British Govt. Acknowledges ‘Unacceptable’ Risks of Vaginal Mesh
Vaginal mesh is a torturous medical device that has caused irreparable harm to countless women. We’ve witnessed the damage it has inflicted, and fight to give the victims a voice. That’s why it was so vindicating to hear government officials voice many of our concerns on the risks of vaginal mesh, even if that government is on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
On April 19th, British Parliament met for a debate on the use of medical implants and, for the first time, acknowledged that vaginal mesh exposed women to traumatic and unacceptable risks.
Led by Labour MP Emma Hardy, the debate focused heavily on the risks of vaginal mesh. Hardy opened the debate with a heartfelt story from one of her constituents who was advised to have the mesh operation. Hardy’s account of the woman’s debilitating pain and diminished quality of life was all too familiar for many of the anti-mesh advocates in attendance.
MPs in attendance heard the accounts of numerous women who were left as shadows of their former selves, some of whom were driven to suicidal thoughts due to mesh embedded in their tissue “like barbed wire.” Labor MP Sharon Hodgson shared a heartbreaking story of the suffering her 70-year-old mother has lived with since having mesh surgery five years ago. Several other MPs went on to voice their concerns with the device.
“These products… should only be used as an extreme measure,” said Department of Health Junior Minister Jackie Doyle-Price. “We should be very concerned by the extent to which these were adopted.”
Doyle-Price also called the debilitating injuries women received after putting their trust in the medical establishment “a tragedy.”
Hardy used the debate as a platform to bring attention to the issue, and to urge the government to act. She called for a full suspension of surgical mesh and asked the government to launch a full public inquiry. Hardy added that doctors and patients have been “voting with their feet” on mesh, calling attention to the rapid decline in the procedure. Hardy was referencing a National Health Services report showing the number of women undergoing the procedure has fallen by 48% since 2009.
Ultimately, it was agreed that there is a need for further action, signaling that change may be on the horizon. At a similar debate held last year, calls to suspend the use of surgical mesh were rejected.
Hardy concluded the debate by thanking the women in attendance who have championed this issue, and called attention to the risks of vaginal mesh.
“I end by thanking again all the fantastic women up there in the Gallery right now watching this debate. We are only talking about this now because of your bravery in coming forward and speaking out, and I thank each and every single one of you. We cannot undo the suffering you have experienced, but by speaking out and being so incredibly brave, you will stop women in the future going through what you have gone through. I and every Member who has spoken today thank you.”
Cheers to that.