“Would He Prefer For Both Of Them To Die?”


9030968317/4/2013 Inquests into the death of Savita Halappanavar


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.”

Listen here

Earlier: Nothing Really Maters

Previously: Right To Reply

Dr Peter Boylan and Breda O’Brien: The Transcript

When Dr Boylan Met Dr Kiely

(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)