Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman In Ireland Can Be Removed From Life Support, High Court Rules

A brain-dead pregnant woman in Ireland can be taken off life support. Although the Irish constitution guarantees a woman and a fetus equal rights, a Dublin High Court panel consisting of three judges has finally decided that the family of a woman pronounced brain dead earlier this month may remove her from life support, despite her pregnancy.

The woman sustained brain injuries in an accidental fall on November 29, 2014, and she was subsequently placed on life support. On December 4, 2014, she was declared brain dead by doctors. Because she was 15 weeks pregnant, doctors were unable or unwilling to remove her from support, despite her partner and her family’s wishes, due to Ireland’s strict abortion laws, according to the New York Daily News.

While the brain-dead pregnant woman’s loved ones fought to allow her to die with dignity, court-appointed attorneys Conor Dignam SC and Cormac Corrigan SC argued that the mother-of-two would have wanted to preserve the life of her fetus, and that every effort should be made to bring the fetus to term. However, doctors determined that the fetus had no chance of survival, and eight doctors testified to that effect.

Doctors also testified that the brain-dead pregnant woman had an open head wound, and her brain was rotting as she languished in her hospital bed, reported the Irish Times. The woman, whose name has not been released publicly, is said to be in her late 20s.

After hearing their testimony, the three-judge panel rendered their decision to allow the pregnant woman to die with the dignity that had been denied her for the better part of a month. The two court-appointed attorneys, one for the mother and one for the fetus, did not appeal the court’s decision. The brain-dead woman is expected to be removed from life support within 24 hours of the decision.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a brain-dead child is reportedly doing better, at least according to her mother. Jahi McMath is a 13-year-old girl who is living at a long-term care facility after being declared brain dead. The teen went into the Oakland Children’s Hospital for a routine procedure to remove her adenoids, tonsils and surrounding tissue, after being diagnosed with pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. Sadly, McMath suffered uncontrollable bleeding following the procedure, and was subsequently declared brain dead. Her mother refuses to accept her daughter’s condition or remove her from life support, believing that her child will eventually make a recovery.

Comments are welcome. Do you think the family of the brain-dead pregnant woman in Ireland should have the right to remove her from life support?

[Image via morgueFile]