Wednesday 22 November 2017

Doctors' union to debate abortion

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

The issue of abortion is to come up for debate before the annual meeting of the country's biggest doctors' union next month with motions calling for women to be allowed terminate pregnancies in certain circumstances.

The issue of abortion will come before the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) for the first time at its annual meeting in Killarney after Easter.

Cork GP Dr Mary Favier and Sligo colleague Dr Mark Murphy are proposing that women who become pregnant as a result of rape should be allowed access to abortion in Ireland.

They are also calling on colleagues to support a motion to allow abortion for women who are pregnant with babies who will not survive due to fetal anomalies.

Another motion asks for abortion to be permitted where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother.

Legislation

The union has avoided any discussion on abortion up to now but the Government has promised legislation by the summer to allow for abortion in line with the terms of the X case.

Other motions refer to the controversy over the retirement deal of nearly €10m which was given to its former chief executive George McNeice.

Health Minister James Reilly will break with tradition and will not be addressing the conference. He will be represented by one of the junior ministers instead.

Meanwhile, Dr Reilly said he is due to receive a draft report before the end of this week into the death of Savita Halappanavar at Galway University Hospital last October.

The report of a clinical review will also be given this week to Savita's husband, Praveen, who will be invited to give his observations on its findings and challenge allegations made in it.

Irish Independent

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