Dr Peter Boylan resigns with immediate effect from the board of the National Maternity Hospital.
More as we get it.
Last night: Expectant
From top: National Maternity Hospital chairman Nicholas Kearns; Dr Peter Boylan
Dr Peter Boylan says he will not resign and says he feels a loyalty to the women of Ireland. pic.twitter.com/ylcRevFhad
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) April 25, 2017
A spokesperson from the hospital has clarified the reason Dr Boylan was asked by text to stand down from the board is that that is the means by which he chose to communicate on Sunday with the Deputy Chairman and the Master of the National Maternity Hospital.
In his text message to Mr Kearns and Dr Mahony Dr Boylan said:
“I’m sorry it’s come to this but I did try to warn you. The way out for both of you is to make it clear that you were misled by SVHG [St Vincent’s Health Care Group], you accepted their bona fides and assurances…Both of you and the Minister are inextricably linked in this and you will either sink or swim together. The way to get the hospital is to insist on CPO of Elm Park golf club land on periphery and establish links to SVH via tunnels/corridors. Minimal design alterations needed.”
Mr Kearns replied to Dr Boylan:
“Both the Master and I have received and read your text sent to us at 13.47 today.We are now asking for your immediate resignation from the Board of Holles St – both because of your public intervention to criticise and oppose the overwhelming majority decision of the Board taken in November last to approve the agreement reached with SVUH for the transfer of Holles St to Elm Park – a vote on which you abstained – and in addition because of the content of your text sent today. It’s intimidatory tone is most regrettable.
“The Board will clearly require to be briefed on Wednesday as to the contents of your text communication if your resignation as sought is not forthcoming.”
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Dr Boylan told presenter Cathal MacCoille he would not resign.
Cathal MacCoille: “This call on you to resign followed not just the meeting, several meetings which discussed this proposal but, specifically, a text that you sent at the weekend, can you just tell us about that text? Who you sent it to? And what you said?”
Peter Boylan: “Yes, I was becoming increasingly concerned about the controversy that had erupted following Patsy McGarry revealing, in the wider public…”
MacCoille: “This is in The Irish Times?”
Boylan: “The Irish Times, about a week ago now I think. And I was away when it was published. I only arrived back the next day, in the middle of the day to the furore that erupted. And I was becoming increasingly concerned that, as with the passage of time that the board members or the governors of the National Maternity Hospital, the shareholders had not been consulted about the deal which, one had the impression that it was completely agreed by the National Maternity Hospital. But I’d been assured, the board had been assured by the Deputy Chairman that the governors would be consulted and would take a vote on whether or not they agreed the deal.”
MacCoille: “Sorry, is there a difference between governors and board?”
Boylan: “Yes, there are 21 board members but there are 100 governors. So the shareholders had not agreed to the deal. So I was increasingly concerned about this. Originally, I was going to stay quiet until the meeting of the governors and raise the issues concerning, about my real concerns which I’d raised regularly at board meetings. I was getting kind of tired of it. And then the whole thing became public. And I was away and I was phoned, I got back, almost inevitably, by The Irish Times and I spoke to them and they said they would publish my comments the next day but Sister Agnes’s [Reynolds] intervention then took precedence.”
MacCoille: “Of the Sisters of Charity?”
Boylan: “Of the Sisters of Charity and she made it clear that in point of fact there was some doubt over whether or not the Catholic Church teaching would hold sway in the new maternity hospital and that was absolutely confirmed by Bishop Doran over the weekend and by a letter from the chairman of Ireland East [Hospital] Group Tom Lynch to the secretary general of the Department of Health some time ago warning that there would be ethical issues if the hospital was built on land…”
MacCoille: “Right. So. Sometime on Sunday, you sent a text.”
Boylan: “So, sometime on Sunday, I kind of felt, look, we need to sort this out and can we not sit down and talk about it and have some, there’s been call for calm heads and, you know, a lot of talk about misinformation which it transpires, actually, I was right. I wasn’t giving them misinformation…”
Boylan: “I sent a text..”
Boylan: “To Nicky Kearns, the deputy chairman and to Rhona Mahony, the Master. I said:
I’m sorry it’s come to this but I did try to warn you. The way out for both of you is to make it clear that you were misled by SVHG [St Vincent’s Health Care Group], you accepted their bona fides and assurances… Both of you and the Minister are inextricably linked in this and you will either sink or swim together. The way to get the hospital is to insist on CPO of Elm Park golf club land on periphery and establish links to SVH via tunnels/corridors. Minimal design alterations needed. Peter.
