The Scandalous Abortion of Savita Halappanavar

(WARNING: I’m pissed and I’m not mincing words or emotions here. I’m not reporting, I’m venting. I’ll post links to other stories and all that jazz later, once I cool down.)

These idiots — who denied Savita Halappanavar an early induction that would have saved her life — deserve court and confession, prison and penance.

These idiots also happen to be my religious kin. They used the word ‘Catholic’ and their Irish national identity carries a long, storied relationship to my Church. In this case I might as well be an Irishman. We cannot throw out the uncomfortable and inconvenient; we must face it and speak to it directly. When your brother or sister commits a heinous crime, you cannot disown them. You are responsible. There is nothing easy or tidy about it.

Guilty by association. That’s me. Guilty. It is not fair and it doesn’t follow rationally, but it does resonate because it should. I am my brother’s keeper. I will not try and be calm about this. I’m certainly not a fucking journalist. I write this as a Catholic, a furious, outraged Catholic. Nothing more and nothing less.

The failures in this case are widespread and devastating. Let me clarify why this case makes me particularly angry. Why my own relation to, and complicity with, this disaster tears at my being. Why I could hit somebody — as terrible as that sounds, but true as it is — right now.

First, the physicians in question did not deny Savita an abortion. They effectively aborted her, the mother. In doing so, they violated the statutes of the Irish Medical Council and, therefore, the law. They were not following the law of the land and deserve to be tried in court (for at least involuntary manslaughter) and quarantined from the Irish medical community. Two people died — Savita and her child — but the mother died from a formal, intentional neglect that was clearly accounted for within the present legal scope of the matter.

Secondly, the absurd claim that they supposedly made to justify it — “this is a Catholic country” — not only puts them at odds with their country, it also violates Catholic teaching, regardless of what our monstrous politicians say about it. Savita was NOT asking for an abortion. She was asking for her life to be saved. The unintended effect, most likely, would have been the death of her child (a tragedy in its own right), but it would not have been the intended outcome of the procedure. A classic and easy case for any informed Catholic to respond to. Induction. No questions.

Catholic teaching and doctrine on this point derives from the principle of Double-Effect. It is well-established and very old doctrine, grounded in philosophy more than theology. It can be found in Augustine and Aquinas, and more. It can be rationally understood and practiced. These medical professionals failed to understand or practice it. Their failure, their total ignorance on what the Church actually teaches, puts them in grave offense against the Church. They need to confess and begin penance — hopefully while doing time in prison.

They’re failure, however, is not only personal and local. It is also a scandal to the Church. I am implicated in this scandal too. Even though the Church teaches otherwise, the fact that these people were so poorly catechized is an evangelical, mystogogical failure that all the faithful must embrace and share.

We should not reject the fact that this spectacular failure to understand the holistic reality of pregnancy is a particularly Catholic mistake. Let the easy blame game rage and lather, let the winners win and the loser lose, let the media and the activists on both sides have their fill on the reality they sacrifice to their gods and idols.

We, the Church, must begin with prophetic outrage and penitential humility. Then we must try to heal and understand. Testify to love.

LIFE IS NOT AN ISSUE. It is not a political trophy to be used to get votes or preserve things you like or get rid of things you don’t like. The simplistic binaries that pit women against their children and infants against their mothers has gone on long enough. ENOUGH!

Savita surely loved her child and would have mourned the loss of it’s precious, premature life. Her life is precious too. Her family, her husband — they have lost everything. A total loss. (Notice the absence of ‘buts’ in those sentences.)

I am sick over the fact that I suspect that one reason these perfect idiots thought they were following Church and State mandates had something to do with this: life has been violently re-cast and perverted into a talking point, a  sanctimonious — and expensive — lobby effort that is rooted in oversimplification and vulgar imbalance. Even those on right side of the matter are on the wrong side.

The point is that there are no sides at all! All or nothing. No sides. No factions. No sterile cheerleading and breast beating.

