Don't put midwives in legislative straitjacket
This week the Nurses and Midwives Bill is in the Dail after a 25-year wait. Without amendments to Section 40 and Section 24 this proposed legislation will drive midwives out of the country and put Ireland in conflict with established European practice.
Everybody understands that insurance in Ireland stops things, whether it's a regatta or a rural birth. Under this bill, midwives will be put in an ethical dilemma where women will call the midwife and, if she attends, the midwife will risk criminalisation.
Without amendment this Bill will straitjacket midwifery within our maternity services.
Women and midwives have been lobbying the previous Government with some progress. I appeal to the Government to amend this bill before it becomes law.
Bridget Sheeran, President Community Midwives Association
Baltimore, Co Cork
Declan Devane , Senior Midwifery Lecturer NUIG
Jo Murphy-Lawless TCD
Dr Krysia Lynch A.I.M.S.I
Helena MacMahon H.B.A
Marie O'Connor S.O.S.