Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Health Priorities

Briefing notes posted on the Dept of Health website at the end of last week make for depressing reading.

They state that Ireland must submit an action plan to the Committee of Ministers before mid June with respect to the ECHR judgement in the ABC case. It also notes that the ECHR decision is binding on the state and that action must be taken to avoid further violations of the Convention on Human Rights. Slightly further on in the 56 page document is a section on Assisted Human Reproduction where the issues on fertility treatments brought up by the frozen embryos case is discussed. So far so good. At least these two important issues are on the Department's agenda

But then at the bottom of the page there is a footnote that says "in light of current resources, a
decision will then have to be made as to which of these issues will be prioritised for
the development of regulation/legislation." This is an outrageous position for the Department to take. No matter what your views on the morals and ethics of either of these two issues, kicking one of them to touch due to cutbacks is not acceptable. You can be sure that plenty of other legislation will be prepared by the Dept of Health in the next period, much of it nowhere near as urgent or requiring the same level of scrutiny and sensitivity. It is this sort of carry on that gets the public service a bad name.

Hat tip to the Cork Irish Examiner for the story.

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