‘We’ve been down this road be­fore with re­li­gious’

Irish Daily Mail - - News -

DR Peter Boy­lan told Morn­ing Ire­land he was con­cerned about the deal for three rea­sons.

‘The hospi­tal will be 100% owned by the sis­ters of Char­ity,’ he said. ‘The sec­ond con­cern is that the Sis­ters of Char­ity will be the sole own­ers of the com­pany set up to run the hospi­tal and the third con­cern is the board struc­ture.’

Re­fer­ring to com­ments by a Re­li­gious Sis­ters of Char­ity nun in The Ir­ish Times, he said: ‘I think the point about full in­de­pen­dence and so on has been re­ally been ex­posed by Sis­ter Agnes and her com­ments.’

She had de­clined to com­ment on whether or not the Catholic ethos her con­gre­ga­tion es­pouses would in­flu­ence clin­i­cal de­ci­sions at the new ma­ter­nity hospi­tal.

‘It would ap­pear that she is speak­ing on be­half of the Na­tional Ma­ter­nity Hospi­tal as part of the St Vin­cent’s Hospi­tal health­care group,’ he said.

‘She was asked about whether or not the con­gre­ga­tion would in­flu­ence med­i­cal care pro­vided, she said she can’t make a judge­ment on that.

‘We have been down this road be­fore with the re­li­gious and the whole area of men­tal reser­va­tion.

‘What she prob­a­bly means is we can’t make a judge­ment on that now but wait un­til the hospi­tal is built and then we will make a judge­ment call.

‘This would make the new hospi­tal the first hospi­tal in the world… ef­fec­tively run by a com­pany which is owned by the Catholic Church to al­low things like IVF, ster­il­i­sa­tion, abor­tion, gen­der re­as­sign­ment surgery, etc.

‘This would be ab­so­lutely unique in the world and it is just not cred­i­ble.

‘The nuns need to be asked ex­plic­itly by the Min­is­ter be­cause it’s his re­spon­si­bil­ity he’s the one who can sort this thing out.’

He said he fully sup­ported the widely ac­knowl­edged need for a new hospi­tal, adding that the Elm Park pro­posal is ‘a su­perb de­sign but it’s just un­ac­cept­able for the State, our money to be given to the Sis­ters of Char­ity to build a hospi­tal. ‘It is just not on.’ And he pointed out, ‘The state is in­vest­ing €300mil­lion of your money and my money in a new ma­ter­nity hospi­tal.’

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