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Couple who settled wrongful termination case to send formal letter to Health Minister

The couple requested a meeting with Stephen Donnelly to “ensure this never ever happens again”, solicitor Caoimhe Haughey said yesterday.

File image of Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.
File image of Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.
Image: Rollingnews.ie

A COUPLE WHO settled High Court actions in a wrongful termination case will tomorrow send a letter to the Health Minister and HSE officials to “progress matters” around a report involving their case. 

Rebecca Price and Patrick Kiely yesterday settled their High Court actions. They had decided to terminate a healthy pregnancy in 2019 after being wrongly advised of a fatal foetal abnormality. 

In a statement this evening, the couple’s solicitor Caoimhe Haughey said: “Minister Donnelly received the commissioned Report of Dr Peter McKenna, Clinical Director of the National Women and Infants Health Programme last March.

“This report was shared with the couple and it sets out necessary recommendations to ensure optimum standards for maternal and infant health care which the Minister for Health undertook to act upon.

Acting upon these recommendations in the interests of maternal and infant health care is urgent and exigent.

The solicitor said the couple were asked to “put forward their suggestions for recommendations”, which she said they did in September 2019. 

“A formal letter will be sent to Minister Donnelly tomorrow and other high ranking officials within the HSE in order to progress matters as a matter of urgency and priority,” Haughey said. 

Speaking outside the court yesterday, Haughey said the couple had requested a meeting with Donnelly “to ensure this ‘never event’ never happens again”.

A spokesperson for the minister has confirmed that Donnelly will meet with Rebecca Price and Patrick Kiely, however Haughey said they have not yet received any communication.

“As of this evening neither Rebecca nor Pat have received any communication, informal or otherwise from the Minister for Health” about a meeting, Haughey said. 

Speaking outside court yesterday, the solicitor said: “Nothing will ever take away the interminable sadness and grief, which Rebecca and Pat live with every day. However, further protracted negotiations overnight and today, a resolution has now been reached.

“Rebecca and Pat would like to meet with the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly as soon as possible, to work with him on ways to ensure this never, ever happens again.”

In 2019, Price was 12 weeks pregnant when a blood test came back positive for serious genetic disorder trisomy 18 or Edward’s Syndrome, classified as a fatal fetal abnormality. Further tests also came back positive for the disorder.

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RTÉ had reported that the couple was told not to wait for the results of a full chromosomal analysis, and followed the advice of their consultant to terminate the pregnancy in March 2019 as the pregnancy was not viable. 

The couple later discovered that full cell culture analysis showed their son did not have any chromosomal abnormality.

-With reporting by Adam Daly.

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