Literature Review on Provision of Appropriate and Accessible Support to People with an Intellectual Disability who are Experiencing Crisis Pregnancy

In 2008, the National Disability Authority and the Crisis Pregnancy Programme (formerly the Crisis Pregnancy Agency) collaborated to commission a literature review to identify appropriate and accessible supports to women with an intellectual disability who are experiencing crisis pregnancy.

The document reviews the legislation around contraception and consent to sexual relations in relation to women with intellectual disabilities and the supports required for women with intellectual disabilities experiencing crisis pregnancy. The research also identifies the absence of clear guidance in Ireland with regards to assessment of capacity of people with intellectual disabilities to consent to medical treatment (including contraception) and the assessment of capacity of people with intellectual disabilities to consent to sexual relations. It concludes with a discussion of the issues raised and recommends that standardised procedures to inform assessment of capacity to consent to medical treatment and sexual relations need to be developed and should adopt a functional approach. It is to be hoped that the findings from the research will contribute to the development of national policy and legislative structures, standardised care protocols and accessible, tailored services, to ensure that the sexual health, pregnancy and decision-making and parenting support needs of people with intellectual disability throughout Ireland are met.

 

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