“In my 40 years of practice I’ve seen many difficult cases
but I’ve never felt the Eighth Amendment had a negative
impact on the safe practice of medicine.” –
Dr. John Monaghan – a retired obstetrician and
Dr. Monaghan’s Story – “Doctors have always been faced
with the care and management of a woman who develops
serious illness when she is pregnant. Unfortunately, in these
cases, because delivery has to be brought forward, the baby
may lose his or her life.
“No doctor in Ireland has ever been accused of wrong
doing for intervening in this way to save a mother’s life.
This intervention is not the same as performing an abortion
which deliberately ends the life of the unborn child.
“There has been a lot of debate about the need to remove
the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution in the interest
of women’s health. The amendment does not restrict
doctors from acting to save a woman’s life when a serious
complication arises in pregnancy.
“The number of mothers who lose their life during
pregnancy in Ireland is lower than in the UK and considerably
lower than in the United States. People can be assured
that Ireland is a very safe country to have a baby.
“The reasons for repealing the Eighth Amendment
are not about healthcare, despite what is being claimed.
Doctors are being asked to end pregnancies where both
mother and baby are healthy. This goes against the clear
duty of a medical doctor to ‘first do no harm’ and a fundamental
call to preserve life, not to end it. The health issue in
this debate is being used as a lever to broaden the grounds
for abortions which are not related to health.
“In my 40 years in obstetrics and gynaecology I have
seen many difficult cases but I have never felt the Eighth
Amendment had a negative effect on the safe practice of