Breaking: The NZ Herald this morning reports that there were up to three women that had long-term contraceptive devices planted in their uterus without their knowledge or consent, according to the Health and Disability Commission – click here to read the full article.
Yesterday Stuff.co.nz published a story about a NZ woman who had a Mirena intrauterine contraceptive device inserted into her uterus without consent by an abortionist at the Epsom Day Unit after she went there to have an abortion in 2010.
The device was only discovered three years later after her attempts to become pregnant again failed, and testing eventually revealed that the device had been inserted into her uterus without her even knowing about it.
If the story ended there, that would be bad enough, but it doesn’t.
The Auckland District Health Board (DHB) subsequently tried to downplay the severity of this incident by claiming that there was “no suggestion the treatment provided was of concern”, and even suggesting that the inconvenience to the woman was “brief.”
Yep, that’s right, apparently inserting intrauterine contraceptive devices into female patients without their knowledge or consent is considered a trivial matter not really worthy of too much concern by the Auckland District Health Board.
The response of the Auckland DHB is made even more problematic by the fact that there are also dangerous side effects that can occur in women fitted with the Mirena IUD, including perforation of the uterine wall, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and life-threatening ectopic pregnancy.
The real story here goes much deeper than just this one incident, and instead is about an entire practice – that of abortion – that has been built on the back of a total lack of regard for best practice processes for informed consent.
It is hardly surprising to discover that in such a culture, a patient would be subjected to this sort of treatment without the abortionist first bothering to confirm that he actually had consent from the patient to do what he was doing.
The fact that the Auckland District Health Board then tried to downplay the severity of this total disregard for basic medical ethics must surely raise serious questions about what other problematic aspects of the abortion practice in their jurisdiction they are also happy to turn a blind eye to.
Informed consent is one of the fundamental pillars of ethical medical practice, and so we should all be extremely troubled when it is violated, and even more so when such violations are downplayed by the very people charged with overseeing the practice of surgery in our country.
What will be interesting to see is whether any pro-choice activists speak out publicly about this incident.
Further coverage of this story:
- Have you or someone you know been to the clinic? Would you like to tell ONE News about your experience? Contact ONE News Reporter Ruth Wynn-Williams at Ruth.Wynn-Williams@tvnz.co.nz
- Have you or someone you know been through a similar experience? Contact the Herald with your story here.