February 19, 2024
Sodium Valproate (Epilim) Inquiry
In November 2020, the Minister for Health, Mr Stephen Donnelly, announced that an inquiry would take place into the historical licensing and use of the epilepsy drug Sodium Valproate (also...
In the late 90’s, it came to light that the organs of thousands of children in Ireland were sold to pharmaceutical companies without their family’s knowledge or consent.
The scandal led to the then Minister for Health, Micheál Martin, setting up the Dunne Inquiry to investigate the incidents . Four years later, Mary Harney took over as Minister for Health and closed down the Dunne Inquiry. Minister Harney then appointed Dr Deirdre Madden to produce a report based on the contents of the Dunne Inquiry, which restricted her to making recommendations only.
In 2012, a set of standards and guidelines concerning retention, cremation, burial or return of organs to families was put in place. All Health Service Executive (HSE) funded hospitals are required to adhere to the guidelines.
An internal HSE audit which examined a 10% sample of all post-mortem files between January 2018 and October 2021 revealed the following: –
The audit found that the delays detailed above were linked to a shortage of perinatal pathology consultants. The audit detailed that due to shortages, retired specialists have been re-employed. One such consultant, known as Consultant A is over 70. The report recommends that Consultant A’s reports be finalised as soon as possible to allow for the disposal of any remaining retained organs in a sensitive manner. The audit goes on to recommend that the services provided by Consultant A should be reviewed.
The audit examined all HSE owned or funded hospitals and found significant failures in standards of care in several establishments. All of the Audit’s findings are in contravention with the HSE guidelines introduced in 2012.
The auditors have recommended a wider review take place.
Source: RTE News
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