Watch as 'Doctors for Life' warn removal of 8th will negatively impact Irish healthcare

The Doctors for Life group have warned that removing the 8th Amendment will see the introduction of an extreme abortion regime which will have an adverse effect on the delivery of healthcare in Ireland.

The group went on to for the people of Ireland to "protect mothers and babies and vote NO on Friday"

Doctors for Life is an organisation for doctors who wish to uphold the practice of medicine as a service to human life at all stages.

Chair, Dr Deirdre Gleeson is a Consultant Occupational Physician and GP explains how the group was formed to give voice to doctors who believe that removing the 8th Amendment will have an adverse impact on the delivery of healthcare in Ireland.

"Abortion is never necessary to save the mother’s life and is not a known treatment for any medical condition, in fact there is evidence that abortion causes harm to women’s health.

"Therefore, removal of the 8th amendment will not improve maternity care in this country and we believe that the introducing the government’s proposed extreme abortion regime will have an adverse effect on the delivery of healthcare in Ireland.

"We became doctors to protect and save life and we are not prepared to cooperate with any procedure which clearly intends to take the life of one of our patients and causes harm to another.

Ms Glesson went on to suggest that the government is proposing an extreme abortion regime to replace the 8th Amendment which Doctors for Life believe will have an adverse effect on the delivery of healthcare in Ireland.

"Abortion is not healthcare and does not help women and leads to the intentional ending of the life of the baby.

"We call on the government to focus in improving resources for women in crisis pregnancies and to implement a perinatal palliative care program as the best model of care for families who receive a devastating diagnosis of life limiting condition.

"Removing the 8th amendment will leave this government and future governments free to legislate for abortion on whatever grounds they chose without ever consulting the people again.

"This government is already proposing a radical abortion regime which we believe will negatively affect the delivery of healthcare in Ireland.

At a recent press conference five doctors from various disciplines revealed why they will be voting No on Friday. The speakers spoke in in a personal capacity as professional experts and were not representing the HSE or any other employer. Watch their testimonies below.

Dr Eileen Reilly:

Dr Eilen reilly is a consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology who graduated from Glasgow University in 1990. Dr Reilly trained in Obstetrics and gynaecology and worked in Ireland for many years before returning to her native Scotland where she works in a busy maternity unit. Dr Reilly discusses how laws shape our culture and that legalising abortion normalises abortion and adversely changes the culture of medicine and the care of women and their babies in pregnancy.

Dr Anne Doherty

Dr Anne Doherty is a Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist who graduated from NUIG in 2005 and trained and worked in liaison psychiatry in The UK before returning to Ireland. Her research interests include translational medicine and adjustment disorders. Dr Doherty discusses abortion and mental health.

Dr Marie-Therese McKenna:

Dr Marie Therese McKenna is a General Practitioner who graduated from UCD in 1996 and trained as a GP and is working in general practice in her native Donegal since 2000. Dr McKenna discusses the implications of introducing the government’s abortion proposals for General Practitioners and their patients

Dr Trevor Hayes:

Dr Trevor Hayes is a consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology who graduated from UCC in 1994 and trained in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He has worked in Ireland, Scotland and England. Dr Hayes speaks about how repealing the 8th Amendment will affect children with Down’s Syndrome.

Mary McConalogue:

Ms Mary McConalogue is a pharmacist who graduated from TCD in 2003 and worked in community and hospital pharmacy and research.

Ms McConalogue speaks about the implications of removing the 8th Amendment for the practice of pharmacy and her concerns about conscientious objection and health professionals.

The Doctors for Life contribution comes as the chair of the inquiry into Savita Halappanavar's death in Galway in 2012 called for a Yes vote in Friday's referendum.

The 31 year old Indian woman who was 17 weeks pregnant died at University Hospital Galway from sepsis, while suffering a miscarriage.

An investigation into her death found the 8th amendment played a role after her request for an abortion was denied.

While those on the No side of the Referendum debate have said her case is being misrepresented Prof Sabaratnam Arulkumaran said it was the constitutional ban on abortion which prevented Savita from being treated properly.

- Digital Desk

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