MacCoille: ‘And just for the purposes, so people know the whole story. That’s what you sent, the text you sent to Nicholas Kearns and Rhona Mahony and you got a text back from Nicholas Kearns, saying, Peter, I have it here and they’re happy that we should read it out:
“Peter, both the Master and I have received and read your text sent to us at 13.47 today [Sunday]. We are now asking for your immediate resignation from the Board of Holles St – both because of your public intervention to criticise and oppose the overwhelming majority decision of the Board taken in November last to approve the agreement reached with St Vincent’s Hospital for the transfer of Holles St to Elm Park – a vote on which you abstained – and in addition because of the content of your text sent today. It’s intimidatory tone is most regrettable.
“The Board will clearly require to be briefed on Wednesday as to the contents of your text communication if your resignation as sought is not forthcoming.”
MacCoille: “First question arising obviously, are you going to resign?”
MacCoille: “Why not?”
Boylan: “I don’t feel I should resign. There’s been questions about loyalty to the board. I feel a loyalty to the women of Ireland. The function of the National Maternity Hospital is to offer care to the women of Ireland. To believe that by granting ownership of the hospital to the Roman Catholic Church and the company that is tasked with running the hospital to the Roman Catholic Church, to construct a board which four of nine members would have fundamental objections to a lot of activity going on in that hospital, just is not a runner. And then when Bishop Doran came out on Sunday and said – a great article by Justine McCarthy and full credit to her for getting that – that any land owned by the church is ecclesiastical property and subject to Canon Law and the governance rests with the Pope. Now this is 2017 in Ireland. I tried to say to the board many times, ‘look when this gets public, it’s not going to fly’ and also, it’s not right that a maternity hospital, of all hospitals should be granted to the Catholic Church.”
MacCoille: “When this decision, the terms of this agreement were approved by the board did you vote against it?
Boylan: “No, I abstained, it was clear from…”
Boylan: “Well, it was clear, out of a sense of loyalty, I think to the Master and to the…”
MacCoille: “If you think, for the reasons just stated now, again, if they were your views, why didn’t you…”
Boylan: “Well, maybe I should have voted against it but I kind of felt look, the thing is going to pass anyway because there was overwhelming support for it, there was only four people, not three, who objected and, importantly, the three previous masters had reservations and did not support it with a vote.”
Previously: Nun So Blind
From top: The former Master of the National Maternity Hospital, Dr. Peter Boylan; NMH chairman Nicholas Kearns and From left: Kay Connolly, Chief Operating Officer of St Vincent’s Hospital, Minister for Health Simon Harris TD and Dr Rhona Mahony Master, National Maternity Hospital with a model of St Vincents University Hospital.
This morning on RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Sean O’Rourke the handover of the ownership of the National Maternity Hospital to the Sisters of Charity was discussed.
Rhona Mahony, Master of Holles Street, and Nicholas Kearns, chairman of the National Maternity Hospital defended the decision and addressed criticism from former Master of Holles Street Dr Peter Boylan
Sean O’Rourke: “The concern over the ownership and governance of the new National Maternity Hospital to be located at St Vincent’s Hospital at Elm Park, continues to grow. The new Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has said the hospital will have complete clinical, financial, budgetary and operational independence, however on Morning Ireland earlier, the former Master of the National Maternity Hospital, Dr Peter Boylan, said that in his view it’s inappropriate for the State to invest 300 million Euro of taxpayers’ money into a new maternity hospital that would have a strong religious influence.
With me now in studio are the current Master of Holles Street Dr Rhona Mahony and the Chair of the Hospital Board or he’s de facto the Chair, former President of the High Court Nicholas Kearns who both represented Holles St in the negotiations with St Vincent’s Hospital. Good morning to you both, you’re both very welcome to the studio. First of all, Mr Kearns, are you surprised by the controversy that has engulfed this move .. several weeks, a couple of months after it was announced?”
Nicholas Kearns: “Very surprised. In Holles Street we are surprised and disappointed in particular by Dr Boylan’s late intervention in such a public way in this whole matter, it’s very difficult for us to understand, he’s a serving member of the Board, a board which voted by an overwhelming majority to approve this agreement, this is in a sense nothing new, the idea of moving to the campus in Elm Park has been there since 2003, through all these years that followed Dr Boylan has been working in the hospital up to his retirement last year, the proposal has been there, nothing has been changed, when these latest round of negotiations began in 2016 we spent up to six months battling for exactly the kind of independence and safety of the ethos and practice of Holles St we could possibly obtain and we are satisfied and I am satisfied, Sean, as a lawyer that the arrangements we have put in place for independence are legally accurate and sound.”
