Intended for healthcare professionals


Irish judges rule that brain dead pregnant woman should be allowed to die

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 30 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7830
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1The BMJ

A brain dead pregnant woman has been taken off life support at a regional hospital in the Republic of Ireland after the country’s High Court ruled that her fetus had no chance of surviving until birth and that the woman should be allowed to die.

The case, which has made headlines around the world, sparked a nationwide debate about article 8 of the Irish constitution, which was passed in 1983 after pressure from antiabortion and religious groups in the overwhelmingly Catholic country. Some campaigners …

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