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Death of pregnant Dorota in Nowy Targ. Professor Marzena Dębska: patients and doctors are victims of the Constitutional Tribunal’s verdict

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Two years ago, the protest was widespread, against a bad law, against a bad law. After two years we fight among ourselves, women fight doctors, when we are really on the same side. We cannot say that we do not want to terminate pregnancies. (…) Both patients and doctors – we are the victims of this law – said Professor Marzena Dębska, doctor, specialist in obstetrics, gynecology and perinatology, on TVN24, commenting on the recent events surrounding the death of 33-year-old Dorota.

On Wednesday, many Polish cities held events protests against violations of women’s rights under the slogan “Not one more”. They were related to the death of 33-year-old pregnant Dorota in a hospital in Nowy Targ. The woman was there in the fifth month of pregnancy after the waters had broken. She died three days later from septic shock. A few hours before her death, an ultrasound examination of the 33-year-old showed fetal death. The Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Katowice is investigating the case.

REPORT OF THE “UWAWA! TVN” PROGRAMME: Death of pregnant Dorota in a hospital in Nowy Targ. “Doctors had three days to make a decision”

Dębska: patients and doctors – we are the victims of this law

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In October 2020 Constitutional Court issued a judgment prohibiting abortion in the event of a fetal defect. It caused mass protests.

– Two years ago, the protest was widespread, against a bad law, against a bad law. After two years we fight among ourselves, women fight doctors, when we are really on the same side. It cannot be said that we do not want to terminate pregnancies – said Professor Marzena Dębska.

– In a life-threatening situation, no doctor should hesitate even for a moment to perform such an operation. It’s not that we don’t want to. Both patients and doctors – we are the victims of this law. Patients are powerless, patients have no say, and doctors are afraid to make a decision, she said.

Read more: “I asked: Chief Registrar, why did my daughter die? He said: I don’t know”

The specialist in obstetrics, gynecology and perinatology also said that some doctors call the head of the hospital or a consultant before making a decision about their patient’s pregnancy. “If it was a medical decision, the doctor wouldn’t be calling anywhere, but it seems like it’s not the patient’s or the doctor’s decision, it’s a political decision,” she added.

Marzena DebskaTVN24

– Perhaps we are not in prison yet, although this fear of criminal liability for perhaps a premature decision to terminate a pregnancy accompanies us – she said. – We are aware that there are certain behind-the-scenes actions that can be used against doctors, pressure that doctors, heads or directors of hospitals from various places are subjected to. We probably won’t find out, but before we judge someone, we should think about what conditions they work in – she added.

Dębska pointed out that in cases such as the death of 33-year-old Dorota, “there should be no hierarchy, there should be a quick decision.” “The patient is the most important thing in all of this and we should all serve her,” she added.

Dębska: we must unite and work towards changing this draconian law

The doctor also described that for about a year pregnant women with a fetal defect “disappear immediately, they no longer seek our help.” – Patients whom I found, for example, craniofacial – this is a standard defect that we often use to illustrate what a severe fetal defect looks like, where the child has no head – they were shocked that they could not terminate the pregnancy – she added, describing the situation in the first one year after the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal of October 2022.

– We must unite and work towards changing this draconian law – said Professor Dębska. She added that she “understands the anger, the rage, the pain,” but added that “most doctors have good intentions.”

Main photo source: Pawel Cebo/Shutterstock



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