Mother and baby homes - the starvation lie

The chief lie upon which the mother and baby scandal relies upon is the claim that babies were starved to death. This relies on a small number of death certificates which record the cause of death as due to ‘marasmus’. Marasmus is a type of malnutrition that is mostly caused by disease or birth defects. It is a barefaced lie to suggest that it is due to starvation. Featured are two entries the death register for Dublin which record that two infants died from malnutrition at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin. How is it that the scandal propagators and the conspiracy theorists were not accusing them of murder?

It is obvious to any sensible person that ‘marasmus’ is not a record of starvation. The commission of investigation into mother and baby homes have also exposed these ‘commentators’ as dolts.

33.5 Some commentators have concluded that infant deaths which occurred in mother and baby homes due to marasmus indicates that infants were neglected, not appropriately cared for, and/or wilfully starved to death in these institutions.

However, marasmus was a frequently cited cause of infant deaths in institutional, hospital and community settings in early twentieth-century Ireland. The Commission considers it unlikely that deaths in hospitals and family homes were due to wilful neglect and so cannot conclude that the term marasmus denotes wilful neglect in mother and baby homes. The more likely explanation is that marasmus as a cause of death was cited when an infant failed to thrive due to malabsorption of essential nutrients due to an underlying, undiagnosed medical condition.