Saturday 24 February 2018

Mater Hospital says it will carry out abortions under new law

The Mater Hospital
The Mater Hospital

The Catholic-run Mater Hospital in Dublin is to allow its doctors to carry out abortions where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of a pregnant woman.

The hospital is one of 25 across the State which are listed as appropriate centres to terminate pregnancies under the terms of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act.

In a statement today the board said it has carefully considered the Act and said its  priority is to be at the frontier of compassion, concern and clinical care for all our patients.

“Having regard to that duty the hospital will comply with the law as provided for in the Act,” it added.

The statement followed earlier objections raised by one of its board members Fr Kevin Doran, a priest in Donnybrook in Dublin .

No hospital has a legal right to “opt out” of  terminating a pregnancy to save the life of a pregnant woman under the terms of new abortion legislation,according to the Department of Health.

However, Fr Doran said he would raise his objections the scheduled meeting of the board of the Mater.

He suggested that the European Directive on discrimination may make provision for the protection of institutional ethos.

During the debate on the legislation Health Minister James Reilly also made clear that a hospital funded by the taxpayer would have obligations under the law when he said: "We could not have a situation where a service being funded by the taxpayer could deprive a citizen of their rights."

All other hospitals will comply with the legislation.

St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin has that  its board of directors held its scheduled meeting in July where the legislation was discussed and it confirmed it would “operate within the law of the land”.

By Eilish O’Regan Health Correspondent

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