Newly elected People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny has condemned the decision to destroy important medical records of the victims of symphysiotomy.
Judge Maureen Harding Clark is the assessor to the symphysiotomy payment scheme, and intends to shred all unclaimed documents this Sunday, March 20th.
The documents pertain to nearly 750 women. Most of these were subjected to a procedure which involved sawing the pelvic bone to facilitate childbirth. Between 1944 and 1987 some 1,500 women underwent symphysiotomies in Irish hospitals without consent In the west, all countries but Ireland had abandoned this practice by the 1950’s. Many women were left with lifelong pain and reduced mobility as a result.
These documents are vital as they would be essential to building a case to prove this barbaric procedure was carried out. Obstetric notes specify whether the operation was performed before, during or after labour, and usually name the doctors involved. Contemporaneous hospital records, general practitioner notes, specialist medical reports and radiological evidence, including X-rays, show the injuries caused by the surgery.
Gino Kenny TD stated: “These women have been treated appallingly by the State, and this ridiculous deadline is a further insult. It brings to mind the treatment of the victims of the Hepatitis C scandal. We cannot allow this to happen. I am calling on Judge Maureen Harding Clark to do the decent thing, and leave documents as they are, intact.”