O’Rourke: “And that agreement, has it been published?”
Kearns: “The full terms of it have not been published, this was an exercise conducted on a confidential basis throughout by [workplace mediator] Kieran Mulvey.”
O’Rourke: “At this stage might help if the whole thing was published and put out there and people could decide.”
Kearns: “In effect, the Minister has disclosed the key elements in these reserved powers and I was frankly surprised that people are not reassured by the binding nature of these reserved powers, can I just run through them quickly? Firstly, as one of the main objectives for the agreement it provides that under this arrangement the new company, the hospital in Elm Park, will provide a range of health services in the community as heretofore, such operation and provision to be conducted in accordance with the newly agreed clinical governance arrangements for the National Maternity Hospital at Elm Park by providing as far as possible by whatever manner and means from time to time available for the health happiness and welfare of those accepted as patients without religious or ethnic or other distinction and by supporting the work of all involved in the delivery of care to such patients and their families or guardians including research or investigation which may further such work. Now just very quickly the reserved powers and then I’ll stop. Continue reading
Dr Peter Boylan
“There are serious challenges when it comes to things like tubal ligation, IVF services, abortion, gender reassignment surgery, etc. None of these are allowed in Catholic-controlled hospitals around the world and it’s a puzzle as to why the nuns, or religious Sisters of Charity would want to be involved.
“I mean I can’t imagine them being comfortable with a hospital which is effectively under their control doing these sorts of things in one of their hospitals.”
Dr Peter Boylan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the National Maternity Hospital and Chairman of Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, speaking on Morning Ireland this morning about the ongoing national maternity hospital row.
St Vincent’s Healthcare Group is refusing to allow an application for planning permission go forward to An Bord Pleanala until the Holles Street board agrees to come under its corporate governance structure.
Meanwhile, in today’s Ireland edition of the The Times, Justine McCarthy writes:
What really upset St Vincent’s have been the legitimate concerns raised in the media about a hospital group that is owned by an order of Catholic nuns taking control of the state’s national maternity hospital.
Historically, the church’s grip on women’s wombs has produced some of the tawdriest and most tragic scandals of the Irish state.
Think of the mass graves in Dublin’s High Park laundry and Tuam’s mother and baby home. Think of the mothers who had their pelvises sundered during symphysiotomy and the dying Savita Halappanavar being told she could not have her doomed pregnancy terminated because “this is a Catholic country”.
The Religious Sisters of Charity ran three of the Magdalene laundries covered by the McAleese report, which catalogued the systemic indentured servitude of pregnant girls and women, and which led to Enda Kenny’s apology in the Dail.
The nuns have refused to contribute to the state’s compensation scheme for the women. Meanwhile, St Vincent’s group receives over €200 million a year from the exchequer.
Listen back in full here
Previously: ‘In The Interest Of Patient Safety’
Last night, Prime Time ran an item on TFMR (Terminations For Medical Reasons) with Katie Hannon revealing correspondence between the Master of the Rotunda Hospital Dr Sam Coulter-Smith and the Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health highlighting safety concerns of women who travel to Britain for a termination and return to Ireland half-way through the procedure.
Niamh Uí Bhriain of The Life Institute described it “as abortion in the case of profound disability and the misinformation needs to be dealt with….where we’re talking about bringing in abortion because a child has a disability however profound.”
David McCullagh was then joined by Dr Peter Boylan of the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street and solicitor Caroline Simons of the Pro Life Campaign for the inevitable FIGHT.
Watch in full here.
Previously: “Bad Law Makes Hard Cases”
A no-brainer for RTE_PrimeTime: if you show families who chose abortion, you must have families who respected their child till the end.
— Senator Rónán Mullen (@RonanMullen) October 9, 2014
Writing in yesterday’s Sunday Business Post, Dr Peter Boylan (consultant obstetrician and former Master of the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street) has called for cross-party support to either repeal or retain the Eighth Amendment:
The vast majority of Irish women who seek abortions do so in the UK. This avenue should not be presumed to be available forever. Growing public awareness in Britain of the extent to which we are exporting our problem, as well as on-going financial constraints in the NHS, make it likely that British hospitals will increasingly restrict access to women from Ireland for termination.
