Response to Head 3: Risk of loss of life from physical illness in a medical emergency
Usually these situations in clinical practice are obvious, e.g. bleeding from a placental abruption or placenta praevia where the pregnant women presents with life threatening haemorrhage and immediate delivery is required to save the life of the mother primarily, but that every effort would be made to save the baby as well. Obviously in these situations quick decisions are necessary and it would not be pragmatic to have to wait the approval of another doctor. This head affirms what already happens in Ireland.
We welcome the requirement in the Bill for the treating doctors consult with the woman’s General Practitioner. However, it may not be practical to consult the patient’s GP in a situation of imminent threat to the mother’s life arising from physical illness during pregnancy. We recommend that where there is likely to be a significant time lapse between diagnosis and emergency delivery of the foetus, the GP must be informed.