The country’s obstetricians welcomed the Harding Clark report into symphysiotomy saying it hopes it will clarify “misinformation” and show how doctors “act always to protect mother and baby”.
Judge Maureen Harding Clark had found in her report that the symphysiotomies were generally carried out by doctors in the 1940s and 1950s as they posed a lesser long-term risk to mother and child than Caesarean sections. The author said she failed to find religious reasons for the procedure which involved cutting through the fibrous cartilage of the pubic joint so that a mother can deliver her baby more easily.
Chair of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Dr Peter Boylan said the report “should bring answers to some of the questions that may remain open for these women” and “clarify any misinformation”.
“Childbirth can often be a traumatic experience, both physically and mentally. Women deserve a sympathetic and objective assessment of their own individual experience,” he said.
In her report on the redress scheme, Judge Harding Clark blew apart many “assumptions” and “preconceptions” that had been made in and outside the media about symphysiotomies and the culture here from the 40s to the 80s.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved