Monday 23 October 2017

'Lack of guidance' blamed for barbaric childbirth procedure

Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Leading doctors yesterday blamed a lack of guidance and a ban on contraception for the high number of Irish women who were subjected to a barbaric childbirth procedure.

The body representing obstetricians was commenting on the symphisiotomy procedure, which involved breaking a woman's pelvis.

Doctors were working without guidelines on the procedure and could have been prosecuted if they offered contraceptive advice, said the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

The statement came as survivors of symphisiotomy expressed horror at the decision of Health Minister James Reilly to give the go-ahead to his officials to brief two male journalists in secret on a Government-commissioned report looking at the history of symphisiotomy.

The briefing held in the Department of Health on Monday, which excluded female journalists, involved sensitive details of the procedure. It breached a promise to the survivors that details of the report would only be released with their consent under embargo.

The minister last night refused to elaborate on why he allowed the briefing to take place behind closed doors.

A spokesman defended the decision, saying it does not discriminate on the grounds of gender.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News