Saturday 24 February 2018

Secular bullies have done nuns and mothers a cruel disservice

Modern Ireland will live to regret turning its back on publicly-funded healthcare with a Christian ethos

St Vincent’s University Hospital in south Dublin. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
St Vincent’s University Hospital in south Dublin. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Ronan Mullen

The words used by the Religious Sisters of Charity last week, as they announced their withdrawal from their own St Vincent's Hospital campus, showed how complete their rout had been.

St Vincent's public and private hospitals will be transferred to a charity called 'St Vincent's' but it will be saintly in name only. It will "not be subject to undue influence by individuals or from any source", the Sisters said - meaning undue influence by themselves. The Religious Sisters of Charity Health Service Philosophy and Ethical Code will be replaced by references to "national and international best practice guidelines on medical ethics and the laws of the Republic of Ireland".

It is noteworthy, and not a little sad, that on their way out of the door the Sisters could make no defence of the right of Catholic-run healthcare facilities to provide a distinctive product. Much less could they stress that Christian healthcare ethics are at the forefront of best practice. Remember that "international best practice guidelines on medical ethics" frequently involves the abortion of children with disabilities like Down Syndrome and terminations for mental health reasons.

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