NEWS

Group of Donegal doctors oppose repeal of the Eighth Amendment

Six doctors refute claims that the Eighth Amendment puts the lives of pregnant mothers at risk

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

Editorial: Primary Care needs minding

Doctors on the ground say 200 GPs annually should be getting trained

A group of Donegal doctors has come out against the repeal of the Eighth Amendment in the upcoming referendum.

The six doctors said in a joint statement issued last night that they refute and take issue with claims that the Eighth Amendment puts the lives of pregnant mothers at risk.

Dr Michael Cooke GP, Dr Murrogh Birmingham GP, Dr. Kevin Bonner GP, Dr Maureen O'Carroll,  Dr Brian McColgan GP, and Dr Tony Delap GP say the Maternal Death Inquiry (Ireland) found that deaths in Ireland were extremely rare and this would not be the case if doctors were prevented by the Eighth Amendment from saving lives.

The statement from the doctors reads:

As pro-life doctors in Donegal we refute and take issue with the pro-choice movement's repeated claims that the 8th Amendment puts the lives of pregnant mothers at risk. This is not the case. As recently as December 12th 2017, the Maternal Death Inquiry (Ireland) found that deaths in Ireland were extremely rare - this would not be the case if doctors were prevented by the 8th Amendment from saving lives. In fact, the Medical Council guidelines in Ireland oblige doctors to act even if that means the baby's life may be lost. The guidelines state that during pregnancy rare complications can arise where a therapeutic intervention is required which may result in there being little to no hope of the baby surviving. In exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to terminate the pregnancy to protect the life of the mother while making every effort to preserve the life of the baby. In plain English, that means if a doctor feels that a pregnancy poses a real threat to the woman's life, even if that threat is not immediate, they may perform a termination of pregnancy, usually by delivering the baby*. In fact, our mortality rates are lower than the UK and USA where abortion is freely available.

The pro-choice lobby seems to claim that Mrs Savita Halappanavar died because of the 8th Amendment. Mrs Halappanavar in fact died due to chorioamnionitis and septicaemia which was mismanaged. There were three investigations into her death by HIQA, the HSE and the coroner. All reports concluded that her tragic death was caused by the medical mismanagement of a virulent form of sepsis. The coroner's inquest found that she died from medical misadventure. No mention was made of the 8th Amendment. Numerous medical personnel concurred with those conclusions.