“I sat down and told them I was dying … Oisín, he’s six years of age, he asked if I’d be coming back, don’t go anywhere Mammy, do you not love me?”
Dublin: The country here is utterly horrified by what has happened to two hundred women given the all clear after cervical cancer tests administered by the government, which were false. Many women have been given death sentences as a result.
Emma Mhic Mhathúna, a mother of five, found she has fatal cervical cancer at the weekend despite a clear smear.
The words from the condemned women would bring tears from a stone.
“The Government needs to go; they’re not actually capable of minding us. I’m dying and I didn’t need to die,” said Emma, a 37-year-old who to her utter shock was told this week that she is terminally ill.
“I sat down and told them I was dying … Oisín, he’s six years of age, he asked if I’d be coming back, don’t go anywhere Mammy, do you not love me? He doesn’t understand,” she said.
The horror increased exponentially yesterday with the revelation that the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), supposed to be the most trusted person on health issues in Ireland, covered up for two years the fact that the test system, administered at a Texas laboratory, was unsafe and women would die who had been improperly diagnosed.
Outgoing director-general of the HSE, Tony O'Brien, has appeared to criticise members of Oireachtas committees who questioned him over the #CervicalCheck scandal: https://t.co/YSr5KOm7aL pic.twitter.com/JkmOr6k3D8— Newstalk (@NewstalkFM) May 11, 2018
The Texas testing was done to save money, but clearly, they got what they paid for a slipshod operation that spat out far higher wrong results than the average lab.
For some reason the CMO and the Health Service Executive covered up the false results and for two years never informed the women concerned of the false smear test.
“They show they were contemplating this as a risk management exercise, not a patient safety exercise, which is contemptuous,” said Cian O’Carroll, lawyer for Vicky Phelan the woman who broke the false results scandal.
Now young married women, who thought they had the all clear are finding out they are terminally ill from cervical cancer.
The case would never have come to light but for Vicky Phelan who found herself terminally ill despite having a clear test. She brought the government to court and the evidence spilled out.
“Delay, deny, defend” was the tactic of the government and the Health Service. The cover up was total. Women will die but the institution needed saving at all costs.
Mhic Mhathúna asked President Michael D Higgins to take a stand on the matter.
"It is just, of course, just a tragic, tragic awful reality that she's facing" - speaking in Florence, @PresidentIRL Higgins says he has responded to a request for a meeting from cancer sufferer Emma Mhic Mhathúna and hopes to meet her next week. #CervicalCheck #cervicalcancer— Caitriona Perry (@CaitrionaPerry) May 10, 2018
She said “Women of Ireland are dying, they are the daughters and mothers of this country. I have five children, Vicky Phelan has two… how many children will be without mothers after this scandal?”
This scandal asks profound questions of this Irish government, especially Health Minister Simon Harris a rising star who may come crashing down. The head of the HSE resigned yesterday, a long overdue action.
The treatment of women in Ireland has always been second class but many believed it was behind us in the modern era. Instead it was worse than ever.
Mhic Mhathúna is one of scores of Irish women who were wrongly told they had normal smear tests through the Cervical Check screening program, prompting the Government to set up a scoping inquiry into the scandal.
“If my smear test was read right in 2013 I wouldn’t be here in this situation today” she told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
Mhic Mhathúna will have further tests tomorrow to determine “how long exactly I’ve got. They’ll know more when they get the results. All my doctors - my GP, my gynecologist, my oncologist, they’re a fabulous team. If there’s anything available, they’ll find it.”