Monday 15 July 2019

Hospital worker faces disciplinary action after speaking out against abortion in online video

Mayo University Hospital Photo: Google Maps
Mayo University Hospital Photo: Google Maps

Darragh McDonagh

A staff member at Mayo University Hospital is facing disciplinary action after criticising new abortion services in a video posted on a pro-life social media page.

The man appeared in the video wearing his hospital uniform and ID badge.

A spokesperson for Saolta University Health Care Group said there are “very clear policies” prohibiting staff from using the hospital name or logo to express personal views or participate in campaigns.

The employee clearly identifies himself in the four-and-a-half-minute video.

He says he recently learned that abortion services would be commencing at MUH towards the end of January, and according to the video told his manager that he "didn’t want to be there".

He adds that management agreed to reassign him to work elsewhere in the hospital, after he expressed his concerns.

The staff member claims that some colleagues were unaware that terminations would be carried out at MUH.

He suggests that abortion services are “being pushed on people” and urges women who are planning to have an abortion to reconsider their decision. “It’s a dark day for Ireland… that’s what I believe,” he concludes.

The video was posted on a pro-life Facebook page this week. It has since been viewed more than 15,000 times.

The man was asked to attend a disciplinary hearing earlier this week after management became aware of the footage, according to a hospital source.

A spokesperson for Saolta University Health Care Group said it does not comment publicly on human-resource issues relating to individual staff members.

However, they added: “Mayo University Hospital has very clear policies stating that staff cannot use the hospital, group or HSE logo or other resources to express personal views, participate in campaigns or make personal statements.

“The hospital has also very clearly defined patient confidentiality policies that are provided to all staff which prohibit them from discussing information relating to any patient or group of patients.”

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