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Government must intervene in “disgraceful” symphysiotomy process – Ó Caolain

1 May, 2015 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

The Government and Minister for Health Leo Varadkar must make an urgent intervention in what Sinn Fein Health Spokesperson Caoimhghin O Caolain has described as a “disgraceful process”.

The Cavan/Monaghan TD was referring to the Maureen Harding-Clarke anchored scheme of redress for victims of symphysiotomy established by the government in the closing period of James Reilly’s tenure in the Health Portfolio.

Deputy O Caolain said;

“I am greatly concerned that elderly women who have suffered greviously throughout their lives are now being subjected to a most unreasonable process of assessment of their entitlement to redress, having being subjected to the barbarous procedures of symphysiotomy and pubiotomy in their earlier years.

“What I have been told is happening describes what I can only refer to as a disgraceful process, compounding years of hurt, both physical and mental.

“It is incumbent on this government and Minister for Health Leo Varadkar to intervene immediately and to insist on a compassionate and understanding approach to every woman presenting and to examine the circumstances where aged applicants are being forced into court situations where all the weight of the State’s legal framework and supports is launched against them.

“I will be raising this wholly unacceptable situation in the Dail at the earliest opportunity,” concluded Deputy O Caolain.


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