Independent TD Mattie McGrath has welcomed the growing support he is receiving from members of both the Dáil and Seanad for introducing a Private Members Bill (PMB) which seeks to regulate against the continued use of the phrase ‘incompatible with life.’ Deputy McGrath presented the heads of his PMB entitled The Disability (Amendment) Act 2014 this morning during a press conference organised by the advocacy group Every Life Counts:
“The mothers who spoke this morning gave powerful and compelling reasons why we urgently need to review the continued use of this hurtful and misleading phrase.
I for my part was genuinely humbled to hear the extraordinary manner in which the parents of these profoundly disabled children coped when they were confronted with this phrase during pregnancy.
I consider it a great privilege to be in a position to assist this campaign by bringing forward a PMB that aims to remedy a legislative deficit in terms of the protections offered to these parents and their unborn children.
The purpose of the Bill is also to encourage the development of a more positive attitude around unborn children with severe life-limiting conditions within the medical profession and indeed more broadly within our society.
As the parents said this morning, the last thing a mother or father needs to hear in what would already be a very challenging time, is the use of a clearly dehumanising and medically unnecessary term.
I want to applaud all those members of both Houses of the Oireachtas who have offered me their support for the principle of this Bill.
I can only hope that it will in some small but significant way contribute to the promotion of a more humane and compassionate approach to all families who may find themselves in similar circumstances,” concluded Deputy McGrath