An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Woman dies as Docs refuse Foetus Termination after miscarriage because it is against Christianity

Savita Halappanavar

Abortion and termination of foetus has been a BIG election issue with the Republicans.  Some have gone to the extent of dishing out absurdities like “Raped women don’t get pregnant” or “Pregnancy from rape is a God’s Gift”.  Here is a case which sadly demonstrates what can happen IF such laws are followed mindlessly.  When science is driven by religion and its ideology and not common sense!

Savita Halappanavar was sinking because of a miscarriage and she needed the termination of the foetus ASAP, but the hospital doctors kept refusing, because they could still detect the heart beat of the foetus!  But she insisted that the termination be done.  To which the Docs replied – we can’t, because this is a Catholic Country and it is against law.  She retorted “I am neither Irish, NOR Catholic!”  She was a Hindu.  But to no avail.  The Doctors just saw her make her way to death over THREE DAYS of agony and pain!  She died of Septicaemia.

“The doctor told us the cervix was fully dilated, amniotic fluid was leaking and unfortunately the baby wouldn’t survive.” The doctor, he says, said it should be over in a few hours. There followed three days, he says, of the foetal heartbeat being checked several times a day.

“Savita was really in agony. She was very upset, but she accepted she was losing the baby. When the consultant came on the ward rounds on Monday morning Savita asked if they could not save the baby could they induce to end the pregnancy. The consultant said, ‘As long as there is a foetal heartbeat we can’t do anything’.

“Again on Tuesday morning, the ward rounds and the same discussion. The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita [a Hindu] said: ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic’ but they said there was nothing they could do.

“That evening she developed shakes and shivering and she was vomiting. She went to use the toilet and she collapsed. There were big alarms and a doctor took bloods and started her on antibiotics.

“The next morning I said she was so sick and asked again that they just end it, but they said they couldn’t.”

Critically ill

At lunchtime the foetal heart had stopped and Ms Halappanavar was brought to theatre to have the womb contents removed. “When she came out she was talking okay but she was very sick. That’s the last time I spoke to her.”

At 11 pm he got a call from the hospital. “They said they were shifting her to intensive care. Her heart and pulse were low, her temperature was high. She was sedated and critical but stable. She stayed stable on Friday but by 7pm on Saturday they said her heart, kidneys and liver weren’t functioning. She was critically ill. That night, we lost her.”

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