My silence on the beautiful question of life has been because I don’t find an easy entry into the matter. There is no room to talk about this in a way that respects the reality in question. So I’ve mostly held my tongue.

Today my silence reveals a slothful and selfish cowardice. This is not the time for silence. I fled the conversation because of election politics and the bitter, infantile rivalries within the American Catholic Church. I said to myself “I am a man. I should let the women and the infants speak for themselves.” Excuses. “Through my faultthrough my faultthrough my most grievous fault.”

The empty-headed, calloused opportunists — despite their truest and very best intentions — have had their say. We know what the pro-choicers and the pro-lifers think. They have NOTHING new to say or add and haven’t for years. What we don’t know, and surely do not begin to understand, is the event itself. Life. The bare reality.

Savita was not aborted through malice. She was aborted because of ignorance and silence. For this reason, her death is worst than malicious. It could have been prevented by the very national and ecclesial traditions it misinterpreted. What a failure.

We can be silent no more. Amidst the petty back-and-forth, Catholics must find their voice not as pro-this or anti-that, but as Catholics. We have earned a rather nasty reputation on the matter, on both sides, but the ill repute is partly because we suck at communicating. We’re terrible right now at speaking in a voice that is beautiful and whole. We scream and shout and preach and write the truth, but our hollow truths lack the beauty to sustain them.

Let the beauty of Savita’s life and the ugliness of her death and the tragic loss of her unborn child be our compass today. May they rest in peace. May God be ever merciful.

Amen.

 

 

 

  • Ted Seeber

    From an article on the subject: “The fetus died the following day and its remains were surgically removed. Within hours, Savita was placed under sedation in intensive care with blood poisoning and he was never able to speak with her again, her husband said. By Saturday, her heart, kidneys and liver had stopped working. She was pronounced dead early Sunday, Oct. 28.”

    She was granted a surgical intervention to the miscarriage. It didn’t do any good.

    An earlier intervention might have helped, it might not have.

    Having said that- as pro-life as I am- I want any abortion law to preserve the right of doctors and nurses to follow their conscience in matters of triage. Because right now in the United States, they do NOT have the right to save the fetus if the mother is dying.

    • EK

      “She was granted a surgical intervention to the miscarriage.”

      Only after the fetus’s heart stopped beating. Even though it was dying all along and had no chance of surviving, they kept her in a state of protracted miscarriage (against her will), left her open to worsening infection and agonizing pain; the fetus’s dying tissue is a contributing factor to such infections too. Any sane doctor would have intervened early on. Unfortunately this poor woman fell into the hands of incompetent fanatics.

      • Ted Seeber

        And thus- my comment about conscience and triage. I’m sorry if it went over your head.

  • calahalexander

    This is good, Sam. Not easy to read, but really good. I feel somewhat ashamed of my offhand, this-is-simple-medical-malpractice post now.

    • srocha

      Don’t be, Calah. Your entire blog and ministry do more in sum that my sudden spurts and starts. Your witness is incarnate in a way that mine is only in words. And bless you for the link and the kind words. I surely don’t deserve it.

      SR

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  • Nick

    Just my humble opinion, but a disclaimer, profanity, name-calling, judgment and utter anger still detract from the message of love and the teachings of our Church that you’re trying to make. It creates an unnecessary tension to an otherwise incredible teaching moment. Then again, maybe your audience isn’t anybody more than fellow ‘informed Catholics’. It’s a shame if that’s the case because there are a TON of Truths in this blog that could reach the hearts of those who are less informed or even not Catholic at all.

    Eternal rest grant unto Savita and her unborn baby, Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them.

    • Gwen Green

      I disagree that all Catholics are to blame. I do agree that those clergy blocking true catechesis are to blame, for sure.
      They will have to answer someday, if they don’t backtrack on their serving up secularism in the place of truth. I had to give up my career , avoid the poisonous schools and homeschool just so my kids wouldn’t have their faith ruined by what passes for Catholic Schools . I’m not guilty for other people being ignorant of the truth, and neither is the official Church, which BEGS the Bishops and priests around the world to teach the actual faith. I agree with Nick that this could be a teachable moment for others who stumble on your blog, and you should keep that in mind; venting with expletives is an excess that Catholics try to avoid, even if they feel moved to.

