A ‘very real tragedy’ behind a human rights case (Ireland)
For the first time yesterday, the Irish woman who brought the ‘D versus Ireland’ case spoke out publicly about the “very real tragedy” that led her to take a case to the European Court of Human Rights.
In Jan 2002, she was 39, the mother of two boys aged 10 and 12, and delightedly expecting twins.
But, at 14 weeks’ pregnant, the initial results of an amniocentesis test revealed one of the twins had died. Three weeks later, full test results revealed the second twin had Edward’s Syndrome, a condition which usually ends in miscarriage or death shortly after birth because of heart abnormalities, kidney malformations, and other internal organ disorders.
“She [the doctor] said there is nothing we can do, nothing in this country. The thing was I thought there would be special treatment. It’s a common enough occurrence. There are several hundred of these cases… I assumed there would be a situation in our hospitals where there would be a sympathetic arrangement where there is this woman who’s got terrible news, she wants these babies but she can’t have them… But we have to say ‘go home sort it out yourself or carry on’,” she said in a RTÉ radio interview on Today with PK.
A termination in these circumstances could not be sanctioned in this country.
Deirdre was just 17 weeks’ pregnant and facing carrying the dead foetus for another 23 weeks. She’d have to endure the excessive bloating that accompanies such pregnancies, and the fatigue, and somehow find the chutzpah to receive good wishes and comments on her pregnancy from people who were blissfully unaware of what was really going on in her womb. [Rest.]
- Woman at centre of ‘D’ case speaks out (irishtimes.com)