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Old 08-16-2013, 11:56 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Smiling Assassin27 View Post
An inquest concluded that she did not die from lack of abortion. But listen to a distraught husband rather than expert medical doctors.
It's not that simple. Ireland has seen this play out before and despite the Irish Courts ruling decades ago, Catholic dogma still costs lives by preventing abortions when the mother's life is in danger.

Ireland's Supreme Court in 1992 ruled that abortion should be permitted when a woman's life is at risk (Reuters, 11/16). However, successive governments have failed to pass legislation to clarify the ruling (Pogatchnik, AP/Miami Herald, 11/15). In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ordered Ireland to specify what the Supreme Court's ruling means in practice (Reuters, 11/16).

Peter Boylan of the Irish Institute of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said that the current situation makes physicians reluctant to take action when women's lives are threatened because they fear prosecution. "If we do something with a good intention, but it turns out to be illegal, the consequences are extremely serious for medical practitioners," he said (AP/Miami Herald, 11/15).

In this case, the inquest did cite septicemia, or blood poisoning. However, the cause of the infection was most likely the fetus. She may well still be alive were it not for the intended law being ignored.

"I don't do abortions, I'll tell you right now. ... But I'd have to tell the mother, 'Your baby doesn't have a chance and to save your life, I have to do this,'" said Dr. John Coppes, the medical director at Austin Medical Center-Mayo Health System in Minnesota.

Coppes, who has never met Halappanavar, said that when a woman's water, or amniotic sac, breaks during early pregnancy, she is at risk for infection because the barrier between the baby and the outside world is broken. The fetus's environment is also no longer sterile, putting it at risk for "horrible malformations."

Coppes said the fact that Halappanavar's husband reported she was ill and vomiting suggested a serious infection had set in, and it's possible that it spread to her blood, resulting the septicemia that killed her. When asked how long it takes for an infection in the uterus to spread to the blood, Coppes said it can vary.

"Let's put it this way, the clock starts ticking when the membrane ruptures," he said. "It can be pretty fast. That's why you don't sit and watch."

When an infection occurs in a pregnant woman's uterus, Dr. Kimberly Gecsi, an obstetrician at University Hospitals in Cleveland, said the only way to treat it is to terminate the pregnancy.

"Antibiotics are part of the process, but once an infection develops inside the uterus, antibiotics alone aren't going to treat the infection," Gecsi said. "The infection will continue until the products of pregnancy are removed, either by natural procedure or with surgical procedure."
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