17/4/2013 Inquests into the death of Savita Halappanavar

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

Hysterical women and the maternity hospital delay (The Times Ireland edition, Justine McCarthy)

Previously: ‘In The Interest Of Patient Safety’

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54 thoughts on “Puzzling

  1. 1980s Man

    Archbishop McQuaid had the Garda Special Branch following people in the 1950s who were trying to remove the church from the health service. They simply used our own police force to spy on citizens who disagreed with the church. The proof is there, it’s on file in a number of archives.

    The RC in Ireland were subversives. Just like the IRA were. Subverting the rule of law when it clashed with their ideology.

    1. Otis

      And, once again, sorry for being repetitive, but these fu€kers are running our education system.

      Needs reminding just in case anyone actually believes we’re a modern state.

    2. Liam

      the current archbishop is the chairman of the board of the NMH – it’s already a catholic hospital.

  2. MoyestWithExcitement

    Could it be that they see the writing on the wall re societal attitudes towards women’s health and have decided that if they can’t prevent legislation, they can control available options for women?

  3. Clampers Outside!

    Nun ‘o your nonsense beeeeeeeeeatchs. Fupp off interfering in the states’ business. You nuns shirred responsibility on compensation and should be kicked out, off the board, given no say, have licence for medicine removed…. just fupp off already!

  4. ahjayzis

    If society pays for all their costs and all they contribute is the deeds to the sites they’re built on (while we stump up for building work, maintenance etc.)l, surely there’s a way to get rid of these bastards from our schools and hospitals?

    1. ReproBertie

      They’re currently holding the state to ransom. How impotent is our state that it can’t handle this sort of blackmail?

      To quote the Big Fella* “Give us the future. We’ve had enough of your past.”

      *From the Neil Jordan film, may not be an actual MC quote.

      1. ahjayzis

        Considering we’ve also paid compensation on their behalf to their victims it’s galling. The minister who signed off on it who didn’t at least take back state property for them in lieu wants fupping hanging, he really does. How is indemnifying a third party with public money not treason?

        1. ReproBertie

          That was Michael Woods who, in defending the deal, said that his “strong Catholic faith” made him the most suitable person to negotiate the compensation deal for abuse victims with religious institutions.

  5. fluffybiscuits

    This is the church attempting to exercise control over the autonomy of the bodies of women because they see their power failing. Classic patriarchy in action .

    1. jambon

      You know what most people think when they see the word ‘patriarchy’, they think along the same lines they do when they see the words ‘big pharma’, or ‘wake up sheeple’, just something to bear in mind. Also, nuns are women. #yougotmansplained.

      1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

        1) Those people are idiots.

        2) Women can also perpetuate patriarchy. I’d say nuns are a pretty good example of women existing in and maintaining a hugely patriarchal society, wouldn’t you.

        3) Nuns nuns go away, come back when someone gives a hoot what you think.

        1. jambon

          Yes, yes, you are right. They are sick effers. And yes, they are STILL trying to control women’s bodies, and by extension male autonomy too, as well as well as the minds and bodies of our boys and girls. Still, the word is lame. And brings to the debate all the gravitas a tumblr clown might.

          1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            I find it a pretty easy way of identifying people who have done a lot of research* into why patriarchy and feminism are killing the west, so swings and roundabouts

            * googled an MRA site and followed Nero on Twitter

          2. ahjayzis

            Really though patriarchy is being used in it’s original, intended context here.

            They actually use patriarch as a title, like.

          3. Tony

            I love the way that the words become more important than the issues around these parts. A linguistic Ouruborous disappearing up its own incoherence.

          4. jambon

            Dόn ‘The Unstoppable Force’ Pídgéόní: I think it’s probably the patriarchy, not feminism, that’s ‘killing the West’. But I would also add diabetes, unregulated capitalism and the fact that they took the cream off the top of the bottle of milk without giving us a reason why, to that.

          5. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            @jambon Not to mention changing the creme egg receipe!!!

  6. Malta

    Can anyone tell me, or link me to, the reasons the nuns are giving for demanding control? I mean, they’ve come up with something better than “if they’re on the same campus, they should be the same” right? Right?

    1. DubLoony

      Seems to be the case of 1 campus = 1 governance and making it sound all reasonable.

      As a tax payer I want my money going on patient centered care. Not propping up a bunch of old biddies who have never used their own reproductive organs but who feel absolutely entitled trying to control the reproductive organs of others.

