By Michael Cook
Only doctors who are willing to perform abortions will be considered for two consultant posts at Dublin’s National Maternity Hospital (NMH). The hospital is advertising for a consultant anesthetist and a consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology.
According to a statement from the NMH the positions include the “provision of termination-of-pregnancy services, and are for individuals willing to contribute to the provision of these services.”
A source at the hospital told the Irish Times that conscientious objection guidelines for existing staff would remain as they were before.
Baroness Nuala O’Loan, of Northern Ireland, recently warned that the Republic would be entering “uncharted territory” if it made willingness to perform abortions a condition of employment. What if doctors changed their mind, feeling in conscience that they could no longer participate in abortions, she asked.
After a referendum last year which allowed abortion to be legalised, Ireland is expanding its services quickly to provide abortions. The health department’s budget provides €7 million in funding for abortion services this year and €12 million in 2020.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Bioedge and is reposted with permission.