Health Department commissions symphysiotomy inquiry

An independent inquiry into the practice of symphysiotomy has been commissioned by the Department of Health.

An independent inquiry into the practice of symphysiotomy has been commissioned by the Department of Health.

Symphysiotomy was a procedure to break the pelvis during a difficult birth and was carried out on about 1,500 women in Ireland between 1944 and 1992.

The surgery left women with complications including walking difficulties, lifelong incontinence and pain.

The group, Survivors of Symphysiotomy, has previously called for a fully independent inquiry, saying one that was promised to be carried out by the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology involved a conflict of interest.

Dr Oonagh Walsh, a senior research fellow in medical history at University College Cork, has been appointed as an independent academic researcher to carry out the work.

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