      • Fortuna Veritas

        All Catholics are to blame because they go along with the paradigm of unwarranted authority and hierarchy, allowing their religion to be dictated by the biases and desires of old men who belong to a different age.

        The church hierarchy could not get away with its silly dogmatic stances that encourage stupidity like this if the Church would hold its servants accountable.

    • Blah

      Oh fuck your god and your nutty delusion religious you sorry piece of anti science human shit.

      • JoFro

        Go fuck yourself!

  • Niemand

    It is interesting and telling that you refer to the murder of an adult woman as an “abortion”. Dr. Halappanavar was not “aborted”, she was tortured and murdered by fanatics who saw her life as unimportant. Not just less important than a fetus, but less important than their own egos. If she had been treated competently, there is no doubt that she’d be alive right now, discussing the advisability of another try with her husband. A year from now, she might have celebrated the birth of a healthy child with her husband. This opportunity was lost to her because the doctors who cared for her were incompetent fanatics who paid little attention to her needs and placed their own needs higher.

    • Dazed in Galway (@dazedingalway)

      I handn’t realised that he referred to her death as an abortion. I had no idea what he meant until I read your comment. How can one who claims to be outraged use an euphemism to describe what you rightly said: murder and torture!

  • Ichthyic

    Guilty by association. That’s me. Guilty.

    well then, you know what to do, right?

    http://atheism.about.com/od/ideasforatheistactivism/a/Excommunication.htm

  • Hemlock

    “She was granted a surgical intervention to the miscarriage. It didn’t do any good. An earlier intervention might have helped, it might not have.”

    She was granted surgical intervention much too late, after the foetus had died (which I’ll point out in this situation was inevitable) and after she had already had sepsis. Earlier intervention by terminating the pregnancy would have definately have helped, and there would have been no difference in the inevitable consequence of foetal death as the amniotic fluid loss would cause fatal lung hypoplasia in amongst other issues. In these cases (rupture of membranes and cervical dilation) infection is the probable cause at the start, and even if it isn’t it is inevitable when there is no intervention that infection will occur. Even at full term, a mother with ruptured membranes would not be left for days but intervention taken to deliver the baby at or around 24 hours at the latest if they don’t go into labour spontaneously. The risk of infection and subsequent sequalae (sick mother, sick or still born baby) is very high.

    Intervening would have saved her life and future fertility to boot. Pretending it wouldn’t help is defying reality, and it doesn’t excuse that both Savita and her child died as a direct result of laws and policies that followed religious teaching and this prevented doctors providing the standard of care. Failure all round. Once symptoms of sepsis developed it was already too late, and demonstrate the problems with strict anti-abortion policies and the harm that this can cause to actual, living, human beings. So much for being pro-life, this inevitably leads to situations like this and two deaths instead of one possible one.

    • Ted Seeber

      “She was granted surgical intervention much too late, after the foetus had died (which I’ll point out in this situation was inevitable) and after she had already had sepsis. ”

      We don’t know that. She may well have had sepsis, which caused the miscarriage. Or did it not occur to you that the order may be politically altered for the purpose of making this a pro-choice story?

      Fact is, like most, you’re arguing from ignorance, and failing to support the decisions of the doctor on the scene to boot.

  • Brian Formica

    Props to you for calling out those who politicize issues of life.

    If I were to offer any criticism – which would be for the purpose of building up, mind you – it would be the misuse (or misunderstanding) of “my brother’s keeper”. Granted we shouldn’t disown our kin when they make a (really really really bad) mistake (and in the name of Catholicism, oiy). We are responsible for taking care of our brethren. But we’re not to blame for their actions. Their choices are their own. So let’s set a good example by living the faith and correcting each other when we err. Do all things in love. Pax.

