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RTE and Simon Mills cause huge distress to parents of bereaved children. Please support them.

Last week you spoke up for the families of unborn children with profound disability, and prompted a right to reply from Newstalk. Now we're asking you to do the same for bereaved parents whose children lost their lives to a profound disability, and who have been deeply distressed by the callous and erroneous claims made on RTE's Morning Ireland last Friday, 10th October 2014.   

Please read the powerful letter below sent by Tracy Harkin of Every Life Counts to RTE today, and then make your complaint. You can also listen to the interview here

What Simon Mills claimed was not only callous and cruel, it was also untrue.  

  • There are no conditions where any doctor can say that a child is 'not capable of bring born alive'

  • It is profoundly wrong to accuse parents, however subtly, of causing their babies to suffer "significant pain" - especially because the same parents did not abort them

  • Any palliative care expert will tell you that any discomfort these children feel is relived by palliative care

  • It is also extremely upsetting to parents to be told that their children are not really human or not really alive

  • Records show that 90% of Irish parents  who are told their children has a disorder which could be fatal, do not abort their babies. Now RTE is trying to make them feel guilty about that. This is unacceptable.

RTÉ should give a right to reply immediately. As a tax-payer funded, public broadcaster service provider, demand that they do.

Mr. Jim Jennings, Managing Director of RTÉ Radio : jim.jennings@rte.ie 

Mr. Noel Curran, Director General of RTÉ : noel.curran@rte.ie

Shane McElhatton, Morning Ireland Editor : shane.mcelhatton@rte.ie 

Morning Ireland : morningireland@rte.ie 

RTÉ Complaintscomplaints@rte.ie

Letter from Every Life Counts to RTÉ

Noel Curran, Director General, RTÉ

Dear Mr. Curran,

I have had calls from parents this morning who were very upset at an interview with Simon Mills broadcast by Morning Ireland today.

I listened back to the programme just now and I can see why they were so distressed.

Mr Mills stated that unborn children with 'lethal malformations' included "a foetus that is simply not capable of being born alive or a foetus that will die very shortly after birth, possibly in significant pain, possibly with very significant disabilities."  

He added that in the case of anencephaly the foetus would be unable to appreciate that it is alive.

This is absolutely reprehensible. Mr Mills made a subtle but clear accusation against parents who did not abort: he claimed they caused their baby significant pain. Furthermore he states that their children, because of their profound disability, are not really alive.   

It is simply disgusting that Mr Mills make statements that are untrue and cause so much upset and real distress to parents who gave their children nothing but love and compassion and the gift of time.

It is unacceptable that RTE did not challenge this position or bring a medical expert onto the programme to correct these errors.

You will forgive me being so direct but it is absolutely unacceptable that this man's cold-hearted and erroneous dismissal of our children was allowed to be broadcast as fact.

The story of these US parents who gave their baby so much love before and after birth has made global headlines.

Yet RTE have, yet again, caused distress and upset to parents this morning.

Yours sincerely,

Tracy Harkin

Tracy Harkin is mother to Kathleen Rose, a child born with Trisomy 13, often described as "incompatible with life". She will soon celebrate her 8th birthday.

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