A necessary abortion
In almost all cases anencephalic infants are not aggressively resuscitated since there is no chance of the infant ever achieving a conscious existence. Instead, the usual clinical practice is to offer hydration, nutrition and comfort measures and to "let nature take its course". Artificial ventilation, surgery (to fix any co-existing congenital defects), and drug therapy (such as antibiotics) are usually regarded as being pointless. Some clinicians see no point in even providing nutrition and hydration, arguing that euthanasia is morally and clinically appropriate in such cases."
Remember this will you? It's important.
Oh the HSE aren't available on the weekend to care for a man and perhaps prevent him murdering his family and then killing himself, no sir, but for a girl trying to end a pregnancy which carries no hope for her unborn child and they're right on the ball. Ready to do battle at all cost.
Observe, from today's Irish Independent.
"A 17-year-old teenager whose baby will not survive after birth has gone to court to stop the HSE preventing her travelling to the UK for an abortion.
In a landmark case, the teenager, who is currently in care, is seeking to challenge directions by the HSE stopping her from travelling outside the State for an abortion.
Pregnant minors, in the care of the state, are currently only allowed to travel abroad to have an abortion if the mother's life is at risk, including the threat of suicide.
But this case could result in making the grounds for having a termination widened to include foetal abnormality.
This issue has never been tested in the Irish courts and legal experts fear it could have the potential to precipitate a fresh constitutional crisis.
The case looks set to reopen the divisive debate over abortion, just three weeks before the general election. And the Government parties fear the hearing - which has been dubbed the 'D-case' - could potentially provoke another backlash from voters.
The coalition only narrowly survived the political fallout which followed its disastrous handling of the A-Case when the Supreme Court struck down our statuatory rape laws.
In the wake of the X ruling by the Supreme Court in 1992, a number of cases were brought of behalf of minors seeking to travel to the UK to terminate their pregnancies.
After the C-Case, the High Court ruled that a child in care could only travel for an abortion if her life was at risk.
Yesterday the 17-year-old girl, who is four months pregnant and from the Leinster region, was supported by her boyfriend in the High Court.
Mr Justice Liam McKechnie ordered the media not to identify her.
She is to be known only as Miss D.
The court heard claims that the HSE had notified gardai and asked them to ensure she did not try and leave the country.
She has discovered that the foetus she is carrying suffers from the condition anencephaly where a major part of its brain is missing.
Infants with such a condition are born without a forebrain and the thinking part of the brain and are usually blind, deaf, unconscious and unable to feel pain.
Miss D's lawyer told the High Court the prognosis and life expectancy for a baby with such a condition after birth is a maximum of three days.
Gerard Hogan SC said that up until the "unfortunate news" last week, there was no question of a termination and this has only arisen in the last few days.
Mr Justice Liam McKechnie was told the girl is in care as a result of an order made by the District Court under the Chid Care Act 1991 at the start of April.
She has claimed she has been advised by the HSE that the gardai have been notified that she is not permitted to leave the State and the care order makes it unlawful for her to leave the State without HSE permission.
The care order had been put in place as a result of the conduct of the girl's mother.
Her father has been absent from her life.
The proceedings in which the girl is seeking leave to bring a High Court legal challenge to the directions of the HSE have been brought by the girl's boyfriend on behalf of the 17-year old.
The girl is seeking leave to seek an order from the High Court quashing the care order made by a District Justice to the extent that it restricts her from travelling from the State.
She is also seeking an order quashing the decision of the HSE to contact the gardai to request that she not be permitted to leave the State.
In the judicial review proceedings against the District Justice, the HSE and Ireland and the Attorney General, the girl is also seeking an order quashing the decision of the HSE refusing to permit her to travel to procure the termination of her pregnancy unless she presented as a suicide risk.
In the proceedings, the girl is also seeking a court order directing the HSE to advise the gardai that they consent to her travelling to the UK. She is also seeking a declaration that there is no lawful basis for interference with her right to terminate her pregnancy.
She claims the HSE decision to prevent her leaving the State to procure a termination of her pregnancy constitutes an unlawful interference with her constitutional rights to personal autonomy, bodily integrity, private life and to travel."
It is bad enough in this country that we export out problems rather than dal with them, but to stop a young woman from ending a pregnancy that WILL result in a deformed baby that WILL die strikes me as barbaric.
Cui Bono here? The mother who must carry this pregnancy for another 24 weeks? Who must go through the agony of birth knowing the result? The unborn fetus? Who will know nothing and die within hours of being delivered? Who is this ruling supposed to benefit?
Despite what some people think there is a grey area to abortion. It is not a black and white issue. Yes, abortion is too common (in my view) and yes I have my questions about it.
But in this case I have none.
There is no happy outcome to this case, there will be no Hallmark moments. Just another long drawn out legal quagmire where the rights of women and logic and compassion are thrown right out the window.
UPDATE: THe state has said it will not object in the highcourt if the girl wishes to travel for an abortion. There will be a full hearing on the case on Thursday.