The story of symphysiotomy in Ireland

SOS Ireland

Date Written:  18/06/2013
Year Published:  2013  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX18666

Symphysiotomy is a childbirth operation that effectively unhinges the pelvis. Ireland was the only country in the world to do these childbirth operations in preference to Caesarean section. Religious ideology and medical ambition drove the surgery. An estimated 1,500 women and girls, some as young as 14, had their pelvises severed, gratuitously, by senior doctors who believed in childbearing without limitation. Life long disability, chronic pain, mental suffering and family breakdown followed.

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