Anonymous (2014) – Ireland

Miscarrying woman with sepsis refused treatment by Irish hospital, suffers trauma and risk of life

An anonymous Irish woman reported in May 2018 that she had to travel to England for a termination of a miscarrying pregnancy with the same circumstances as that of Savita Halappanavar. She was almost 20 weeks pregnant (when the fetus cannot survive) and said “I had been refused care by my hospital because my baby still had a heartbeat, even though it had no chance of survival.” She continued: “My Irish consultant didn’t seem to fully understand what was wrong with me and my baby. For the previous three weeks what she told me changed each time I saw her. I was first told I was likely to miscarry in the next week. Then I was told the baby would probably have severe brain damage and be physically disabled. The third week I was told the baby would die at birth, as it didn’t have any lungs, and my life was in danger. I was one of the first cases under the new law, and my hospital didn’t want to be the first to do a termination.”

She spent 3 stressful weeks in and out of hospital in Ireland while doctors monitored the fetal heartbeat. She began to develop painful symptoms of septicemia, and even though abortion is legal in Ireland when a woman’s life is at imminent risk, the hospital refused to treat her. She had to travel to Liverpool for a termination and became very sick enroute. When examined by a British consultant: “He put the jelly on my stomach for the scan. He was pretty angry when he examined me. He turned and said, ‘Your waters are completely gone. How have the Irish sent you over to us in this state?'” She was given medication to treat septicaemia and spent 36 hours in labour. “It was extremely painful, and the most terrifying experience I’ll ever go through.” She spent many months in a severely traumatised state, trying to piece her life back together.

Irish Times: ‘My circumstances were the same as Savita Halappanavar’s’ – Irish Times, May 16, 2018