It is astonishing that long after caesarean section replaced the mediaeval practice of symphysiotomy, up to 1984 women were still having their pelvis broken during childbirth at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
Years after other hospitals had abandoned this painful and downright sadistic practice, what was going on at the hospital to enable this and other out-dated procedures to go unchecked? Where was the oversight which ought to be an essential element of surgery to prevent rogue operations? Whatever the answer, the Government decision to set up a €34m redress scheme will be welcomed.
Because nobody shouted stop, from the 1920s up to 1984 some 1,500 women, of whom 250 are still alive, were subjected to a barbaric practice which left many with a legacy of physical and mental problems, difficulty walking, chronic pain, incontinence, and sexual issues throughout their lives.
Thankfully, those who campaigned for compensation have finally won, bringing more shame on this hospital and those who ran it.
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