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Saturday 20 September 2014

Fr Kevin Doran resigns from Mater Hospital board over new abortion law

Published 02/10/2013 | 10:40

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Fr Kevin Doran

A DUBLIN priest has resigned from the board of the Mater hospital in protest after it confirmed it would comply with the new abortion law.

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Fr Kevin Doran said he could not remain on the board of the hospital as a result of the move.

“I have resigned because I can’t reconcile my own conscience personally with the statement, largely because I feel a Catholic hospital has to bear witness.

“It’s about bearing witness to Gospel values alongside providing excellent care,” he told The Irish Catholic newspaper.

The hospital released a brief statement last week in which it confirmed it would comply with the new abortion laws.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said he wants the Mater to clarify its statement, explaining how the move could affect the Catholic ethos of the hospital.

The Archbishop told the Irish Independent that: “He believes the hospital has always been ‘scrupulous’ in trying to defend both the life of mother and the unborn child and the hospital has a great tradition of caring for very difficult pregnancies and doing it well within the ethos of the hospital over many years.”

The Archbishop is a member of the hospital’s parent company.

The hospital has already confirmed it will follow "the law of the land".

A spokeswoman for the Mater said: "I can confirm on behalf of the Mater Hospital that Father Doran has resigned.

"The Mater will not be any further comment."

In a statement, Fr Doran said the main issue concerned the clause in the new legislation relating to suicide.

"Women are entitled to essential medical treatment during pregnancy even when that treatment results in the unintended loss of life of the unborn as an indirect consequence," he said.

"This principle has guided Catholic hospitals for many years. The Mater Hospital has an excellent track record of service and care in the spirit of the Gospel.

"The Protection of Life in Pregnancy Act, in Section 9, envisages the direct and deliberate taking of human life as a social response to the threat of suicide. Women should always be provided with proper medical care if they are at risk of suicide.

"The deliberate taking of human life is not medical treatment, however, and is contrary to Catholic teaching which values each human life equally.

"Without prejudice to what might or might not actually happen in any hospital in the future, I could not, in conscience, support a statement which indicates without qualification a willingness to comply with the law as provided for in the Act."

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