Ireland to rule on pregnant woman on life support

2014-12-23 14:09

Dublin judges are deciding whether a brain-dead pregnant woman should be kept on life support to give her 17-week-old fetus a chance at life, a case that has reignited debate over Ireland’s abortion ban.

Three High Court judges are hearing arguments from five groups of lawyers representing the woman, her fetus, her parents, her partner and the hospital. The judges may issue a ruling later today.

At issue is the Irish constitution’s requirement that the life of the woman and of the foetus should enjoy equal protection.

Lawyers for the hospital say the woman is already clinically dead, but they fear a lawsuit if they end artificial support for her circulatory and respiratory systems, essential for the foetus’ survival.

The woman’s partner and parents want her life support turned off.

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