Last week in the Dáil.
Solidarity-People Before Profit TDs Ruth Coppinger and Bríd Smith spoke about a pregnant woman, from Clondalkin, Dublin, whom they claimed had been refused a termination at the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital in Dublin, despite two consultants certifying that she needed a termination for a fatal foetal abnormality.
Ms Coppinger said the board of the hospital overruled the two consultants’ direction and asked her to wait four weeks to see if she has a spontaneous miscarriage.
After the Dáil debate, the Coombe Hospital denied its board over ruled the decision of the two consultants.
The woman later spoke to Kitty Holland, of The Irish Times, and said she planned to travel to the UK for a termination.
Ms Holland later reported that the couple were told by the Coombe, in a letter, that their unborn baby had a “complex foetal anomaly” and that the hospital did not believe “there is present a condition affecting the foetus that is likely to lead to the death of the foetus either before or within 28 days of birth, as per the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018”.
Ms Holland reported on Saturday:
“The couple reject that they were told their foetus had a “complex anomaly”, saying they were told clearly a week before the letter was issued that the anomaly was fatal.”
Further to this…
Paul Cullen, in The Irish Times, reports:
Decisions on whether or not to provide terminations in cases of foetal anomaly should be reached by multidisciplinary teams of doctors on a consensus basis, newly prepared guidelines indicate.
The multidisciplinary team (MDT) should be a formally-constituted committee of the hospital whose decisions are documented in clinical notes, according to the guidelines from the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
One such MDT was constituted at the Coombe hospital in Dublin earlier this month to consider the case of a patient whose foetus had been diagnosed with a foetal anomaly. The case was raised by two Opposition TDs in the Dáil last week after the woman’s request for a termination was refused.
In the Coombe case, treating doctors found that despite the presence of a “complex foetal anomaly” they did not believe the condition affecting the foetus was likely to lead to its death either before, or within 28 days of, birth – as required by legislation on terminations in cases of fatal foetal anomaly.
The MDT recommended a re-evaluation of the clinical condition of the foetus after four weeks.