Symphysiotomy Issues in Ireland's Medical Sector

Symphysiotomy was a barbaric practice carried on women during childbirth which involved a surgeon deliberately breaking the woman's pelvis to make delivery easier.

It is believed up to 1,500 women may have endured the procedure between 1944 and 1992.

Victims were given no information prior to or after the surgery, and there was no informed consent.

Women were left with permanent ailments, including incontinence, chronic pain, prolapsed organs and neurological and psychological problems. Some were left permanently disabled.

The procedure was performed in preference to the safer and more standard Caesarean section - as recently as 1994.


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