International Women’s Day occurs every year on 8th March, UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres is quoted as saying,
“Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world”.
This is something we here at Corries Solicitors firmly agree with! So called women’s issues matter to everybody not just to women and certainly not only to people who identify themselves as feminists.
Today we reflect on the work we do each and every day of the year to help empower women and pursue equality.
Within Our Firm
Within our own firm, we recognise the specialist and expert knowledge of our female solicitors and colleagues.
Our longest qualified and most experienced solicitor, Tracy Farman, heads up our Corries 4 Women department. The concept of the department developed around five years ago. Our specialist solicitors realised that often women go to see a female doctor to discuss gynaecological or sensitive issues. Women sometimes feel embarrassed to discuss these issues with male doctors. When healthcare goes wrong for a woman things are often more difficult to discuss. Negligent medical treatment often leaves women at their most vulnerable both physically and emotionally. Our team of female specialist staff offer respect, understanding and sensitivity to women in their time of need but most importantly provide top notch and discreet legal assistance.
Corries Solicitors believes it is important to empower our female staff to pursue their passions and use their skills to help other women. We find that this is both good for staff morale and provides an excellent service to our clients who deal with our enthusiastic team. Read more information about our team here
How We Use Our Platform
Corries 4 Women spend time each and every day examining women’s issues and we use our platform to raise awareness of issues in women’s healthcare such as:
- Smear Test campaigns see our article here
- Female Medical Pain see our article here
- Essure campaigns here
If you have not had an opportunity to read these articles yet, then please catch up when you can.
We are a passionate group of women. We strive to raise awareness of issues relating to both female medical negligence and health in general.
Why Do Women Need Specific Help?
In the UK it may be argued that women are now equal to men and there is no requirement for an International Women’s Day in this country. Whilst great strides have been made there still remain many well documented issues such as unequal pay, (our personal bug bear) an unequal division of domestic labour and specific healthcare needs.
In 2016 “The Independent” highlighted six key health areas that prove why women’s particular health needs are important and should be considered all year round not just on International Women’s Day here
- Cancer – “breast and cervical cancer affect more women than any other forms of the disease”;
- Mental Health – internationally, suicide is a leading cause of death in women between 20 and 59 with women four times more likely to commit suicide if they have been abused by their partners;
- Heart Disease – this is a leading cause of death among women, especially on low income. Heart disease is three times more likely to kill women than breast cancer;
- Reproductive and maternal health – this covers so many problems for women including STDs, contraception and childbirth. Internationally 300,000 women a year die in pregnancy and childbirth 99% of these deaths are in ‘developing’ countries;
- HIV AIDS – Internationally this is a leading cause of death for women between 15 and 44 largely spread by unsafe sex especially in developing countries where there is less understanding of and access to condoms; and;
- Violence -One in three women under 50 has experienced physical or sexual violence from a partner. This violence in turn can contribute to mental health and other health problems.
Our team of specialist solicitors works to assist women when the treatment for their healthcare has been inadequate. This may be late or missed cancer diagnoses, failure to take health and pain issues seriously and many other ways.
Developments in Consent Issues
Here at Corries 4 Women we deal with all aspects of women’s health issues in England and Wales. One of the major changes we have noted follows the Supreme Court Judgment in Montgomery V NHS Lanarkshire. This case arose from problems in childbirth which left Mrs Montgomery’s baby with brain damage. Mrs Montgomery had, due to her own health issues, raised concerns about vaginal delivery and it was held that had she been properly informed and consented she would have requested a caesarean section. This judgment has led to the encouragement that medical treatment should be a two way discussion between the doctor and the patient and that all patients should be supported and informed throughout their decision making process around their healthcare.
As a firm we find there has been a real and extensive problem in healthcare treatment for women, particularly in areas of gynaecological and reproductive health. This is never more true than in the recent developments of our Essure clients. Essure is a form of permanent birth control akin to sterilisation but involves inserting a coiled spring via the cervix in to each fallopian tube.
Sterilisation is a very serious issue. It is important that women are fully aware of what they are agreeing to such as permanent loss of reproductive ability and also of the potential side effects of any procedure. In terms of Essure, we have found that the general doctor patient conversation was “this is what you need” rather than a discussion of the pros and cons of the product to allow a patient to decide. There is no one treatment that is right for every person.
Whilst some women would have gone ahead with this procedure, not all would have had they been adequately informed. Some women would have chosen traditional forms of sterilisation or other less permanent forms of contraception. We are both saddened by the experiences of our clients but also hopeful of change in the future.
If you think that you or a loved one has been suffered as a result of clinical or medical negligence, please contact us to see if we can help. Our telephone number is FreePhone 0800 881 5103. All our initial advice is free of charge and we are able to offer ‘no win no fee’ agreements. We are always happy to help where we can.