Labour TD, Gerald Nash, has stated that today’s announcement by the government to follow option 4 of the Expert Report on the ABC case, which recommends a combination of legislation and regulations is a vindication of Labour Party policy over the last twenty years. Labour has consistently called for legislation in the aftermath of the X case. It has been part of our manifesto for the last three general elections. No other party did that.
“When we negotiated the programme for government we insisted on the immediate formation of an expert group to deal with this issue. That step is now completed. The government have made their decision and we must ensure that it is brought forward urgently.
“While we still don’t know the exact details of Savita Halappanavar’s case it has once again become starkly obvious that there is no clear guidance in this area. I have always publically supported legislation in this area, sometime at the cost of vitriolic personal abuse by extremists. For 20 years now, the Labour Party has been a strong, and most often, a lone voice on the need to act in relation to the X Case.
“Medical staff in all our hospitals are sometimes forced to make life and death decisions. It is a fearsome and sobering responsibility and it is only fair to those staff and to their patients that they are free to apply their expertise and make those critical decisions within a clear legal framework. A doctor or a consultant should be able to act in the best interests of their patients without having to second guess the outcome of a possible court case.”