CNN REPORT, Girl at Center of Dominican Republic Abortion Debate Dies
Photo of Rosa Hernandez, the girl's mother: "I know that (abortion) is a sin ... but my daughter's health is first."



(CNN) -- A pregnant leukemia patient who became a flashpoint in the abortion debate in the Dominican Republic died Friday morning, a hospital official told CNN.

The 16-year-old, who had been undergoing chemotherapy, died from complications of the disease, said Dr. Antonio Cabrera, the legal representative for the hospital.

Her case stirred debate in her country, as her life was potentially at risk because of anti-abortion laws in the Dominican Republic.

Doctors were hesitant to give her chemotherapy because such treatment could terminate the pregnancy -- a violation of the Dominican Constitution, which bans abortion. Some 20 days after she was admitted to the hospital, she finally began receiving treatment.

The patient, whose identity has not been released because she's a minor and because of the hospital's privacy policy, was 13 weeks pregnant.

The teen's body did not respond to the chemotherapy, and her condition worsened overnight, Cabrera said.

Her body also rejected a blood transfusion on Thursday, he said.

The patient then suffered a miscarriage early Friday, followed by cardiac arrest, he said. Doctors were unable to revive her.

Representatives from the Dominican Ministry of Health, the Dominican Medical College, the hospital and the girl's family had talked for several days before deciding to go forward with the chemotherapy.

The case sparked renewed debate over abortion in the Dominican Republic, with some lawmakers calling on officials to reconsider the abortion ban.

At the time that treatment started, Rosa Hernandez, the girl's mother, said she had been trying to convince doctors and the Dominican government to make an exception so that her daughter's life could be saved.

"My daughter's life is first. I know that (abortion) is a sin and that it goes against the law ... but my daughter's health is first," Hernandez said.

According to Article 37 of the Dominican Constitution, "the right to life is inviolable from the moment of conception and until death." Dominican courts have interpreted this as a strict mandate against abortion. Article 37, passed in 2009, also abolished the death penalty.


Read also: Problems in every corner of the Domincian Republic according to UNDP, UNHRC, Amnesty International and The World Bank(Update 3)


The Dominican Republic received a downward trend arrow due to the revelation through several major scandals of the level of drug traffickers' penetration of Dominican police and legal institutions, as well as new constitutional bans on abortion and gay marriage. Amnesty International - Unlawfull killings of hundreds of people and. Dominican Republic should investigate abduction allegations against anti-kidnap police. World Bank - most corrupt government. UNDP - lack of health and education. KIlling of journalists - the list just goes on and on and on.......



Amnesty International Report 2010 - Dominican Republic


At least 226 unlawful killings by the security forces were reported between January and August. Haitians and Dominico-Haitians faced widespread discrimination. Constitutional reform increased the likelihood of a total ban on abortion.......


Health sector "in critical condition" - The Dominican Medical Association (CMD) celebrates its 121st anniversary tomorrow and when assessing the situation in the sector, the conclusion is that the same age-old complaints and demands continue to be heard.

Amarilis Herrera (current president), Senén Caba and Waldo Ariel Suero, ex-presidents of the union, agree that the doctors are working in  “a very difficult situation” and a health system that does not progress because of the “interests” that prevent the health system laws from being implemented. Herrera expressed regret that governments do not comply with the agreements they sign and patients still have to pay for services in public hospitals.

Senén Caba said that there is a 35% unemployment rate among doctors, while those who have work earn “a pittance”.

 Waldo Ariel Suero, ex presidente of the CMD, says the same demands are being heard again. 

In his inaugural speech yesterday, president Danilo Medina said that patients would no longer have to pay for treatment in public hospitals.

Go back | Date: 26 Aug 2012
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