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Sunday, February 24, 2008

UK Artist Hangs Herself After Aborting Twins

"I told everyone I didn't want to do it, even at the hospital. I was frightened, now it is too late. I died when my babies died. I want to be with my babies. They need me, no one else does."
These were the words in a suicide note left from an artist, Emma Beck, who was found hanging at her home in Helston, Cornwall, on Feb 1 2007. She was declared dead early the following day - her 31st birthday.

This is not an article dealing with the controversy about abortions, that is for another discussion. This is about a breakdown in communication between a woman facing a very difficult decision, her doctors and a death as well as the life of two unborn twins that could have been avoided had the handling of a tough situation been handled better.

An inquest was held at Truro City Hall, which heard evidence of a woman who had split up with her boyfriend after he reacted badly to her pregnancy. A woman who, according to the doctors was "Unsupported, lives alone, ex-partner aware", a woman who had a long history of anxiety and depression.

No doubt the woman made a choice, whether one agrees with abortion or not, a decision that she was unsure of and not ready to make.

According to the article, no one was to "blame" but a lack of attention in a very busy hospital which led to her being referred to a telephone counseling service, which is done routinely when a counselor is not available, instead of a counselor she could visit in person, led to a decision that she was later to regret to a point where she felt ending her life was her only option.

Emma Beck's mother, Sylvia Beck, stated at the inquest, "I want to know why she was not given the opportunity to see a counsellor.

"She was only going ahead with the abortion because her boyfriend did not want the twins.

"I believe this is what led Emma to take her own life - she could not live with what she had done."

The doctor, whose name is being kept private, said, "I am satisfied that everything was done to make sure that Emma consented to the operation." An additional statement from the doctor said, "We have since appointed more counselors so there is more holiday cover."

Emma's general practitioner, testified at the inquest that despite her best efforts, Emma was not willing to see a counselor after she terminated her pregnancy and that she was extremely distressed by the abortion procedure, further stating "I didn't think she ever came to terms with it."

Although no blame is assigned in this article, no accusations of irresponsibility can be lodged against the hospital or the doctors and it ultimately was the decision of Ms. Beck in the end, her words in the suicide note should be a lesson for women around the world to think carefully before making a decision that is undoubtedly one of the hardest decisions for a woman to make.

"I told everyone I didn't want to do it, even at the hospital. I was frightened, now it is too late. I died when my babies died. I want to be with my babies: they need me, no-one else does."