Saturday 18 November 2017

Mum-to-be takes case over refusal to allow home birth

Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

AN expectant mother has brought a High Court challenge over the refusal of the HSE to provide her with a home delivery with the help of a midwife.

This morning the High Court will hear an application by Aja Teehan against the HSE and the Department of Health. The HSE has twice this year refused to allow Ms Teehan to have a home birth because she previously had a caesarean.

Ms Teehan, who wants to be assisted during childbirth by a self-employed midwife, is challenging what she says is a "blanket policy" of refusing to permit a home delivery for women with previous caesarean births.

She claims the ban violates her family rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case is being fully defended by the Government.

The State Claims Agency will only indemnify self-employed midwives on conditions including that they comply with the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding between the HSE and self-employed midwives.

The MOU does not allow self-employed midwives to assist in home deliveries where a mother has had previous caesarean births. Under the Nurses and Midwives Act it is a criminal offence to attend in childbirth outside of the MOU.

Irish Independent

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