Our recent post “Birth control” documented the high court case taken by Aja Teehan against the HSE for the right to give birth at home, attended by a HSE-insured midwife, in spite of unjustifiable risks to herself and the life of her unborn child.
The judge, Iseult O’Malley correctly ruled that it was not incumbent on the HSE to accept liability for the risk involved in a home birth under these circumstances.
However, despite ruling against Ms Teehan, the judge decided she should not have to pay the HSE’s legal costs, deeming her case to have raised issues of public importance.
This is entirely specious. Ms Teehan undertook a highly personal crusade to pursue her own misguided, self-interested beliefs.
This was never a human rights issue. If it was, then concerns for the safety of herself and child would have governed her actions.
It is certainly not in the public’s interest for a deluded, self-publicist to be allowed to indulge her reckless predilections.
And the decision not to award costs against her will only encourage similar crackpots to waste the high court’s time with their ideological grandstanding.
What certainly isn’t in the public’s interest is the €100,000 legal bill which we’ll now have to pay, taking much-needed funds away from our already beleaguered health service.