A campaign has been launched for women who underwent a discredited childbirth procedure calling on the Government to establish a scheme to enable survivors to seek apply for compensation*.
Symphysiotomies were performed on about 1,500 women in Ireland mostly during the 1960s to the 1980s. Under the procedure, a pregnant and/or labouring woman had her pubic bone sawn in half to open the birth canal, theoretically easing baby’s passage. But the operation left the majority of women permanently injured, with ongoing back pain, incontinence and difficulties walking.
Anyone who underwent the procedure is unable to obtain compensation at present as their claim is time barred due to the statute of limitations. A group called Survivors of Symphysiotomy are calling for the Government to lift the statue so that the estimated 200 survivors can receive compensation. The group says there are only 200 or so mainly elderly women, who would be entitled to apply for compensation. The Survivors of Symphysiotomy has presented a petition to the All Party Victims of Symphysiotomy Oireachtas Support Group in the hope that the plight of these women would be considered.
*In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.