priorities right, or two people would have died and a husband and seven children left without wife and mother.

      The RC hierarchy are desperate to hold on to power, but they are quickly losing their grip on the lives if the laity, not to mention losing the laity themselves.

      Delete
  10. Quite apart from anything else you could say about it it's not even practical on the most basic level. She was already miscarrying - waiting was not going to prevent that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such stupidity with tragic consequences. I don't comprehend their reasoning. I can't imagine that their consciences are easy now.

      Delete
    2. The (un)natural end of that effed-up "Abortion Stops a Beating Heart" meme.

      If a Jain (mesh over the mouth so as to not inhale a gnat/ALL life is sacred!) wants sacralize "Abortion Stops a Beating Heart", OK then.

      Corned-Beef&Cabbage Irish?! (That cow had a beating heart, too!)

      Humanity as Imago Dei resides in our sentient BRAINS, not "beating hearts". Savita Halappanavar HAD a sentient brain, a 17 week fetus did NOT. This wasn't a difficult moral choice, except for the Popoid dogma!

      Delete
  11. Lest we forget, this is the country of the infamous Magdalene Laundries, the last of which finally closed not that long ago. Majorly FUCKED UP priorities there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, Renz. I think not only the doctors but the country of Ireland pay a price for this tragedy. The EU may be doing its own investigation.

      Delete

Word verification has been enabled for comments. Please type the letters or numbers shown in the word verification box to demonstrate you're not a robot. Anonymous comments are permitted so long as they are signed. Please use a name, any name, and sign your comment in order that one anonymous commenter may be distinguished from another, or your comment may be deleted. Thank you.