Friday 23 August 2019

Delay in abortion review is criticised by lawyer

The solicitor representing the couple at the centre of the tragic abortion case in the National Maternity Hospital has written to the HSE criticising the delay in setting up an external review. Stock picture
The solicitor representing the couple at the centre of the tragic abortion case in the National Maternity Hospital has written to the HSE criticising the delay in setting up an external review. Stock picture
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The solicitor representing the couple at the centre of the tragic abortion case in the National Maternity Hospital has written to the HSE criticising the delay in setting up an external review.

Caoimhe Haughey also said the decision of the hospital to carry out its own internal audit without independent oversight is "callous and reckless".

The concerns are outlined in a letter to Dr Peter McKenna, clinical director of the HSE's National Women and Infants Health Programme.

The parents were told their unborn baby had a fatal foetal abnormality in March and would not survive.

This led to the agonising decision to have a termination. But a more advanced test later showed the baby was healthy.

Ms Haughey said the decision on termination had been based on "misconceived" advice.

The couple have called for an independent inquiry and are anxious to ensure lessons are learned.

It is expected a panel of UK specialists will be appointed shortly to carry out an external review.

The hospital said "significant progress has been made with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in selecting membership of the external review and the terms of reference".

A spokesman for the hospital said it hopes to be able to be in a position to finalise these shortly.

Irish Independent

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