Doctors for Life bring proof that there have been no maternal deaths in the last twelve years to oppose the opposite claim reported by the Times.

I am here reposting a post by Doctors For Life:

“THE SPREAD OF MISINFORMATION – Dishonest Sensationalism or Silly Mistake?

Yesterday we came across the shocking claim that 52 women lost their lives because of pregnancy complications in the last 10 years. 52; did we read that correctly? Surely with the National Obstetric Information System (NOIS) readily available online it should be pretty easy for anyone to verify that there have been no maternal deaths in the last 12 years!

We were even more surprised to note that a prominent pro-choice group was actually sharing this misleading post without fact-checking any of the data. This unprofessional and dangerous endorsement continued to lend further credibility to the original post. As expected this was in turn shared numerous times by their followers and with each share the misinformation was amplified in the echo chamber of social media.

As it turned out after some diligent research the source of this data was a parliamentary question (PQ3341) which was quoting perinatal infant deaths not maternal mortality. In fact in the answer to this parliamentary question one can note that all of these 52 deaths occurred in the 0-24 year age-group whereas the average age of a first-time mother in Malta is 29.7 years.

So at best the amateur unprofessionalism of a prochoice group led to a cycle of fake news. It would be even more worrying if the basic lack of fact-checking was deliberate.

It was extremely reassuring to read that the Times of Maltawill be launching a fact-checking service in January. It can’t start soon enough. The more sensitive the issue the more important it is to heed the advice: don’t believe everything you read on the internet. We encourage the public to verify the source of what they read because with each share we can all become a party to the spread of misinformation.

The Table below is from the online National Obstetric Information System. They also added the following comment: “The doctors will give priority to the mum if her life is at risk. She can choose to turn down treatment and this happens occasionally although thankfully no woman lost her life for more than a decade and 50k births. I would like to reassure you that we really try our best for both mum and child in complicated circumstances.”

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