Failure by doctors to diagnose a cyst on the brain.

davidcameron

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The Health Service Executive and the Regional Hospital Mullingar have apologised to the family of a 26-year-old pregnant woman who was kept on life support against her family's wishes due to concerns about the Eighth Amendment.

Natasha Perie, who was a mother of two children, was around 15 weeks' pregnant with her third child, when she suffered a brain cyst, which was undetected and then ruptured.
This case has been discussed on the "Post-8th Discussion" thread.

However, this OP concerns the failure to diagnose the cyst. If a pregnant woman goes to hospital and complains of a severe pain in the head, isn't the doctor who is responsible for her care supposed to consider all possible diagnoses instead of dismissing the ailment as a migraine or some other non-fatal condition?

Why did the doctor in this case fail to consider the possibility of a brain cyst?
 


Sync

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Are you serious? Like...really?

Let’s start with “because every health system would collapse in a month if doctors had to check for the least likely of possibilities for every set of symptoms”.
 

Hillmanhunter1

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davidcameron

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Are you serious? Like...really?

Let’s start with “because every health system would collapse in a month if doctors had to check for the least likely of possibilities for every set of symptoms”.
It wouldn't take a great leap of a rational person's imagination to consider the likelihood of a severe headache in the case of a pregnant woman being fatal. The parameters in this case are relatively narrow.
 

Emily Davison

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It wouldn't take a great leap of a rational person's imagination to consider the likelihood of a severe headache in the case of a pregnant woman being fatal. The parameters in this case are relatively narrow.
Let me think now, how many severe headaches I had during pregnancy, that I didn’t take medication for, why didn’t I go to the doctor those nights I prowled the house incable of sleep, the pain I endured in my leg during my second pregnancy. Told by my doctor there was nothing she could do.

Its amazing how little some people know about pregnancy. My last one my gynaecologist gave out to me for not showing up until month four. I contemplated waiting a lot longer!
 

petaljam

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It wouldn't take a great leap of a rational person's imagination to consider the likelihood of a severe headache in the case of a pregnant woman being fatal. The parameters in this case are relatively narrow.
It's true that a serious brain issue could perhaps have been considered. The problem is that it could only be diagnosed by a brain scan, which can be dangerous for the foetus. My understanding is that a brain scan as suggested/requested but was not done in time because of that risk.

TBF I can't say that this delay wouldn't have happened without the 8th amendment - the risk to the foetus is real, so a brain scan is not carried out lightly. It was a wanted pregnancy, so even in the UK she might well have chosen to wait and see. As Emily said, all sorts of pains occur during pregnancy, in fact the whole "blooming" thing is something of a myth IME.

But the thing is that she would have been involved in that decision to risk going ahead or to risk waiting. Instead the 8th meant that someone else took that decision for her and she paid with her life.
 

Sync

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It wouldn't take a great leap of a rational person's imagination to consider the likelihood of a severe headache in the case of a pregnant woman being fatal. The parameters in this case are relatively narrow.
Again, your approach to deductive reasoning seems flawed.

Someone presents with migraines during pregnancy. It could be a cyst. It could be a tumour. It could be syphilis. It COULD be any number of things.

In 99% plus of cases (I’m sure you can work the actual figure out) though it’s going to be emotional, physical or environmental, most of which can be dealt with without medication, which would be important for pregnancy.

Putting aside that pregnancy can cause migraines, putting aside that if you flood her body with the radioactivity to try and pick up a cyst, you run a far higher chance of damaging the baby that identifying a life threatening cyst: no doctor’s going to keep being a doctor for very long if they bankrupt their hospital by testing everyone for everything every time they present with very common symptoms.
 

davidcameron

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Again, your approach to deductive reasoning seems flawed.

Someone presents with migraines during pregnancy. It could be a cyst. It could be a tumour. It could be syphilis. It COULD be any number of things.

In 99% plus of cases (I’m sure you can work the actual figure out) though it’s going to be emotional, physical or environmental, most of which can be dealt with without medication, which would be important for pregnancy.

Putting aside that pregnancy can cause migraines, putting aside that if you flood her body with the radioactivity to try and pick up a cyst, you run a far higher chance of damaging the baby that identifying a life threatening cyst: no doctor’s going to keep being a doctor for very long if they bankrupt their hospital by testing everyone for everything every time they present with very common symptoms.
Couldn't the cyst have been identified by confining the radioactivity to the brain so that the rest of the body wouldn't have been affected?
 

davidcameron

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It's true that a serious brain issue could perhaps have been considered. The problem is that it could only be diagnosed by a brain scan, which can be dangerous for the foetus. My understanding is that a brain scan as suggested/requested but was not done in time because of that risk.

TBF I can't say that this delay wouldn't have happened without the 8th amendment - the risk to the foetus is real, so a brain scan is not carried out lightly. It was a wanted pregnancy, so even in the UK she might well have chosen to wait and see. As Emily said, all sorts of pains occur during pregnancy, in fact the whole "blooming" thing is something of a myth IME.

