herald

Wednesday 23 January 2019

HSE to quiz doctors who refused to give teen an abortion

DOCTORS who treated the teen at the centre of the latest abortion controversy are to be quizzed within days.

The team of doctors, nurses and counsellors who dealt with the young woman are set to be questioned soon as part of an investigation into her care.

A six-week probe into the care given to the migrant woman, who expressed suicidal intent when she was four months pregnant, was ordered by the HSE.

The woman, known only as Miss Y, told doctors that she was suicidal but was not referred for a possible abortion until she was 22 weeks pregnant.

Under Ireland's new abortion law it is possible to grant a woman a termination if there is a risk of suicide.

Miss Y was not granted an abortion and later delivered her baby by Cesarean section at six months.

But the probe will not question the decision of the doctors and psychiatrists who refused the abortion the HSE has said.

It will instead focus on the crucial two months before the baby was delivered by c-section.

Her case files have been handed over by the Irish Family Planning Clinic and Spirasi.

Torture

Spirasi is an organisation which deals with victims of torture and it has turned over letters that a Spirasi doctor sent on the woman's behalf.

Letters detailing her mental state and warning that she needed psychological care were sent to the Department of Justice who are responsible for her care.

Notes from her counselling sessions with the Family Planning service have also been released to the HSE.

The young woman is currently under the care of the Department of Justice.

Tanaiste Joan Burton was among those who joined calls for a HSE-led investigation.

Fine Gael TD Olivia Mitchell this weekend said the abortion issue is "the ghost that will haunt this administration".

"This needs leadership from the top, political parties will have to provide voters with clear indications of their policies prior to the next election," she said.

Details of the investigation will be made public without revealing the identity for the woman at the centre of the case.

hnews@herald.ie

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