Dorota C. was only thirty-three years old. She and her husband were expecting their first child. However, on the night of May 21, her amniotic fluid broke. The woman was only twenty weeks pregnant, so she went to the local hospital. The fetus died during the woman’s stay in the hospital, and Dorothy’s health began to deteriorate rapidly.
Prior to that, according to her relatives, she had no health problems. Three days later, Dorota died of septic shock and multiple organ failure, reports the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, citing a family statement. The survivors are already at the John Paul II Hospital. in the city of Nowy Targ, they filed a criminal complaint, because of the suspicion that the actions of medical professionals could have led to Dorothy’s death.
One notification was also sent to the public prosecutor’s office by the hospital itself the day after the woman’s death. The hospital also released a statement announcing the patient’s death. “It’s a huge tragedy,” added director Marek Wierzba, in addition to offering condolences to the family and warning that the hospital will no longer provide further information due to the family’s privacy.
Further circumstances of the case are not known. However, a strict anti-abortion law is still in force in Poland, which has already led to the death of several pregnant women. For example, Dorothy’s fate is reminiscent of the story of thirty-year-old Izabela, who also died of sepsis after the loss of amniotic fluid. Back then, the doctors were waiting for labor to start on its own, or for the baby in Izabela’s body to die.
They were afraid that otherwise they would violate the new abortion ban. He forbids abortion under any circumstances. Only a few exceptions are allowed – in addition to rape and incest, among them is the threat to the mother’s life. However, the interpretation of the law was initially unclear, and doctors face up to three years in prison for violating it. Although Izabela had a legal right to an abortion, they preferred not to perform it at the hospital.
The case sparked a new wave of anti-government protests. In response to this case, the Conservative Cabinet confirmed that it is legal to terminate the pregnancy of a woman whose own life is in danger. And he urged doctors not to be afraid of “obvious decisions”. Just like Izabela’s family, Dorota’s survivors are now represented by lawyer Jolanta Budzowska.
However, the director of the hospital on the Polish-Slovak border claims that Dorota had a complicated pregnancy. “She was in control. From what I know from the head of the department, the patient’s condition deteriorated rapidly for some reason. First, the fetus died, and then steps were taken to save the patient’s life. Unfortunately, it did not succeed,” he said.