Monday 19 March 2018

Doctors weigh into maternity hospital row

The National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street Photo Damien Eagers / Irish Independent
The National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street Photo Damien Eagers / Irish Independent
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The implementation of the law allowing for abortion where the life of a pregnant women is at risk may be affected if the new National Maternity Hospital is taken over by another religious-dominated board, the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has warned.

Dr Peter Boylan, chairman of the doctors' group, was commenting as a row over control of the proposed new maternity hospital, earmarked to be built in the campus of St Vincent's Hospital, raged.

St Vincent's Healthcare Group, which also controls the private hospital on the site, wants to take over governance of the new maternity hospital.

The board of the maternity hospital, in outdated premises in Holles Street, is objecting and wants to maintain control, retaining the post of master.

The St Vincent's board meets on Thursday to discuss the deadlock. The sole shareholders in the private company are the Religious Sisters of Charity.

In a letter to the Irish Independent today, Dr Boylan warns the Institute has "concerns about the implications" of the proposed governance structure.

The concerns relate to women's reproductive healthcare, given the control of the Religious Sisters of Charity.

"Catholic-controlled hospitals around the world forbid the provision of modern contraceptive services, IVF, sterilisation operations, and gender reassignment surgery. We also have concerns in this respect about the implementation of the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Act," Dr Boylan said.

Irish Independent

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