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Thread: Maternal Deaths in Ireland Twice as High as Reported

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    Default Maternal Deaths in Ireland Twice as High as Reported

    Ireland's maternal mortality rate is twice as high as has been reported.


    The first report from the recently-established Maternal Death Enquiry - MDE Ireland system shows that our maternal death rate is 8 per 100,000 births, compared with 4 per 100,000 reported by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

    The MDE Ireland report, which uses wider criteria for defining maternal death than that used by the CSO, found that in the years 2009 to 2011 inclusive, 25 mothers who attended maternity hospitals with their pregnancies died.

    The Irish report adopted the more comprehensive British classification system for determining maternal death, and collated detailed data on mortality from hospitals. It classified two of the deaths in the period as being due to suicide.

    In the wake of the death of Savita Halappanavar, assurances have been made by health authorities and the medical profession that Ireland has one of the lowest maternal death rates in the world. However, the new report shows that while our maternal death rate is still relatively low by international standards, it is higher than has been previously reported in official statistics.
    http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=21361

    I think it can also be assumed that if any woman dies from cancer, or any other condition not treated fully during pregnancy, after the birth of the child, then she does not "count" as a maternal death.

    The pro-life movement has relied heavily on the old statistics to justify the present medical regime, that risks the life of the mother to maintain the life of a foetus.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Maternal Deaths in Ireland Twice as High as Reported

    From listening to their spokespeople it seems a woman is only valued - and described - as an incubator!

    A maternal death is a death occurring during pregnancy or within 42 days of delivery, miscarriage, termination of pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy from any cause related to, or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management.

    This definition is currently under international discussion. There is a growing trend to collect data on maternal death up to one year after delivery, miscarriage or abortion. This is particularly the case with respect to cases of peripartum cardiomyopathy and deaths due to suicide.

    MDE Ireland aims to report on all cases of maternal death occurring during or within one year of the pregnancy.

    Classification of Maternal Deaths

    Direct . Deaths resulting from obstetric complications of the pregnant state
    Indirect . Deaths resulting from previous existing disease, or disease that developed during pregnancy, and not due to direct obstetric causes
    Late . Deaths occurring between 42 days and one year after abortion, miscarriage or delivery (includes Direct or Indirect Causes)
    Coincidental . Deaths from unrelated causes which happen to occur in pregnancy or the puerperium

    (G. Lewis, Saving Mothers Lives 2007 PDF)


    MDE Site
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    Default Re: Maternal Deaths in Ireland Twice as High as Reported

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew49 View Post
    From listening to their spokespeople it seems a woman is only valued - and described - as an incubator!

    A maternal death is a death occurring during pregnancy or within 42 days of delivery, miscarriage, termination of pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy from any cause related to, or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management.

    This definition is currently under international discussion. There is a growing trend to collect data on maternal death up to one year after delivery, miscarriage or abortion. This is particularly the case with respect to cases of peripartum cardiomyopathy and deaths due to suicide.

    MDE Ireland aims to report on all cases of maternal death occurring during or within one year of the pregnancy.

    Classification of Maternal Deaths

    Direct . Deaths resulting from obstetric complications of the pregnant state
    Indirect . Deaths resulting from previous existing disease, or disease that developed during pregnancy, and not due to direct obstetric causes
    Late . Deaths occurring between 42 days and one year after abortion, miscarriage or delivery (includes Direct or Indirect Causes)
    Coincidental . Deaths from unrelated causes which happen to occur in pregnancy or the puerperium

    (G. Lewis, Saving Mothers Lives 2007 PDF)


    MDE Site
    It is very much a step in the right direction - at least if the scientific data is known it can be analysed and problems can be tackled.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Maternal Deaths in Ireland Twice as High as Reported

    Why is it that women have to fight to be counted when alive AND when dead !?! What a ....... country!
    Give me a misty day, pearly gray, silver, silky faced, wide-awake crescent-shaped smile

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    Default Re: Maternal Deaths in Ireland Twice as High as Reported

    It's really interesting that according to that report, Ireland fairs worse than the UK when it comes to maternal deaths. Ours runs at 12% whereas there's is 11.64% or thereabouts. That blows THAT prolife argument out of the water once and for all....

