Dead in the womb

A headline in yesterday’s paper brought tears to my eyes, but the more I thought about it, the proper response seemed anger. The news was that Israel’s Health Ministry now requires hospitals to remove a fetus from a woman’s womb within 72 hours after it is diagnosed as dead. Moreover the dead fetus must be buried within 10 days. Hospitals must also provide psychosocial services to the parents during this difficult time.

I was appalled at the thought of women being forced to continue carrying a dead fetus for up to several weeks because the medical establishment did not consider their situation medically urgent. I felt deep sorrow for the women.

It took a while, but then I felt the anger. Where was the Health Ministry until now? Is it perhaps because it is run by men, and hospitals are run by men, that they could ignore the suffering and the horror?

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