Abortion debate: Bishop says medical care is about more than providing a service

The Catholic Bishop of Elphin says medical staff with conscientious objections to abortion should not even have to refer patients on to others involved in carrying out the procedure.

Speaking to Ocean FM News following a conference in Athlone on ‘Abortion, Disability and the Law’, Bishop Kevin Doran says there is an idea that healthcare professionals have a duty to do whatever patients want them to do, like providing a service to customers.

But he insists the idea that a doctor or a nurse would have a duty to be involved in the taking of human life is completely in conflict with what doctors and nurses are about.

Bishop Doran resigned from the board of the Mater Hospital in Dublin in 2013 after it confirmed it would comply with the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, which allows for limited abortion.

The bishop, who is chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Consultative Group on Bioethics and Life, says the interpretation of conscientious objection by medical staff is a matter of real concern: