The 8th Amendment
Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland (SBHI) acknowledges the conversation surrounding the expected upcoming referendum on the Eight Amendment. At SBHI we are committed to campaigning for everyone to be given consistent and accurate information when given a diagnosis of spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus in pregnancy.
We ask all Healthcare professionals who relay a diagnosis to:
- Choose your words carefully and with compassion. This will be a difficult day in their lives and your words and approach will likely be remembered.
- Acknowledge your level of understanding around spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus. What you know may not necessarily reflect the current advances in medical care. If you don’t know, let the parents know that you will find more information, or refer them to someone who can assist. This will be a difficult day in their lives and your words and approach will likely be remembered.
- Be mindful not to infer blame; it is no one’s fault. While we know a number of factors that might be associated with SB, we really don’t understand all the genetic and environmental factors and interactions that cause SB/H.
- Direct families to Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland (SBHI).
SBHI is a national disability organisation supporting over 2000 people across Ireland. SBHI has many resources that are useful and informative to families. Parents, their families, or healthcare professionals may contact our Family Support Team at any time. The role of the Family Support Team is to guide and support parents during challenging times.
Whatever the outcome of the expected referendum on the Eight Amendment, the guidance outlined above should be implemented for the benefit of anyone receiving a diagnosis during pregnancy.