Maternity chief accused of 'histrionics'
Published 13/01/2013 | 05:00
CLAIMS by Dr Rhona Mahony that obstetricians work under the shadow of going to jail were described as "histrionic".
Dr Mahony, who is Master of Dublin's National Maternity Hospital, told the Oireachtas hearings on abortion last Tuesday: "I need to know that I will not go to jail, if in good faith, I believe it is the right thing to save a woman's life, to terminate her pregnancy.
"I want to know that I will not go to jail and I want to know, by the way, that she will not go to jail."
Trevor Hayes, a consultant obstetrician at St Luke's Hospital, said he found her remarks to be "histrionic".
"I never heard of any doctor being concerned about the gardai coming in. When you are a doctor, your first law is to above all, do no harm. If you have to bring forward a delivery to save a mother's life, you are clear, as a doctor."
Dr Hayes was one of the signatories of a letter to the committee from obstetricians opposed to legislating for abortion. The letter protested at a perceived lack of balance in Tuesday's hearings.
The masters of two Dublin maternity hospitals gave submissions, both recommending abortion legislation.
analysis: 6, 20 & 21