Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman Forced To Stay On Life Support For Fetus

| by Michael Allen

Doctors in Ireland have been keeping a brain-dead woman on life support because she is pregnant.

The woman's family wants the doctors to remove her from life support, however, the physicians claim they have to follow the country's laws that require them to protect the life of her 16-week-old fetus.

According to the Irish Republic’s constitution, a fetus is an Irish citizen just as its mother is, or, in this case, was.

The case has been brought before the Dublin High Court, which will decide whether or not the doctors must keep the woman hooked up to machines, noted the Associated Press.

The 20-something woman, whose name has not been released, reportedly suffered a head injury and a brain clot. She was declared clinically dead 14 days ago, reports

"The law isn't clear, and when there is conflict, the matter will have to come before the court," Dr. Adam McAuley, who teaches medical law at Dublin City University, told the Irish media.

"Difficult decisions that should be made by women and their doctors, a couple or the next-of-kin where there is no capacity, and on the basis of best clinical practice, are now made on foot of legal advice. That isn't how it should be," added Ireland's Health Minister Leo Varadkar.

Ireland did pass the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act last year, which allows abortions for women whose lives are endangered by pregnancy or who might kill themselves if forced to give birth, reports The Guardian.

Sources: The Guardian, Associated Press,
Image Credit: internets_dairy