What do Doctors say about all this?
Many doctors are concerned that they haven't been consulted, that their practice will not be able to do what they're required to, and that they will be forced to violate that basic rule of medical ethics: do no harm.
First, do no harm.
“In my career, I delivered almost 5,000 babies. On not one occasion was I prevented in acting to protect a woman’s life because of the 8th Amendment.” –Dr. John Monaghan.
Over 1,000 have signed a statement stating that neither the 8th amendment, nor any restriction on abortion, has any impact on the health care of pregnant women.
“As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child – is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.
We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.
We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”
GPs don’t have the capability to perform abortions The head of the National Association of General Practitioners [NAGP], Maitiú Ó Tuathail, has publicly said that:
“We’re not in a position to provide a GP-led abortion service. I don’t believe we can do it. No other country in the world does it, to the best of my knowledge,” he says.
The bottom line is we don’t have the resources, and nowhere else expects its GPs to do this. I don’t think that GPs can provide it, and I don’t think a GP surgery is the place for it.”
That their right to conscientious objective will not be protected
Under Head 15 of the government’s a doctor who refuses to perform an abortion is legally required to refer the woman to a doctor who is willing to perform the abortion.
This will mean that those doctors and midwives, who oppose abortion, will, whilst they won’t have to physically carry out the abortion themselves, have to set up the abortion with another doctor, and will therefore have to be involved in causing the death of one of their patients.
Phil Ní Sheaghda, the chief executive of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has said that “We have no interaction with the HSE about what happens if the referendum is passed. We would obviously have to sit down with the HSE to discuss any implications. What would happen for example if staffing levels were low and someone exercised their right to conscientious objection?