It is time to speak up! The month of Still Births

It is time to speak up! The month of Still Births

This morning, the Knesset held an emergency meeting. In the initiative, the members of the Knesset pushed Aliza Lavie for a change amongst the states in regards to the stillbirths and to implement the long stalled procedure in the national health department. Chevrat Knesset, Aliza Lavie said,” 34 percent of the women that went through a stillbirth suffer from post trauma. For two years the health department has run away from responsibility, abandoned the procedure, and continued to limit help. The only option is to set the procedure as a bill.”

It has been two years since the push for a bill of stillbirths. This bill regards the rights of women who gave birth in her 22nd week of pregnancy. The rights of these women compared to those of women who undergo healthy births are unjust. The new bill is designed to give a casing support and support to stillbirth mothers from the moment of birth to the burial. In the bill, there is also a completion by the Ministry of Health to support and accompany in a system not yet published. Unfortunately, this bill is far from being published. There is a continuation of incompetence and opacity from the Ministry of Health.

Every year there are hundreds of cases of pregnancy loss and death at birth. 6 births out of 100 are silent births of infants without a life, or births in which there is no sound of the baby crying. MK Aliza Lavie, initiator of the conference stated, “This misleading term, sounds like a pleasant and cordial experience, when it is actually a term that describes the worst situation possible. No one prepares you for the birth of a dead fetus. No one can understand the magnitude of the pain. The least we can do is create a support system that will ease even slightly the coping of these women and help them return to their routine. This is exactly what this law comes to fix ”

At the conference, there was a presentation of data from a comprehensive study conducted by Dr. Dani Horesh, Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University, and Ms. Malka Nukarian, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem. First and foremost, there must be a greater emphasis placed on the psychological consequences of silent birth and Pregnancy loss, and particularly post-traumatic stress disorder. One-third of women who experienced a silent birth suffer from a full post-traumatic stress disorder and 30 percent have severe depression. Women groups that are particularly vulnerable to the psychological consequences of a silent birth (younger women who have recently experienced a loss in a more advanced week) should be identified. We must remember that coping is not only personal, but marital.

The response from the Ministry of Health is that the procedure was shelved because of disagreements within the ministry. As a substitute for this, a partial and incomplete circular was written. It does not address the failures throughout the process – from delivering the harsh news to a woman who lost her newborn, long waiting for medical treatment for abortion, and the eventual disaster amongst the couple. Due to the long bureaucratic process that the procedure has to pass through the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Health has no ability to commit itself to a certain period of time in which the procedure will begin to take shape. It should be noted that this is in contrast to the response of Health Minister Litzman, who declared last week in the bill that will accompany and support women who have experienced a silent birth will come into effect within months.

At the end of the conference, MK Lavie concluded that if there is no push within two months there will be no significant progress in promoting the existing procedure with approval by all the Ministry of Health officials. We must do all that is possible in order to correct the existing injustice.


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