Our current law is governed by the 1983 Eighth Amendment, which provides for the equal right to life of the mother and the unborn. As we saw with the case of Savita, this has resulted in abortion being lawful only where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother.
Obstetricians find this difficult to interpret. Put simply, obstetricians have to decide how close to death a woman has to be before they can intervene and the woman herself has no say in the matter.
Psychiatrists have to assess the risk of suicide. In practice this really only applies to those who are not able to travel, the majority of whom are in the care of the state.
…I suggest that our politicians reach cross-party agreement, as soon as possible, that a referendum – whose sole issue should be the removal or retention of the Eighth Amendment – will be held at a specified date early in the term of the next government. Such political consensus would not bind parties to a particular stance on the referendum to follow, but would take much of the toxicity out of the issue of a referendum itself from the politics of the next general election campaign and lessen the kind of aggressive lobbying to which TDs have been subject in the past.
We can only hope thereafter for a mature, factual, and compassionate debate on this most difficult of subjects. In the meantime, bad law makes hard cases.
Previously: Dr Peter Boylan on Broadsheet
Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
Dr Peter Boylan, above, the Clinical Director of the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street, Dublin, appeared on RTE R1’s Morning Ireland earlier to discuss the first reported termination of a pregnancy apparently carried out under the provisions of the new abortion legislation.
Cathal Mac Coille: “What can you say about this?”
Dr. Peter Boylan: “Well, first of all, I’m not sure how the journalist knows that this is the first termination and whether, or not he’s got his facts right.”
Mac Coille: “Is it the first?”
Dr. Boylan: …”I have no idea! We don’t have access to all obstetric units in the country and I doubt if he does too.”
Mac Coille: “Is it the first in the National Maternity Hospital?”
Dr. Boylan: “No, I mean we would be caring for patients and making the appropriate clinical decisions, such as this, regularly.”
Mac Coille: “So just to be clear, are you saying that this is not the first such procedure cariried out under the terms of the new legislation?”
Dr Boylan: “No, well, I can’t answer that! There are reporting mechanisms put in place by the Minister, so that at the end of each year there would be figures available for the public.”
Mac Coille: “Again, just to be clear, when you say, you can’t answer it, you are the Clinical Director of the Hospital, and therefore”…
Dr. Boylan: “It’s not that I can’t, it’s that I’m not going to….(answer)”
Mac Coille: “You’re not denying it, so, you’re just saying that you can’t confirm or deny it?”
Dr. Boylan: “No, I can, but I’m not going to!”
Mac Coille: “Ok.”
Dr. Boylan: “Patient confidentiality is at the key of this whole thing, at the root of this whole thing. It’s absolutely unacceptable for a patients details to be splashed around the front page of a newspaper. One of the first things I’ll be doing today and we’ll be doing it next week is investigating and seeing who is the source of this information who has been giving this out to the public. it’s not fair on patients to do this. And it’s completely unethical if the doctor who was giving this information to the public…”
Mac Coille: “Is it not correct that the Minister for Health is required to publish a yearly report on terminations where they were carried out and the number of terminations. So that this is information that would in the normal course of events become available anyway?”
Dr. Boylan: “It will become available, in a global sense throughout the country, individual institutions will not be named, for obvious reasons. Patient confidentiality will be maintained. But to give our individual detais of a patient to a member of the press is absolutely unethical behaviour, by any medical personnel. And if it’s a doctor, then this sort of transgression,if you like, or bad behaviour could well end up before the Medical Council. Patient confidentiality is absolutely critical in our dealing with women in sensitive and difficult situations.”
Mac Coille: “And is that…, you mentioned the Medical Council’s regulations, what about, is there a particular code enforced at the National Maternity Hospital?”
Dr. Boylan: “There’s a code of confidentiality right across the medical profession. When a patient goes to see a doctor, that’s an episode that appears between the doctor and the patient. When a patient is in a hospital, anything that happens to that patient within that hospital remains confidential. And it’s absolutely critical that it stays the way it is, and its standards of confidentiality are maintained by serious professionals. This is not the sort of behaviour you can expect from a serious professional, it’s completely unprofessional to give details of a patient which allows her to be identified. And can you imagine her distress to find her details are spread across the front of a newspaper and being discussed in the news? It’s outrageous.”
Mac Coille: “Are you talking about a formal investigation, or what kind of inquiry are you intending to launch, and how quickly?”
Dr. Boylan: “Well, that depends on how easy it is! I mean, if someone ‘fesses up and says, ‘yes, it was me and I’m very sorry’, then that’s very straightforward.”
