Symphysiotomy is a discredited and obsolete childbirth operation originating in the late 16th century that involves cutting open the pelvis. In the late 1800s, the risk of the mother dying after caesarean section decreased due to improvements in techniques, so thereafter the symphysiotomy was rarely used.
Except in Ireland. It remained in use in Ireland until as recently as the 1980s and hundreds of women, who were subjected to the surgery without their knowledge, say they were left with serious, chronic side-effects, including walking disabilities, long term pain, incontinence and depression.
Doctors here chose to perform this procedure instead of Caesarean section (a safer alternative) because they saw Caesareans as leading women into temptation, the â€˜temptationâ€™ to use contraception. Ireland was the only country in the developed world where this procedure was widely used.
Is there no end to these horrors from the past? http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0219/symphysiotomy.html