Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Joan McCarthy
Northern/Irish Feminist Judging Project
The death of Savita Halappanavar: a feminist analysis
Facutlty of Law
Invited Lectures (Workshops)
Optional Fields
Abstract This paper considers the case of Savita Halappanavar whose 17 week pregnancy ended in miscarriage and her death in University College Hospital Galway (UCHG) on the 28th October 2012. The case provides evidence of: a profound unease with women’s reproductive capacity; the influence of Catholic norms on healthcare practice, and; the denigration of women’s moral authority, agency and professional credibility (sometimes by women themselves). It is one example, among many, in recent times where these kinds of factors have led to the abuse and deprecation of women in Ireland. My reading of this situation adopts Margaret Urban Walker’s feminist ethics perspective which draws attention to ‘differences of social and institutional position, perspective, and power that determine which voices and whose interests and experiences are audible and authoritative in ethics as elsewhere’. (Walker 2009: 5)