Survivors of Symphysiotomy demand better redress scheme

State must admit operations should never have been performed, group says

Chairperson of Survivors of Symphysiotomy Marie O’Connor  with Mary Kellaway, Betty Walshe, Margaret Sheridan, Ellen Moore and Andi Kenneally before their meeting  with Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Chairperson of Survivors of Symphysiotomy Marie O’Connor with Mary Kellaway, Betty Walshe, Margaret Sheridan, Ellen Moore and Andi Kenneally before their meeting with Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

Survivors of Symphysiotomy (SoS) have demanded a better redress scheme from the Minister for Health.

The group met with Leo Varadkar today to discuss the redress scheme.

Chairperson of SoS Marie O’Connor told the Minister that the redress scheme as laid out last July is “fundamentally flawed”.

“‘SoS members unanimously rejected the Murphy plan for redress, a scheme the UN also found defective. A new scheme is required if it is to be acceptable to our members. Our members’ High Court actions, meanwhile, are proceeding apace,” she said.

In July the Unitied Nations Human Rights Committee said the “perpetrators” of symphysiotomy should be punished and prosecuted.

Ms O’Connor said the State must admit that the symphsyiotomy operations should never have been performed.

“Protection of women’s legal rights is also key. Women cannot be required to sign away their legal and constitutional rights as a condition of entry to any scheme. The UN recommended judicial oversight of the scheme. A statutory right of appeal to the courts is needed.”

She added that the redress scheme must not be run by State appointed doctors and assessors, and that an independent board is required.