Deportation of ill woman is death sentence, warns Galway consultant

A Galway consultant has criticised the deportation of a seriously ill Nigerian woman describing it as a death sentence.

The 30-year-old woman and her two-year-old daughter were removed from the State on July 15 after the Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern, signed a deportation order in May. The deportation went ahead despite pleas by her doctor and lawyers that she be allowed to remain in the State for treatment for cancer.

Consultant haematologist at University Hospital Galway, Prof Michael O’Dwyer, had been treating the woman for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML ) which has a life expectancy of three to five years without treatment. Prof O’Dwyer had put the woman on an expensive new treatment, Nilotinib, which is only available on a limited basis in Ireland, and the disease went into remission.

Prof O’Dwyer had warned officials in June that sending the woman back to Nigeria would be a death sentence as she would not be able to access the kind of treatment she was receiving in Ireland.


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