Friday, November 16, 2012

Abortion Might Have Killed Savita Sooner: Top Indian Gynecologist

Gynaecologist Hema Divakar defended the Irish doctors for not aborting Savita’s foetus saying that under the circumstances, it may have been equally dangerous to have done the procedure.


Explaining the complication Savita found herself in, Dr. Divakar — president-elect of the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) for 2013-2014 — told The Hindu on Thursday: “Based on information in the media, in that situation of septicaemia, if the doctors had meddled with the live baby, Savita would have died two days earlier.”

Delay or refusal to terminate the pregnancy does not in itself seem to be the cause of death. Even if the law permitted it, it is not as if her life would have been saved because of termination,” she said. “Severe septicaemia with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), a life-threatening bleeding disorder which is a complication of sepsis, major organ damage and loss of the mother’s blood due to severe infection, is the cause of death in Savita’s case. This is what seems to have happened and this is a sequence which cannot be reversed just by terminating the pregnancy.

Analysing the situation, Dr. Divakar said: “Based on available information, Savita would have reported pain and infection and doctors would have indicated a miscarriage as the 17-week foetus may not have grown as expected. Its growth would have been deteriorating because of the infection. Having understood that the baby was not going to make it, the couple would have asked for termination. But as Savita’s infection may have required aggressive treatment at that stage, doctors must have felt the need to prevent complications. The usual [practice] is to meddle the least till the mother is stable.

In other words, in the opinion of this gynecologist, delaying the termination might have been the right thing to do.