Woman awarded €450k symphysiotomy compensation

Woman awarded €450k symphysiotomy compensation

A Co Louth woman who was subjected to symphysiotomy during childbirth in 1969 has been awarded €450,000 for medical negligence.

Olivia Kearney of Rosses Hollow, Milestown, Castlebellingham was just 18 when the controversial procedure was carried out at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.

She only found out in 2002 that she had been subjected to the surgical procedure when she heard a radio programme on women's experiences of symphiosotomy.

The discontinued practice involves the surgical enlargement of the pelvis for childbirth and was carried out on her following the successful delivery of her son by caesarean section.

Mr Justice Sean Ryan today awarded her €450,000 damages noting that the 60-year-old had experienced a life of pain, discomfort, and embarrassment because of this unnecessary operation.

Her solicitor said she is delighted with the outcome but the indications are the defendant, Eithne McQuillan for the Medical Missionaries of Mary who ran the hospital, will appeal.

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