Symphysiotomy redress is an insult

No apology & miniscule sums add to women’s suffering.

The Government redress scheme is an insult to victims of the practice of symphysiotomy, says Ruth Coppinger TD.

“Compensation will be paid on an ex-gratia basis without admission of any liability on the part of the State, continuing on a dire culture where the state takes no responsibility for crimes against women and children.

What the SoS group want more than anything is a statement of the truth on this issue, that symphysiotomy was an unnacceptable procedure and a state apology. When is the state going to own up for its role in these scandals? The Fine Gael-Labour government promised to be different but carries on the no apology policy.

The compensation amounts of €50,000, €100,000 or €150,000 also appear miniscule in the context of  such severe health problems. We are talking here about a disgraceful medical practice of breaking a woman’s pelvis during childbirth – which was totally unnecessary – and which led to long term suffering, including chronic pain, incontinence, difficulty walking as well as sexual problems throughout their lives.

The €34m fund will only be accessible on the basis of a medical panel assessing the severity of the health consequences of the procedure. The surviviors themselves are the only ones who can fully understand the scarring effect this procedure has had on their lives and the lack of consultation with them shows that the proposed redress scheme would be totally insufficient.”

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