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    Default Re: Maternal Deaths in Ireland Twice as High as Reported

    I was suspicious of the figures to begin with.

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    Default Re: Maternal Deaths in Ireland Twice as High as Reported

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Ireland's maternal mortality rate is twice as high as has been reported.




    http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=21361

    I think it can also be assumed that if any woman dies from cancer, or any other condition not treated fully during pregnancy, after the birth of the child, then she does not "count" as a maternal death

    The pro-life movement has relied heavily on the old statistics to justify the present medical regime, that risks the life of the mother to maintain the life of a foetus.
    What exactly are you implying? Women can still receive treatment for cancer even if that will result in the death of the baby.

    Many women opt not to receive treatment for this reason.

    A horrible position to be in.

    Ireland's laws on abortion do not stop pregnant women from receiving treatment for cancer.
    The United Irishman. Updated 5/2/14

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    Default Re: Maternal Deaths in Ireland Twice as High as Reported

    Quote Originally Posted by Saoirse go Deo View Post
    What exactly are you implying? Women can still receive treatment for cancer even if that will result in the death of the baby.

    Many women opt not to receive treatment for this reason.

    A horrible position to be in.

    Ireland's laws on abortion do not stop pregnant women from receiving treatment for cancer.
    Under the new way of collecting stats, these deaths would be counted.

    Under current abortion laws, women have had to fight for cancer treatments, even when not pregnant - just because they might get pregnant. There was discussion of another particular case here recently, in which a woman had to go public in order to get treatment.

    The pressure on a woman, caused by lack of clear entitlement to an abortion here, must add to the difficulty and stress of the situation of a woman with an illness that threatens her life or threatens her with long term disability. That is not to take anything from a woman who decides to voluntarily risk her life to complete a pregnancy, or to protect a foetus from damage. That also should be her choice.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Maternal Deaths in Ireland Twice as High as Reported

    Quote Originally Posted by Holly View Post
    I was suspicious of the figures to begin with.
    Yes. They were out of kilter with survival rates for illnesses here. We have improved, but not that much.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Maternal Deaths in Ireland Twice as High as Reported

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Ireland's maternal mortality rate is twice as high as has been reported.

    http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=21361

    I think it can also be assumed that if any woman dies from cancer, or any other condition not treated fully during pregnancy, after the birth of the child, then she does not "count" as a maternal death.

    The pro-life movement has relied heavily on the old statistics to justify the present medical regime, that risks the life of the mother to maintain the life of a foetus.
    Pregnant women who die is not the same thing as women who die due to factors related to pregnancy.

    We do ourselves no favours when we try to force data to say something they don't show.

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    Default Re: Maternal Deaths in Ireland Twice as High as Reported

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Under the new way of collecting stats, these deaths would be counted.

    Under current abortion laws, women have had to fight for cancer treatments, even when not pregnant - just because they might get pregnant. There was discussion of another particular case here recently, in which a woman had to go public in order to get treatment.

    The pressure on a woman, caused by lack of clear entitlement to an abortion here, must add to the difficulty and stress of the situation of a woman with an illness that threatens her life or threatens her with long term disability. That is not to take anything from a woman who decides to voluntarily risk her life to complete a pregnancy, or to protect a foetus from damage. That also should be her choice.
    Which case was this?

    A family friend was in this situation a while back and there was no issue whatsoever with getting treatment for cancer. She got various support from different support groups and pregnancy never came up as being a barrier, or a possible one, to any of the treatment options.

    The pro choice lobby often say that women have been denied treatment for cancer because they are pregnant. Based on the experiences of my friend and my understanding of the law this is not the case.
    The United Irishman. Updated 5/2/14

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    Default Re: Maternal Deaths in Ireland Twice as High as Reported

    Quote Originally Posted by Saoirse go Deo View Post
    Which case was this?

