Survivors of Symphysiotomy ask for the truth.
A recent draft report commissioned by the Department of Health in Ireland found that nearly all symphysiotomy operations were medically ‘acceptable’. We disagree.
The fact of these operations, as the survivors have so painfully discovered, is that symphysiotomy maimed healthy women. By forcing women to undergo labour with an unhinged pelvis, hospitals like the NMH, The Coombe and the Rotunda opened patients to complications that would last a lifetime.
Symphysiotomy ruined lives, leading to long term difficulties including bladder and bowel incontinence, bowel and bladder injuries, organ prolapse, chronic pain and mental health issues. There was a safer alternative available in Caesarean section, but this was deliberately withheld to as many as 2000 women in Ireland.
Mothers were often required to labour for many hours before surgery was performed and were wide awake whilst giving birth with the agony of an unhinged pelvis.
In other cases, women were unaware that they had been operated upon at all. Operations were performed under general anesthetic without prior explanation.
Such cruel and inhuman treatment constituted a gross violation of their human rights, and SOS has campaigned for over ten years to lift the veil of secrecy that has persisted to this day.