We need to talk about what would replace 8th Amendment, says maternity expert

We need to talk about what would replace 8th Amendment, says maternity expert

One of Ireland’s leading maternity experts has said that we should not be discussing a repeal of the 8th Amendment without talking about what would replace it.

Dr Keelin O’Donoghue - the lead clinician for obstetric ultrasound and foetal medicine at Cork University Maternity Hospital - said we also must discuss the lack of ultrasound screening for foetal abnormalities.

She said that the debate has lacked any acknowledgment that there are no national guidelines on the minimum standards for obstetric scanning.

Dr O'Donoghue says these issues have been largely absent from the debate.

"I don't see an acknowledgement that we're not diagnosing foetal abnormality and that we have no policy on prenatal screening or prenatal diagnosis in this country,

"I don't see any discussion on what role early diagnosis has, what it means to have an abnormality diagnosed in late pregnancy, and then what the choices are.

"I don't see that debate being had at the moment."

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