  • Kate Bryan

    Just a few thoughts… so much to say, but this is a start:

    1) How do you know these Doctors were Catholic? They may have been, they could have been ‘Catholic’ by name only, or protestant or atheist.

    2) Unsettling that you write “as a Catholic”, yet you don’t seem to understand Catholic doctrine, nor do you understand the laws of Ireland, a “Catholic country”.

    3) How do you know what the physicians did or did not do? Were you there? I would agree with you that these Drs probably violated the statutes of the IMC, but we do not know exactly what happened yet, so I wouldn’t jump to such harsh conclusions (and punishments) as you do in your article.

    4) Again with the “Catholic” thing. You might want to study the CCC before making such harsh claims… ummm, because you are wrong.

    5) Oh now the Principle of Double-Effect. Ooops, you did it again. Misconstrewed the facts. Fact is, the Principle of Double-Effect cannot apply to anything unless #1 the act is in itself GOOD or morally neutral. Abortion is and never will be morally good or neutral.

    Overall, you should take your own advice: “Their failure, their total ignorance on what the Church actually teaches, puts them in grave offense against the Church.”

    Don’t pretend you are an expert on Catholic doctrine because you are not.

  • srocha

    Hello everyone. Thank you for reading and commenting. I’ve cooled off quite a bit since I wrote this earlier today and want to give some general replies:

    1. Language. You may want to (not) read my post “The New Evangelization Needs Profanity” on this topic. Here’s the link: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/samrocha/2012/10/the-new-evangelization-needs-profanity/

    2. Brother’s keeper. I am thinking of Dostoyevsky’s notion that we are all responsible for all. It struck me today perhaps more than it ever has. Agree or disagree, at least now you know where it comes from.

    3. Some of the comments are pretty weird, like some people didn’t read. Sorry, not much to say other than that. But I hope you enjoyed your soapbox. I know I love mine. Cheers.

    4. @Kate. I did project that these were Catholic doctors, largely because they used the label both nationally and ecclesially. If I’m wrong than I guess they can’t go to confession. Too bad for them. All your other question are really one in the same: a question of doctrine, specifically Double-Effect. On this point, let me clarify and qualify: I am NOT a theologian, much less a moral theologian. I am also not an ethicist. However, I am a philosopher and I have studied the doctrine of double effect at some length and think that I understand the philosophical matter well enough. Double-effect does not draw it’s own conclusions in the abstract and it certainly can be misapplied and misconstrued. But two things remain: (1) it is the anchor beneath the Church’s understand of the bio-ethics (I hate that word) of medicine and healthcare (we seem to agree on this point) and (2) the first criteria can be met here insofar as we understand the induction under the similar terms of a hysterectomy on a pregnant woman with cancer. If the act itself is intended as, and formally is, abortive, in either respect, then double-effect doesn’t follow. However, I want to argue that this does not stand out as a case in intent or formal procedure that we could call an “abortion,” in the sense it was used earlier. It has only been spun that way by the two sides of the so-called issue. Insofar as that is the case — that is can be considered as something intentionally and formally different than an abortion— then double-effect can follow from it. This is not a doctrinally binding statement, of course. But it is a philosophically justified argument and seems like a relatively easy one to arrive at.

    All in all, the hyperbole and admittedly venting nature of the post detracted from it in certain respects and left certain things in perhaps differing proportions than they should have been. Nonetheless, the testament of the prose to my intent in writing it — which was not journalistic nor philosophical in nature — remains. Much of it was confessional in nature. At least that was where it was headed.

    In the future I will have my say on the matter in ways that, I hope, more of you will find compelling and serious. In fact, this whole fiasco has given me the inclination to perhaps write a short book. Patheos Press? We’ll see.

    God bless you all. You too, Blah.

