Wednesday 28 September 2016

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".

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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

Sunday Independent

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