      How much would it cost to buy them out, minus the compensation they owe or course?

      1. ahjayzis

        I think the fact Irish society has paid for every bit of building work, refurb, and every utility bill for generations entitles us to some equity. They probably owe us money.

        Maybe we’re waiting for the wretched old crones to snuff it? Can’t be that many left.

  7. jambon

    People need to be out on the streets protesting about this. Eff the Catholic church out of all our affairs. They are scum.

  8. fmong

    “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.”

    This… over and over again, on a loop, on till this country cops on and gets rid of the church from civic life

    1. Tony

      That will only happen when the country is willing to step in and fill the gap. It would probably take about 20 years to disentangle all the tentacles and manage our own affairs.

      1. ahjayzis

        We’d need a few new board members to replace the sisters, that’s about it.

        Clinical directors, management, admin, clinical staff, doctors are already public employees.

        Let’s not forget we already staff, fund and run hospitals and schools as a state, we just bizarrely pretend we don’t ‘own’ them.

        1. Tony

          Nah, I just hate lazy band wagony comments. The Catholic church can wither on the vine for all I care. They are rotten at the top. But does anyone have a plan? Just Shouty mcShoutface,.

          1. mildred st. meadowlark

            But so many have suffered at the hands of Catholic institutions in this country and there has been next to NOTHING done to rectify this, barely any recognition of this fact, can you blame people for being angry and disillusioned with the Church? This is far from bandwagon behaviour (see: Conor McGregor for a good example) – these are the consequences of years and years of Catholic control and abuse of power, and no acknowledgment or accountability from that institution for the unspeakable crimes they committed against men,women and children in the name of God.

          2. Tony

            I think a lot of people would beg to differ. Those who wrote reports, gave evidence, sentenced, fined, apologised, compensated, were imprisoned, investigated etc. I understand the anger, but anger doesn’t divest the catholic church of their power. I feel its just lame to keep shouting without offering a plausible way forward.

          3. mildred st. meadowlark

            I hear what you’re saying, but I can’t help but disagree with what you say about apologies, investigations, enquiries etc but these are not enough. What is the point of all of that when there is no follow up, no accountability, no action made to remove the Church’s influence from the State (and by this I mean a complete separation). All the stuff that happens before, the reports etc, they’re meaningless to those who have suffered unless there is real and tangible change, and as Don points out, removing them from positions of power and replacing them with civillians is a very credible step forward. As you said above, it could take years, but it needs to be done.

          4. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            People are giving a way forward. You’re point about it taking time is of cause true but a process of slowly removing the church and it’s reps and replacing them with ‘civilians’ is completely achievable and the alternative that is always suggested. Unless you are after a 60 point implementation plan which is unfair.

          5. Nigel

            Yes people stop being angry and shouting about it and it’ll all just go away.

          6. mildred st. meadowlark

            Oh good. My work here is done.

            *puts away megaphone, strolls off into the sunset*

      2. fmong

        that’s fine Tony, lets start right now.. if we wait till tomorrow it’ll take 20 years and a day

  9. The Real Jane

    The only thing that’s going to sort this sorry mess out is women declining to give birth in this country. Because the fact that holles st is full to bursting with women and their babies today and will be for the foreseeable basically means that women will have to tolerate the maternity care they get – once that baby is ready to come out, you’re basically in whatever hands you can get even if they don’t care whether you live or die so long as god’s precious gift draws breath (and then becomes someone else’s problem, obvs).

    1. ethereal

      It’s not just about giving birth though. And how do they decline to give birth here? What do you suggest the approx 70,000 women who give birth each year do?

  10. Jake38

    I’m not sure this is entirely about the sky man through his intermediaries on Earth telling the wimmin of Ireland what to do with their wombs. As the guy in the underground car park said…”follow the money”. Vincents “Healthcare” is all about ensuring that Vincents Private Hospital remains profitable by channelling all private paying patients on the campus into the Private facility. Ensuring that the new Maternity hospital on the campus does the same may be part of the ruckus over “governance”.

  11. Kieran NYC

    Even forgetting the religious aspect (and I’m trying really hard not to wish a whole heap of ill-will on Michael Woods), the nuns are proposing that the National Maternity Hospital be run by a for-profit, private organization, accountable to… who?

    Jeebus wept.

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