Humanists welcome Sisters of Charity announcement to relinquish any role in new National Maternity Hospital and St. Vincent’s

29th May 2017

Humanists welcome Sisters of Charity announcement to relinquish any role in new National Maternity Hospital and St. Vincent’s

 

The Humanist Association of Ireland has welcomed today’s announcement that the Sisters of Charity are to relinquish ownership of their three hospitals and that they will not be involved in the planned new National Maternity Hospital at the St. Vincent’s site in Dublin.

The HAI especially welcome the commitment by the new St Vincent’s organisation to comply with national and international best practice on medical ethics and the laws of Ireland..

The HAI has been opposed to the proposed involvement of the Sisters of Charity in the running of the National Maternity Hospital since news of the deal first emerged.

However today’s announcement is very welcome news and a positive step toward separating restrictive religious influence and teaching from control of publicly funded services.

The Sisters of Charity announcement should now be reviewed by other religious orders who continue to operate in the health and education sectors.  We say this in full recognition of the wonderful contributions of these orders to health care in Ireland for more than 100 years.

We now await publication of the finer details of the plan for governance of the new hospital group.  In particular we await a clear statement on the difficult question as to how SVH and NMH will ensure that concerns for the ethical rights of staff do not preempt the ethical rights of patients.  Will cases be reviewed by ethics committees?  How will the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship be protected?

 

ENDS