Con­di­tion likely to lead to death of foe­tus

The Irish Times - Weekend Review - - NEWS REVIEW -

6. (1) It shall be law­ful to carry out a ter­mi­na­tion of preg­nancy in ac­cor­dance with this Head where 2 med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers cer­tify that, in their rea­son­able opin­ion, there is present a con­di­tion af­fect­ing the foe­tus that is likely to lead to the death of the foe­tus ei­ther be­fore birth or shortly af­ter birth.

(2) Of the 2 med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers re­ferred to in sub­head (1)

(a) one shall be an ob­ste­tri­cian, and

(b) the other shall be an ap­pro­pri­ate med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner. (3) The ter­mi­na­tion of preg­nancy to which the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion re­lates shall be car­ried out–

(a) by the ob­ste­tri­cian re­ferred to in sub­head (2)(a), or

(b) by an­other ob­ste­tri­cian, where the med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers re­ferred to in sub­head (1) have made such ar­range­ments as may be nec­es­sary for the car­ry­ing out of the ter­mi­na­tion of preg­nancy by that ob­ste­tri­cian. (4) Noth­ing in this Head shall af­fect the op­er­a­tion of Head 7.

DI­VID­ING LINES This sec­tion refers to ter­mi­na­tions be­ing made avail­able in the cases of fa­tal foetal ab­nor­mal­i­ties. Un­der the pro­pos­als, it would be law­ful to ter­mi­nate a preg­nancy when two med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers de­ter­mine the foe­tus has a con­di­tion that is likely to lead to the death of a foe­tus ei­ther be­fore birth or shortly af­ter. This means two doc­tors would have to con­clude, in good faith, that the foe­tus has a con­di­tion in­com­pat­i­ble with life, or would not sur­vive out­side the womb.

Those op­posed to re­peal­ing the Eighth Amend­ment ar­gue this could lead to abor­tions when a foe­tus is di­ag­nosed with a non-fa­tal ab­nor­mal­ity such as Down Syn­drome. How­ever, ter­mi­na­tions in th­ese cases are out­side the law and there­fore pro­hib­ited, the re­peal side points out.

‘‘ Two doc­tors would have to con­clude the foe­tus has a con­di­tion in­com­pat­i­ble with life

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