    SR

    • Theoacme

      I think you did not go far enough, srocha – and I am even angrier still than I was before.
      Here is a chat I had with a so-called friend on Facebook (names removed, otherwise cut-and-pasted exactly as written by both of us), that informs you why I will remain angry, why I will never agree with the misogynistic opinions of Mr. Seeber and his allies, and would rather die than ever agree with him (I am “X”, my friend is “M”):

      X: In Ireland, as you know, they are Catholic 80+%, where both the government AND opposition parties are heavily Catholic…read this… http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/14/ireland-woman-dies-after-abortion-refusal

      M: ok

      X: …interesting that story – I saw a lot of chatter on Yahoo on this with more than one person saying that God wanted the mom to die, that it was His will…and the archbishop here, like all of them, support that view – they support no exceptions at all…

      M: I can see how the church takes that view

      X: …in this case, miscarriage already occurring, and still no? If God wanted that mom to die…I cannot reconcile that with the God that I know :’(

      M: god wants us all to die does he not to believe in him dictates a belief he gets to choose how and when
      maybe her death is the tool he will use to change policy? who knows

      X: The doctors could have saved mom, but did nothing…that to me is murder…God did not come to that hospital and write on the chart, let her die…

      M: of course not, does he write cancer in others files, no The argument is that his will is done, being done

      X: …this case is different – another person decided, the doctors, not God…

      M: that implies man has the power to change Gods will

      X: …in this case…let’s say that you were in a crash by Cinergy Field, and a blood transfusion would save your life, but a Jehovah’s Witness was the doctor, and he would not do the transfusion…God did not want you to die, but the doctor’s inaction, deliberate inaction, caused your death…I would be just as angry if that happened to you.

      M: it was my understanding the procedures have not yet been put in place, i understand the court ruling mentioned but do not see how the governments lack of procedures is the doctors responsibility but that takes away from the debate at hand…..what was the elapsed time from no heart beat to her death?

      X: …the doctors could have, since the Supreme Court ruling was in control, but enabling law had not been passed…so there was a grey area about the size of a Marge Schott smoke cloud on a calm day at Riverfront :)

      M: lol

      X: ….three days that the miscarried child was in mom, until it’s heart stopped beating…a day after that, mom died from complications that would not have happened if the completion of the miscarriage was done promptly…and mom was in pain the whole time…

      M: i suppose the debate lies in A) when life begins, 2) who has the right to terminate that life if any, and given an affirmative answer on 2, 3) would be under what circumstances the church can see no reason to ever take a life even if it means the mother dies, If a person believes no life can be taken, the mothers death is irrelevant and thus gods will i would think

      X: On that, in this narrow set of circumstances, I cannot possibly agree with you…in this case, the doctors could have saved mom, but did not…and God did not tell them to do that…it was not His will in this case…

      …and my dinner bell is chiming, so I must leave it there…have a good evening.

      M: you too!

  • NR

    This. This is what I’ve felt like screaming.

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  • Ailina

    Septicemia is a risk of both spontaneous abortion (aka miscarriage) and medically assisted abortion. Doctors usually don’t intervene in miscarriages unless the woman is hemorrhaging, but prefer less intervention, thus less risk of complications. That woman was in labor, not dying, and at her stage of pregnancy, even medically assisted abortion would be tricky and complicated. There was a case of a botched abortion at Planned Parenthood in Chicago this past July, because it is complicated when a woman is that far along (5 months).

    Many women also have missed miscarriages, where they carry a dead fetus for weeks before their bodies signal a spontaneous abortion is taking place. In that whole time, there is a risk of septicemia. That happened to me when I was 12 weeks pregnant; the fetus has died about 3 or 4 weeks before, but the signs of miscarriage did not happen when they should have. I had no clue until I went in for an ultrasound after experiencing labor pain. Even then, the doctors waited to see if I would spontaneously abort everything, rather than intervene.