But the thing is that she would have been involved in that decision to risk going ahead or to risk waiting. Instead the 8th meant that someone else took that decision for her and she paid with her life.
According to the court case, the 8th came into the equation after she was declared brain-dead due to concerns about the status of the foetus.
 

Orbit v2

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It's true that a serious brain issue could perhaps have been considered. The problem is that it could only be diagnosed by a brain scan, which can be dangerous for the foetus. My understanding is that a brain scan as suggested/requested but was not done in time because of that risk.

TBF I can't say that this delay wouldn't have happened without the 8th amendment - the risk to the foetus is real, so a brain scan is not carried out lightly. It was a wanted pregnancy, so even in the UK she might well have chosen to wait and see. As Emily said, all sorts of pains occur during pregnancy, in fact the whole "blooming" thing is something of a myth IME.

But the thing is that she would have been involved in that decision to risk going ahead or to risk waiting. Instead the 8th meant that someone else took that decision for her and she paid with her life.
But the 8th amendment was the law at the time. I don't see how they can be held negligent for obeying the law.
 

Buchaill Dana

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Couldn't the cyst have been identified by confining the radioactivity to the brain so that the rest of the body wouldn't have been affected?
Are you being serious now?
 

Buchaill Dana

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Yes. If an anaesthetic can be localised to a specific part of the body, why can't the same be done with the radioactivity emitted by a brain scan?
Why don't you go and find out why not rather than spamming with inanities
 

MsDaisyC

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This case has been discussed on the "Post-8th Discussion" thread.

However, this OP concerns the failure to diagnose the cyst. If a pregnant woman goes to hospital and complains of a severe pain in the head, isn't the doctor who is responsible for her care supposed to consider all possible diagnoses instead of dismissing the ailment as a migraine or some other non-fatal condition?

Why did the doctor in this case fail to consider the possibility of a brain cyst?
Because women's pain is too easily dismissed by medical professionals.
 

petaljam

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According to the court case, the 8th came into the equation after she was declared brain-dead due to concerns about the status of the foetus.
Are you suggesting that the 8th only applied to dead women?

I think that like Buchaill Dana says, you really need to go off and learn a bit about these issues instead of constantly finding new ways of demonstrating your truly staggering ignorance.
 

petaljam

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But the 8th amendment was the law at the time. I don't see how they can be held negligent for obeying the law.
It seems to be yet another conflict between what a religion-based law requires and what the vast majority of Irish people see as minimum acceptable care for pregnant women. If people actually believed in equal rights for the foetus, then treating the pregnant woman as an involuntary incubator would be perfectly OK.

Doctors were in a doublebind with the 8th - even when they did what the law told them, the lawyers and courts sometimes pulled the rug out from under them. Not just in this case, of course - but this one was interesting in that the hospital legal office refused to give them written legal advice beforehand. Seems like the lawyers were well enough informed to keep well out of it.
 

davidcameron

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Are you suggesting that the 8th only applied to dead women?

I think that like Buchaill Dana says, you really need to go off and learn a bit about these issues instead of constantly finding new ways of demonstrating your truly staggering ignorance.
Of course not. The issue that was prominent in this case was the fact that Natasha was kept on life support after being declared brain-dead because of concern about the status of the foetus.

I'm just a layperson; I don't know all the facts of gynaecology.
 

petaljam

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Of course not. The issue that was prominent in this case was the fact that Natasha was kept on life support after being declared brain-dead because of concern about the status of the foetus.
The family have also complained that she was initially told that a scan was not possible because she was pregnant. If risk to the foetus took priority over her health, then that's likely to be down to the 8th, whether or not she was told that explicitly.

I'm just a layperson; I don't know all the facts of gynaecology.
You're also getting all sorts of facts wrong, not just gynaecological matters - and always, always, in the service of your pro 8th agenda. It's gone and it's never coming back.

Anyway, shouldn't your ignorance of gynaecological matters lead you to query your own assumptions? Instead of which you post as though you had made some discovery that everyone else had missed. And always, again, trying to find some way to cling to the notion that the 8th was grand really, just badly applied or something. 😙
 

davidcameron

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It's true that a serious brain issue could perhaps have been considered. The problem is that it could only be diagnosed by a brain scan, which can be dangerous for the foetus. My understanding is that a brain scan as suggested/requested but was not done in time because of that risk.

TBF I can't say that this delay wouldn't have happened without the 8th amendment - the risk to the foetus is real, so a brain scan is not carried out lightly. It was a wanted pregnancy, so even in the UK she might well have chosen to wait and see. As Emily said, all sorts of pains occur during pregnancy, in fact the whole "blooming" thing is something of a myth IME.

But the thing is that she would have been involved in that decision to risk going ahead or to risk waiting. Instead the 8th meant that someone else took that decision for her and she paid with her life.
A CT scan on the head would not harm the foetus.

 


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