Martin ask the Department of Health to establish a province wide perinatal hospice facility
Sunday 1st July 2018
I am clearly delighted that tonight we have managed to get this positive life affirming proposal through Council. It not only achieved cross community support but many Councillors warmly reflected on the inherent value all babies, both born and unborn have.
As the motion was debated at the Committee stage I read out a couple of stories of mums whose babies had been diagnosed with Life Limiting Conditions, one of those was Tracey Harkin and I am very glad that she has now personally endorsed this proposal to Council. I am also indebted to local mum Claire Gray who has also thrown her full support behind our proposal. It is my personal conviction that we now should push to provide the very best perinatal hospice care that we can for mums who receive a diagnosis of a Life Limiting Condition for their baby. Regardless of how long or short their little lives are we must provide them with every opportunity to grow and thrive. I know that the Department of Health will give our request serious consideration given the incredibly important and emotive area that it concerns”
Claire lives in Bangor with her husband Kris. Her daughter Matilda lived for 90 days with a Life Limiting Condition.
“My amazing daughter Matilda lived for 3 months, despite being diagnosed with Trisomy 18 aka Edwards syndrome. This is accurately described as a life limiting condition. Sadly, however, the terms “fatal foetal abnormality” and “incompatible with life” are often used alongside it also. As Matilda’s mummy, these additional jargon terms are immensely offensive as they are very dehumanising. Hearing your child has a very limited life expectancy is distressing enough, without additional pain being caused by using language that shows little compassion for a parent’s heart, or respect to the little person who happens to have the condition.