Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Doherty welcomes appointment of Judge Murphy to symphysiotomy process

Fine Gael Meath East TD and member of the Oireachtas Health Committee, Regina Doherty, has today (Tuesday) welcomed the appointment of Judge Yvonne Murphy to the resolution process for women who underwent symphysiotomies. Judge Murphy’s appointment was announced by the Minister for Health, James Reilly TD, this evening. 

“I am pleased that Judge Murphy has been appointed to help bring closure to the women who have been waiting for decades for a resolution. Symphysiotomies were barbaric procedures, which have left hundreds of women in pain for decades. Lives were irreparably damaged by this medical procedure, which was carried out in most instances without any permission sought from the women concerned. 

“Judge Murphy will work with each of the women on an individual basis, in a bid to reach a just outcome with the State Claims Agency and the insurance companies. After this consultation process, Judge Murphy will provide a report to the Government, which will inform its final decision. 

“I know many of the women will be disappointed by the Government’s decision not to lift the Statute of Limitations. However, I support the Government’s view that whatever funds are available should be directed towards the women who have suffered, and not towards paying legal costs. Many of the women involved are older, and I do not believe that a lengthy court battle, which would ensue through the lifting of the Statute, would be in their best interests. 

“Because much of these procedures were carried out such a long time ago, many of the women do not have medical records or other relevant pieces of information. This means that the legal route would be littered with risks. What I hope can be achieved for the women involved is a fair resolution, where they receive all of the payments available, rather than scarce money being absorbed by legal costs. 

“I hope this process can finally be brought to a close in the coming months. These women have been failed by previous Governments, and they have waited long enough for some form of justice. They won’t be failed by this Government.”

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