Cabinet agrees on suicide risk - Reilly

Minister for Health James Reilly has said there are no differences in Cabinet on the issue of allowing the risk of suicide as a reason for terminating a pregnancy.

Minister for Health James Reilly has said there are no differences in Cabinet on the issue of allowing the risk of suicide as a reason for terminating a pregnancy.

 

Minister for Health James Reilly has said there are no differences in Cabinet on the issue of allowing the risk of suicide as a reason for terminating a pregnancy.

Dr Reilly said ministers were making good progress in advancing legislation for the ABC case, as required by a European Court of Human Rights judgment. There were complex issues involved with 50 different heads in the bill but the matter was progressing satisfactorily.

He said he was still on track to publish the bill by Easter. Legislation would be introduced into the Oireachtas during its summer session and the goal was to have it in law before the summer break.

“People want to have this issue clarified for women who have to use our health service and doctors and nurses who have to provide treatment,” he said.

Asked about the report of the HSE investigation into the death of Savita Halappanavar, Dr Reilly said he still hadn’t received it but expected to do so shortly. He declined to comment until he had received the report.

On Croke Park, he acknowledged this was a difficult time for the unions and he expected them to “let their feelings be known”. However, the country was also in a difficult place and had to cut the cost of public services. “We are borrowing €400 million a week to run our country, much of it to fund public pay.”

The measures proposed by the Government affected all public sector workers not just one particular group, he stressed. With goodwill, the issues could be resolved.

</p> <p><br/> <br/> The Minister was speaking this morning at the launch of Lollipop Day to raise money for research into oesophageal cancer.<br/> <br/> Ireland has one of the highest rates of oesophageal cancer in Europe with around 450 new cases diagnosed each year.<br/> <br/> Mr Reilly, whose mother died of the disease, said obesity played a huge role in the cancer while tobacco and alcohol were also major risk factors. Oesophageal cancer wasn’t spoken of enough and the survival rates were “poor enough” compared to other cancers.<br/> <br/> The minister said he wanted to see an increase in survival rates for oesophageal cancer in the same way that survival rates had increased dramatically for testicular cancer.<br/> Professor John Reynolds of St James's Hospital said the cure rate of patients presenting with the cancer had increased from 25 per cent to 45 per cent in a decade.</p> <p class="nosyndication bnvideo brightcove"><iframe height="475" src="http://www.irishtimes.com/videoplayer/rplayer.html?bctid=2177204723001" frameborder="0" width="600" allowfullscreen=""/></p> <p><br/> <br/> Lollipop Day takes place this Friday, running into Saturday.</p>

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