Government’s abortion plans meets roadblock in Muslim doctors

The large numbers of doctors of Islamic faith staffing hospitals around the country may prove an obstacle to Government plans for abortion procedures to be easily available in all 19 of the country’s maternity units.

Large numbers of non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHDs) working in maternity units outside Dublin are Muslims from abroad, according to Dr Trevor Hayes of Kilkenny’s St Luke’s Hospital, who says he had been personally told that they have serious religious qualms about performing abortion. Medical Council data, quoted in The Irish Catholic this week, confirm the high number of Muslim doctors working in the country’s hospitals.

Dr Hayes, who was named Obstetrician of the Year in 2009 and 2013 by Maternity and Infant Magazine, told the Irish Catholic newspaper that a dependence on Muslim consultants is preventing Cavan General Hospital from introducing an abortion service, and that he suspects that conscientious objections from Muslims could block abortions from taking place in 12 of the country’s 19 maternity units.