HSE and Mullingar Hospital apologises to family of pregnant Athlone woman kept on life support

The Midlands Regional Hospital Mullingar and the HSE has apologised to the family of a 26-year-old Athlone woman who was kept on life support against her family’s wishes due to concerns over the Eighth Amendment almost five years ago.

Life support for Natasha Perie, who was a mother of two, was switched off on St Stephen’s day 2014, four weeks after she suffered a ruptured brain cyst.

The Ballykeeran woman was around 15 weeks’ pregnant at the time.

She was put on life support for four weeks until her family secured an order from the High Court to allow the life support to be switched off.

The court had heard that concern had been expressed over the implications of taking Natasha off the life support in light of the Eighth Amendment, which protected the life of the baby under the constitution.

Doctors had been concerned that taking her off life support could have breached the constitutional right to life of the unborn in the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which has since been repealed.

Mr. Justice Kevin Cross approved a settlement of €150,000 for Natasha’s daughter and said her mother had been kept alive due to an erroneous view that there was an obligation to do so pursuant to the Eighth Amendment.

He said the defendants had been given advice to this effect, but it was incorrect advice. The judge said Ms Perie’s daughter had been through a terrible time.

In their claim, the Perie family said they were traumatised and distressed by Natasha’s death and the continuation of life support against their wishes.

The High Court heard today that Natasha’s now 11-year-old daughter had been brought to see her while she was on life support and had been deeply distressed by her mother’s death.

The judge said he hoped she would now be able to put the case behind her and have a concrete memory of her mother and extended his best wishes to her and to her family.

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