  • MK

    Sam, I share your outrage over what happened to Savita. It is horrible to think of her dying needlessly and of her poor husband. I also agree completely that the Church has failed to catechize as it should, and while the greatest failure perhaps attaches to the priests and bishops who have failed to speak the truth in their role as teachers, that failure extends to all of us, as we have all failed to learn our faith as we should and share it with others. I was dismayed by the latter half of your column, however, when you moved from outrage over Savita and the Church’s catechetical failures to a condemnation not only of the pro-choice movement, but of the pro-life movement. Of course the pro-life movement isn’t perfect and has had its failures of leadership and its failures of rhetoric. And I am the last person to think that we should hold our side to be undeserving of criticism. Indeed, I think we should be constantly examining ourselves to see where we can be more Christ-like. But to suggest that pro-lifers as a whole are screamers and shouters who fail to embrace a beautiful, whole truth? That is unfair.

    I have worked with or met hundreds of pro-lifers, and know many more remotely through others, and I can think of only one person among those who embraced an unhelpful rhetoric and I can think of no one who didn’t approach the cause with a spirit of great love. In fact, I would say that what I think has come to be a defining feature of the pro-life movement is its embrace of a beautiful rhetoric and action of wholeness, that takes in both the mother and child with great love, seeking the good for both of them — life for the child, for the mother, protection from the physical and spiritual violence of abortion. You say that pro-lifers have nothing new to say, but what is there new to say in response to the same old evil? Abortion hurts women, it hurts children. We need to say that again and again. There are helpful and less helpful ways to put that, of course, and the pro-life community in recent years has overwhelmingly embraced a way of communicating that makes clear that pro-lifers care about the woman and the child equally, that we want to protect both from the devastation of abortion. And pro-lifers have embraced that in action, as well, as crisis pregnancy centers, Project Gabriel, new homes for mothers in need, free medical care, and other initiatives flourish. The pro-life movement, and the Catholic part of it, are not “terrible right now at speaking in a voice that is beautiful and whole,” they are good at it, and getting better every day. From Project Gabriel to Feminists for Life, this movement speaks with the voice of love. Of course there are unhelpful incidents (Todd Akin’s comments, for example), and those incidents are magnified by the media so that .001 percent of the pro-life movement comes to represent the movement as a whole. But we should be fighting against that portrayal. And while we may not be winning the battle in the mainstream media, I think there are many signs of hope on the ground, starting with the fact that increasing numbers of Americans self-identify as at least somewhat pro-life. And I think this is a direct result of the beautiful, whole voice, with which the pro-life movement has spoken, most especially in recent years.

    Finally, about sides. Of course the church is not on any side, and the pro-life movement is not either, because truth has no sides. But practically speaking, when you’re standing up for truth in the world, you have to, in effect, take sides. If you’re fighting for the truth and someone is fighting against it, you are on different sides. That doesn’t mean that you foster partisanship or strife for strife’s sake, but it does mean that you are for all practical purposes on different sides. Our side should be fighting for the day when the right to life will be so universally honored that there will no longer be any sides — we should take sides to abolish sides — but while there are two sides, we must take one. We have an obligation to take one. Even if not everyone on that side is perfect. Every day babies in this country are dying in their mother’s wombs, and women’s lives are being destroyed by the violence of abortion. We have to take their side. And in practical terms, that means taking the side of the pro-life movement. If we wait until we develop the perfect way of speaking about the issue, until we perfect the pro-life side, I fear we will wait so long that we will do nothing. When a great evil is taking place, we have to take action, even if through our human frailty that action is imperfect. We must as you say constantly seek to communicate as Christ would have us communicate, but while we are doing that, we SHOULD take sides – the side of the pro-life movement.

    • srocha

      Dear MK:

      Your serious and charitable reply moved me. Feminists for Life did creep into my fingers as I was typing, but I didn’t have time to be fair and balanced about things. Mostly because — while I do take your words to heart — ye shall judge them by their fruits. And the fruit I am looking for is cultural. I grew up in the pro-life movement and I know it well enough to know that the argument is the same and so are the hypocrisies and the tone. Nothing wrong with the same unless it’s producing the same, absent fruit. I’ve talked to more than three professional, get-paid-to-lobby-against-abortion pro-lifers who’ve never heard of Feminists for Life. See? It is all very masculine. This is why Feminist for Life stands out to me. They really get it, I think. But look, I see your point and I hope you can see some of my mine. I’m not asking to agree to disagree, I’m just asking that you realize that the fruit we see on the inside is not even close to ripe, hence its utter invisibility on the outside.

