In today’s blog I will review the topics we discussed with you over the past few weeks – the DePuy Hip Implant Recall, Symphysiotomy and the proposed reform of our Family Law courts structure.
DePuy Hip Implant Recall – Deadline for Lodging Claims
With almost two years now we have been updating you on the DePuy hip implant recall. You may have read our articles and blogs, heard us on the radio, attended our International DePuy hip implant recall conference in March 2011 or seen us on Prime Time’s “out on a limb” programme in November 2011. We have covered the various symptoms people with faulty DePuy implants may experience such as continuing hip, groin, leg or low-back pain or audible noises coming from the device; we have discussed concerns about metallosis, which is metal ions being released into the blood and urine due to wear and tear of the device; we have updated you on new findings which show metal-on-metal implants should not be on the market. At this point we would like to remind DePuy patients that due to the legal time limits within which a person can lodge a claim, there is now only a couple of weeks remaining for some of you affected by the DePuy Hip Recall to lodge a claim. Some of you affected by the recall may need to take precautionary action before the 25th August 2012 to avoid the possibility of your case being out of time. There is a lot of work involved in lodging a claim so the sooner DePuy patients start the better.
One of my recent blogs was about symphysiotomy, which became a routine surgical procedure for women experiencing an obstructed labour and was first advocated in 1597. They became less frequent in the late 19th century after the risk of maternal death. A symphysiotomy is a barbaric procedure where the obstetrician breaks a woman’s pelvis, cutting it into two to facilitate the delivery of her baby. This procedure was discontinued and replaced by a caesarean operation in the early part of the 20th century in the developed world, except in Ireland and 1,500 Irish women were victims of symphysiotomy between 1944 and 1992.
These medical professionals abused their power by performing completely unnecessary and damaging procedures on women who were at their most vulnerable. In many cases the procedures were concealed, the women were not given information before or after the surgery and their consent was not sought or given. What is even more disturbing is that most of the women who underwent this procedure were not aware of it until several years later or until very recently. In a recent Supreme Court decision the five-judge court said the procedure should never have been carried out on the lady in question particularly when she was unconscious and under anaesthetic. She was awarded €325,000 in compensation.
Women who have had a symphysiotomy suffered permanent damage as a result and may be entitled to compensation. Many women have suffered a life of pain and discomfort because of incontinence, chronic pain, prolapsed organs, neurological and psychological problems.
Family Law Courts Structure Reform
In a blog a couple of weeks ago I discussed the Justice Ministers proposals to reform our Family Law courts structure to include humanising the courts system and ensuring that the judges dealing with family law cases have the skills and training to do so. The Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter also hopes that the new system “should be more user friendly and should make things less costly”. It is hoped that the new regime will prove less intimidating and a more welcoming environment for families in personal difficulties. The initiatives accepted by the Government will require the holding of a Constitutional Referendum and this have the potential to achieve significant changes to the courts structures which have remained largely unchanged since 1924.