Leading hospital says it will comply with abortion legislation

The Mater hospital has over-ruled a leading board member who insisted the facility would not comply with Ireland’s abortion laws.

Leading hospital says it will comply with abortion legislation

Fr Kevin Doran had last month claimed the facility would flout the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act.

Under the law, the Mater has been named as one of 25 “appropriate institutions” where abortions can take place in order to save the life of the mother.

Fr Doran, who is based at the Donnybrook parish in south Dublin, had said the facility “cannot comply” with the legal change as it is a voluntary hospital and has a Catholic ethos.

However, in a statement last night the Mater board said the hospital would comply with the law.

“The Mater Hospital has carefully considered the act. The hospital’s priority is to be at the frontier of compassion, concern and clinical care for all our patients.

“Having regard to that duty, the hospital will comply with the law,” it said.

A spokesperson for the hospital said Fr Doran was part of “discussions” over the decision. However, the priest — one of three religious members of the 13-person board as the Mater was set up by religious orders — declined to comment when contacted by the Irish Examiner.

In early August, Fr Doran was at the centre of a political war of words after claiming the recently passed law would be ignored by the Mater on religious grounds.

When asked at the time what would happen if the hospital chose to comply with the law, the priest said there would be “very serious discussion” between Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin and management at the facility.

While the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act allows for individuals to “opt-out” on a case-by-case basis, it does not allow an entire facility to refuse to comply with the act.

Individuals who opt out must ensure the patient involved can access all options available to them.

As a voluntary hospital the Mater, which is part-owned by the Sisters of Mercy, is technically outside of the HSE’s remit.

However, it receives millions of euro in funding every year from the taxpayer.

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