Findings of HSE report on abortion case will determine if HIQA investigates

Wednesday 20 August 2014 23.16
Leo Varadkar asked people to wait until all of the facts are known 'before jumping to any conclusions'
Leo Varadkar asked people to wait until all of the facts are known 'before jumping to any conclusions'

The terms of reference and the team for an internal HSE review, into the care provided to a woman who had her pregnancy ended in controversial circumstances, are due to be published tomorrow.

The HSE is currently sharing the details with representatives of the woman concerned.

The team will have at least three members and will contain representation from outside of the HSE.

It will seek to establish all of the facts, key causal factors and any contributory factors to the events under review.

The woman says she sought an abortion. She later agreed to the baby being delivered by C-section.

The team will also speak with statutory and non-statutory agencies who were involved in the case, including staff within the HSE, the Department of Justice, the Reception and Integration Agency and the Irish Family Planning Association.

The care provided to the woman will be examined but the team will not review the decisions taken by the clinicians involved in certifying a termination of pregnancy by way of Caesarean section.

The review will examine the operation of the act and make findings and recommendations arising from the case.

Rallies held around the country

This evening, around 2,000 people attended a pro-choice rally in Dublin city centre. 

It was one of a series of demonstrations held around the country on the issue.

Those protesting want the 8th amendment to the constitution, which confers an equal status to both unborn child and to the pregnant woman, to be repealed.

Minister Varadkar awaiting HSE report 

Earlier, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has told RTÉ News he wants to see the HSE internal review report before considering whether an investigation by HIQA is warranted.

Mr Varadkar said he wants to find out what happened and the report will be looking into the timelines and the engagement of the woman with the services.

"I want to see the HSE's account of its own actions and oversight before making any decisions about subsequent measures", he said.

Mr Varadkar said at that stage he will consider, with his Cabinet colleagues, whether an investigation by HIQA is warranted.

He said the facts of the case were still emerging and that much of the commentary to date had been "unhelpful".

He has asked people to wait until all of the facts are known "before jumping to any conclusions".

Meanwhile, the Irish Family Planning Association has said that its counsellors follow the organisation’s protocols and good practice and that it has told the HSE it will cooperate with the planned review of the care provided to the woman

In response to reports that the IFPA made contact with a HSE nurse in May about the woman's psychological condition, the association said that it was good practice to keep the referring service fully briefed on any concerns it would have with regard to a client's physical or mental health, or any additional supports she might require.