Independent TD Mattie McGrath will officially move the introduction of his Private Members Disability (Amendment) Bill 2014 in the Dáil today. Deputy McGrath will do so after he facilitates an Oireachtas Briefing session with the advocacy group Every Life Counts who are seeking the removal of the phrase ‘incompatible with life’ from medical discourse:
“In the last weeks and months we have witnessed a re-emergence of the debate on what protections should or should not exist in relation to the unborn child.
The Bill I am moving today will add another voice to that debate by calling for an end to misleading and non-evidenced based language when describing unborn children with severe life limiting conditions.
The mothers who will speak at the event at 2pm in Leinster House will demonstrate the clear and unambiguous need for the removal of the medically meaningless phrase ‘incompatible with life.’
We have made so many advances in our society in terms of how we describe the lives of children who for one reason or another were considered less than worthy of the full protection of the law.
As a legislator I am privileged to be in a position to bring forward this PMB as a modest effort to continue that tradition.
I will be seeking to work in partnership with all those who believe the phrase is inherently misleading and of no practical or emotional value.
As a community there are some terms we simply we longer accept.
There is also a legitimate expectation that parents who receive traumatic news about their unborn child’s severe disability should not then be subjected to further anguish by having such a medically meaningless phrase left ringing in their heads and hearts.
It is my genuine hope that the Government will not oppose this Bill since it is neither constitutionally controversial nor legally complex in its objective,” concluded Deputy McGrath.