      But thank you for forcing me to admit one final thing: as a philosopher, I have withheld my own private thoughts on the matter, so as not to collude them with Church doctrine and teaching. But I also snuck many, if not most, of them in, particularly towards the end. I owe you more on that, and I know that you’ll hear me out. (Or could could also buy my book! HA!) More soon…

      Pax,

      SR

      • Ted Seeber

        I wasn’t pro-life until I was diagnosed with autism. Then became a father. Of a special needs child. And then the murder of Dr. George Tiller happened, and I wondered how a pro-lifer could go so far off the rails.

        So I went to the website of his clinic and found this:
        http://www.aheartbreakingchoice.com/Afterward/RightThing.aspx

        Needless to say, this destroyed what was left of my support for “Choice”.

        More on topic, though, is the concept of triage. I’m not sure that the argument of the doctors in Savita’s case that Irish Law prevents cleaning out a miscarriage while there is still a fetal heartbeat is even accurate, let alone a good defense; but I do believe that doctors should be allowed to make that choice. DOCTORS. Not necessarily parents.

        I’m very against choice, but in this case- it wasn’t a choice. Or shouldn’t have been. It should have been two patients, seriously injured, with the doctors having to save the one they could.

        • Fortuna Veritas

          …You became Pro-Life because someone who was “Pro-Life” was a hypocritical murderer?

          How awkward.

  • Baron Korf

    This was poorly thought out. Condemnations should wait till the coroner’s report and a malpractice hearing is held. None of the articles I have seen give the hospital’s direct point of view, only 2nd hand ones at best.

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  • JoFro

    It’s funny, but Get Religion did a better job with this story than you seem to –

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/getreligion/2012/11/on-media-malpractice-and-savita-halappanavars-tragic-death/

    This line seems quite important – “The more detailed stories that I have read indicate that she died of septicemia AND and E.coli ESBL. This provides valid reason to question whether this woman would have survived, regardless of the treatment. This ESBL-producing E.coli strain is harder to treat than MRSA. The E.coli ESBL infection may not have even been related to the miscarriage initially, but she’s been cremated, so there is no way to do further investigation. The E.coli ESBL could have been the cause of the miscarriage in the first place”

    Please do some research – it seems most of what we have heard from the news is from 2nd sources. Wait for the hospital investigation. This article of yours does not justice to Savita either

  • Anon

    Get Religion’s account is taking as biased an approach to reporting the facts on the ground as are the pro-abortion groups. There is no known medical record of ecoli – it is being peddled by some who want their 15 minutes of medical fame. See the Thirty Gargoyle’s very measured update pointing out that now both sides are peddling myths. http://thethirstygargoyle.blogspot.com/2012/11/patience-is-virtue.html
    The pointing of figures at the Church was idiotic but the apologists’ responses to the bait are worse.

  • True Democrat

    The point is, as a hospital in a “Catholic country” they would not remove a fetus with a heartbeat but would never take a breath, from the womb. By Catholic definition, to do so would be an abortion–i.e. forcing a “living child” into an environment where it will die. The physicians waited until the heartbeat ceased and “removed the dead fetus” as that procedure would not directly cause the fetus’ death–just like turning off the breathing machine after the patient expired is also not “killing” the patient.
    .
    Pro-Lifers will claim that a fetus experiences pain as it’s dismembered in a D&E, but how do they know it’s not suffering as the physicians wait for its heartbeat to stop? It’s very possible that the mother and child died in agony, when an abortion could have spared both the agony and saved the mother’s life. There are fates worse than death.

  • Maureen O’Brien

    An excellent blog post — one of the few that sheds more light than heat on this issue.

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