Mac Coille: ” If they do….” (interrupts)
Dr. Boylan: “The most serious thing about this Cathal, is the serious breach in patient confidentiality, that’s the most serious thing about this whole episode….. Patients will get the care they deserve, and we will not let any woman die in Holles Street, we will give her the appropriate care, but we will not have her details splashed around the newspapers.”
Mac Coille: “And if a medical professional were to say, they did it, if that were to arise and to apologise, would that be the end of the matter?”
Dr. Boylan: “It depends, it’s too early to say”
Mac Coille: “Dr. Peter Boylan, thank you very much!”
Earlier: First Abortion Mystery
(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)
Peter Boylan is being totally disingenuous when he says that a lot of people against the recent abortion Act did not know that the principle of dual effect is respected. Pro-life people are very well educated about these extremely important issues of life and death.
I wish the same could be said for the pro-Aborts. Fr. Doran was simply stating that the direct intentional killing of a child will not be carried out in the Mater. The Government can provide its own killing fields and its own abortionists.
It appears there are several willing candidates. The EGM of the College of Psychiatry of Ireland in September will have a lot of interesting things to say about the abuse of medical personnel to facilitate unnecessary abortions.
Dr. Boylan is of a Pro-Choice persuasion. He is not an unbiased observer and he was allover the media peddling abortion legislation until suddenly he stopped…and re-emerged as the “independent” expert in the Savita Halappanavar inquiry. Now that is over, he can get back into the game. And, surprise surprise, he is doing so!
Dr Seán Ó Domhnaill, above, of the LIFE Institute.
A response to Dr Peter Boylan (consultant obstetrician and former master of the National Maternity Hospital) on the comments by Father Kevin Doran that abortions could not be performed at the Mater Hospital in Dublin,
Previously: Dr Seanie, Abortion And The Big C
(Wanderley Massafelli / Photocall Ireland)
Dr Peter Boylan, (above) consultant obstetrician and former master of the National Maternity Hospital gave his reaction this morning to Father Kevin Doran’s comments that abortions could not be performed at the Mater, Dublin, top, because of the hospital’s “ethos”.
Here is some of what Dr Boylan had to say to Newstalk’s Breakfast presenter Shane Coleman:
“Well I suspect that Father Doran is speaking in a rather personal capacity and not representing the views of the hospital and I certainly hope that is the case. The whole purpose of a hospital is to save people’s lives and Father Doran is proposing that a woman in an intensive care unit in the Mater Hospital is denied a life saving operation because it goes against his personal ethos or what he would say is the ethos of the hospital, then that is an extremely disturbing thing to say”.
“You can imagine a scenario, say the Mater, for example is associated with the Rotunda Hospital. So supposing a woman who gets seriously ill is transferred to the intensive care unit in the Mater Hospital and needs a termination in order to save her life, and is Father Doran going to stand by her bedside in the intensive care unit and prevent the doctors from giving the care she needs to save her life? I mean it’s really..it’s just not on.”
“Well I can understand Father Doran’s personal view and one has to respect his personal view but he’s not a doctor and there’s too long of a history of the Catholic Church interfering in the care of women, particularly in the area of reproductive health in this state and they really need to back off and leave it to the doctors. It’s absolutely intolerable that a hospital would deny somebody life-saving treatment in the 21st century in a Western country. It just beggars belief to be honest with you.
Would he prefer for both of them to die? For the baby and the mother to die? A lot of people against this Act miss the point that if the mother dies, the baby dies also. So are they happy to stand by and watch a woman die and be denied life-saving treatment because it goes against their personal beliefs which are not shared by the doctors looking after the woman or by the woman herself or by her family? It really, you know we really need to move on from this sort of interference.”
Earlier: Nothing Really Maters
Previously: Right To Reply
(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)
Dr Peter Boylan responds to the eleven
members of Opus Dei consultants that attacked his credibility yesterday.
The signatories then go on to assert their certainty that termination of pregnancy can be performed “where ruptured membranes are accompanied by any clinical or bio-chemical marker of infection”. This is a truly astonishing statement. It implies that an elevated white blood cell count, which is a non-specific marker of inflammation, on its own would justify a termination of pregnancy. Such an opinion would not surprisingly be welcomed by those advocating a complete liberalisation of the abortion law in Ireland because, if adopted, would truly “open the floodgates”. I suspect that many of our colleagues in active clinical practice would not subscribe to this view.
Previously: Toxic Culture
(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)