Sunday, 18 November 2012

Maternal Mortality...

The case of Savita Halappanavar is a very sad one. It is always sad when a young person dies. The amount of hysterical outrage in the Press from pro-abortionists, however, strikes me as being artificially manufactured.

Firstly, the full facts are not yet known, and won't be until after the inquest. There is no evidence that an abortion would have saved Savita - and, in fact, the president-elect of the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) for 2013-2014, Dr.Divakar, said that an abortion performed in a situation of acute septicaemia could well have resulted in hastening Savita's death.

Another reason that I consider the outrage of the pro-abortion lobby to be insincere and opportunistic is the lack of comment about the rates of maternal mortality in countries which do allow abortion. In 2010, the number of maternal deaths in the UK was double that in Ireland, and the US rate was more than three times that of Ireland. Ranking 6th in the world, Ireland is one of the safest places in which to give birth. The UK, which has what is effectively abortion on demand, ranks 23rd in the world, and sepsis is the leading cause of maternal mortality here.

Hard cases make bad law. Savita's death is a tragedy, but we need to examine the true facts before claiming that abortion should be made legal in order to reduce maternal mortality rates.

3 comments:

Patricius said...

The bias of the British media scandalous. Just across the water in France thousands have been demonstrating against government plans to introduce same-sex "marriage" but I wonder how many in Britain are aware of that!

Neil Addison said...

The fact is that we do not know what caused the death of Savita Halappanavar and we certainly do not know whether the Irish Abortion Laws have the slightest relevance to her death. Even had she been given an Abortion immediately she asked for it it might not have made the slightest difference to her death

The only comment I have heard so far stating that an Abortion would have saved her life is from her husband who is undoubtedly still in a state of shock and who is also not medically qualified. A contrary view is given in an Interview in the Indian Newspaper "The Hindu"
http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/city-doctor-defends-irish-counterparts/article4100316.ece

In it Gynaecologist Hema Divakar, president-elect of the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) for 2013-2014, defends the Irish doctors for not aborting Savita’s foetus saying that under the circumstances, it may have been equally dangerous to have performed an Abortion

"City doctor defends Irish counterparts

The tragic death of Savita Halappanavar, the young dentist who died last month in an Irish hospital, appears to have set off a debate among gynaecologists here in Bangalore.

Gynaecologist Hema Divakar defended the Irish doctors for not aborting Savita’s foetus saying that under the circumstances, it may have been equally dangerous to have done the procedure.

Two other doctors, however, said the doctors at University Hospital Galway in western Ireland had blundered in denying the 31-year-old’s plea to terminate her pregnancy two days before she developed complications resulting out of septicaemia.

Savita, a dentist from Belgaum, was refused an abortion of the live foetus when the hospital told her it was illegal in the Catholic country.

Explaining the complication Savita found herself in, Dr. Divakar — president-elect of the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) for 2013-2014 — told The Hindu on Thursday: “Based on information in the media, in that situation of septicaemia, if the doctors had meddled with the live baby, Savita would have died two days earlier.”

Cause of death

“Delay or refusal to terminate the pregnancy does not in itself seem to be the cause of death. Even if the law permitted it, it is not as if her life would have been saved because of termination,” she said. “Severe septicaemia with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), a life-threatening bleeding disorder which is a complication of sepsis, major organ damage and loss of the mother’s blood due to severe infection, is the cause of death in Savita’s case. This is what seems to have happened and this is a sequence which cannot be reversed just by terminating the pregnancy.”

Pain and infection

Analysing the situation, Dr. Divakar said: “Based on available information, Savita would have reported pain and infection and doctors would have indicated a miscarriage as the 17-week foetus may not have grown as expected. Its growth would have been deteriorating because of the infection. Having understood that the baby was not going to make it, the couple would have asked for termination. But as Savita’s infection may have required aggressive treatment at that stage, doctors must have felt the need to prevent complications. The usual [practice] is to meddle the least till the mother is stable.”

Asserting that it is wise to wait in cases with such complications at 17 weeks, Dr. Divakar said: “As per reports, the baby’s heartbeat stopped after three days. But that was expected.”

According to the World Health Organisation Ireland has one of the lowest Maternal Mortality Rates in the world routinely coming in the top 5 or 6 countries and ahead of Britain so the facts would seem to show that women's lives are at less risk in Ireland than they are in other countries.

Mac McLernon said...

Yes Neil. I included a link to that article courtesy of EF Pastor Emeritus

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