Don’t exploit death of Italian woman to push abortion, ethicist says

Catholic News Agency

Catania, Italy, Oct 26, 2016 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The tragic death of a mother in Italy after late-term pregnancy complications and miscarriage is being pinned on the doctor’s refusal to perform a late-term abortion, despite appearances that the mother died of complications of the miscarriage.

The case  is complex, John F. Brehany, PhD, an ethicist for the National Catholic Bioethics Center, told CNA in a statement. “At a minimum, there seems to be a profound disagreement about what was said between the physician and the hospital, and the patient and her family. “Hopefully, this tragedy will not be exploited to promote abortion on demand or to undermine respect for the rights of conscience of physicians and other healthcare providers.”

The family of Valentina Milluzzo, who died at Cannizzaro hospital in the Sicilian city of Catania, allege that she passed away because her doctor was a  “conscientious objector” to abortion and thus did not perform an abortion after she suffered pregnancy complications. The hospital denies that this is the case, and the head of the hospital, Angelo Pellicano, told Ansa news agency that the doctor did not have a conscientious objection to abortion, but that there was a spontaneous miscarriage that was forced by serious circumstances. . . [Full text]

No conscientious objectors

Health ministry inspectors report to Lorenzin

Ansa General News

(ANSA) – Catania, October 24 – Conscientious objection was not a factor in the case of a woman who died in hospital after miscarrying twins, health ministry inspectors reported to Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin on Monday.

Valentina Milluzzo, 34, died at Catania’s Cannizzaro Hospital after the miscarriage of her unborn twins at the 19th week of pregnancy on October 16. Her family filed a complaint arguing that a conscientious objector doctor refused to operate in time to save her life. . . [Full text]

A “medical misadventure” in Ireland

Deaths of Savita & Prasa Halappanavar

Galway, Ireland: 21-28 October, 2012

Sean Murphy*

Savita Halappanavar was a 31 year old woman who was 17 weeks pregnant when she presented at the University Hospital, Galway, on 21 October, 2012, with a miscarriage.  She spontaneously delivered a stillborn daughter, Prasa, on the afternoon of 24 October, and died from sepsis early on 28 October.  The circumstances of her death generated a hurricane of controversy in Ireland and around the world about Irish abortion law.  A coroner’s inquest held in Galway in April, 2013 resulted in the classification of Savita’s death as a “medical misadventure.”

What follows is a chronological account of Savita’s care and treatment from 21 to 28 October, drawn from newspaper reports of the evidence taken at the inquest.  [Read more . . .]

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