    A family friend was in this situation a while back and there was no issue whatsoever with getting treatment for cancer. She got various support from different support groups and pregnancy never came up as being a barrier, or a possible one, to any of the treatment options.

    The pro choice lobby often say that women have been denied treatment for cancer because they are pregnant. Based on the experiences of my friend and my understanding of the law this is not the case.
    The problem with the law is that it is unclear. Doctors have emphasised that this presents them with a problem.

    This is not the case I had in mind, and I'm shocked that I hadn't heard more about it.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...326952282.html

    It is awful to think that this woman ended up by the sound of it having a really late abortion because of the delays.

    The State has paid substantial compensation to a woman who was forced to travel to Britain for an abortion despite being terminally ill with cancer.

    The case was settled in just three months, her solicitor, Michael Boylan, said yesterday.

    Michelle Harte, Ardamine, Co Wexford, sued for violation of her human rights last year after a hospital ethics forum had decided against authorising an abortion on the basis that her life was not under “immediate threat”.

    “This was resolved very, very quickly, which is unusual in my dealings with the State,” Mr Boylan said. Ms Harte, a former nurse from London, has since died of her cancer.

    In 2010, after she became unintentionally pregnant while suffering from a malignant melanoma, doctors at Cork University Hospital advised her to terminate her pregnancy because of the risk to her health.

    Mr Boylan said her obstetrician was willing to perform a termination but was “hamstrung” by legal issues. The issue was referred to the hospital’s “ad hoc” ethics committee.

    Appalling delay

    He said there was an absence of clear guidelines about what to do and an “appalling delay” ensued. After the committee refused the termination, there were further delays because Ms Harte did not have a passport.

    “I couldn’t believe the decision [to refuse an abortion in Ireland] when it came,” Ms Harte, who was then 39, told The Irish Times in December 2010. “Apparently my life wasn’t at immediate risk. It just seemed absolutely ridiculous.”

    Her condition worsened significantly during this time and she was not able to receive cancer treatment because she was pregnant. She eventually travelled to Britain for an abortion; she had to be helped on to the aircraft due to a deterioration in her condition.

    Mr Boylan of Augustus Cullen Law then sued the State on her behalf for infringing her rights under the ABC case, in which the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Ireland had breached the human rights of a woman with cancer who had to travel abroad to get an abortion.

    In that case, the woman – “C” – had a rare form of cancer and feared it would relapse when she became unintentionally pregnant. However, the woman said she was unable to find a doctor willing to make a determination as to whether her life would be at risk if she continued to term.

    Ms Harte’s lawyers served a statement of claim in May 2011 against the HSE, Ireland and the Attorney General. It was settled by July 2011. Mr Boylan declined to specify the amount but said it was substantial. Ms Harte died that November.


    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Maternal Deaths in Ireland Twice as High as Reported

    she was not able to receive cancer treatment because she was pregnant.

    How is this the case? Pregnant women who have cancer are treated the same as people who are not pregnant, in terms of the treatment available.
    The United Irishman. Updated 5/2/14

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    Default Re: Maternal Deaths in Ireland Twice as High as Reported

    Quote Originally Posted by Saoirse go Deo View Post
    she was not able to receive cancer treatment because she was pregnant.

    How is this the case? Pregnant women who have cancer are treated the same as people who are not pregnant, in terms of the treatment available.
    doctors at Cork University Hospital advised her to terminate her pregnancy because of the risk to her health.
    In the other case I mentioned, treatment was withheld from a woman on the grounds that she might get pregnant.

    There are issues of the health of the woman, and or damage to the foetus in different treatments.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Maternal Deaths in Ireland Twice as High as Reported

    I find this a little curious as most sources quote Ireland as around 6 deaths per 100,000, not 4 (or 8, for that matter). e.g.:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datab...elopment-goals

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ma..._worldwide.jpg

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat.../2223rank.html

    I suspect these figures are very vulnerable to a whole set of assumptions. Whichever way you look at it, Ireland has a very low maternal death rate. Although a slight confounding factor may be that very ill women may go to the UK or elsewhere for treatment if they think they may need an abortion.

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