Tuesday, 19 March 2013
HSE says pregnant women don't have same rights
The Draft National Consent Policy - open 2nd link - page 34 - section 7.8.1 'Refusal of Treatment in Pregnancy'
"The Consent of a pregnant woman is reqired for all health and social care interventions. However, because of the constitutional provisions on the right to life of the 'unborn', there is legal uncertainty regarding whether a pregnant woman's right to refuse treatment extends to the refusal of treatment which puts the life of the foetus at serious risk. This matter can ultimately only be decided by the Courts. Thus, where a pregnant woman refuses treatment and this refusal may impact on the life of the foetus, it is essential that the consequences of the refusal are fully and clearly explained to the woman, and legal advice should be sought if she persists in the refusal"
Draft HSE guidelines here