Doctors threaten legal action in abortion services row

The Business Post

Francesca Comyn

The issue of GP-led abortion services has proved highly contentious for various reasons including conscientious objection, workload and an existing services contract perceived by many to be sub-standard

The professional body for GPs is facing the threat of legal action from its members if it does not row back on its refusal to hold and extraordinary general meeting on the provision of abortion services. . .[Full text]

GPs are ignoring democracy on abortion issues

Doctors’ group is demanding members fall into line without expressing their concerns

The Irish Times

Breda O’Brien

The board of the Irish College of General Practitioners, the professional body for general practice in Ireland, has refused for the second time requests from some of its members to hold an emergency general meeting to debate motions on abortion.  

Why is the ICGP so afraid of democracy? This is only the latest twist in a long-running saga that began when Simon Harris announced in a radio interview that abortion services were to be GP-led.

This was the first that GPs had heard of it. They were already over-worked, highly stressed and leaving the profession in droves. Many were stunned that there had been absolutely no consultation with GPs. . . [Full text]

CEO of the ICGP Fintan Foy on the College’s recent EGM

Irish Medical Times

Fintan Foy

December 2, 2018 was a significant date in the history of the College for many reasons, when 310 members of the College attended an Extraordinary General Meeting convened by the College Board. This article provides an explanation on the background to the meeting and why the EGM as originally requested was not held.

I also describe the journey the College has been on since the Referendum result on the May 25, 2018. . .[Full text]

Conscientious objection: GP abortion meeting ‘bitter, chaotic, uncivil’

Dozens of doctors walked out of event claiming ‘serious crisis’ over abortion services

The Irish Times

Paul Cullen

Bitter, chaotic, uncivil and vitriolic are just some of the words used by doctors to describe the stormy extraordinary general meeting of the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) that took place behind closed doors on Sunday.

The meeting highlighted deep divisions within the medical profession on abortion (no less than in the rest of society) and on the specific issue of conscientious objection. . . [Full text]

Abortion services crisis as GPs walk out

But there are fears legislation will not have been passed by January 1

Irish Examiner

Catherine Shanahan

The prospect of women being able to access abortion services in Ireland in just four weeks’ time is looking increasingly uncertain following the escalation of a row between family doctors and their training body — and the snail’s pace at which the proposed legislation is moving through the Dáil.

An extraordinary general meeting of the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) held at the behest of members was thrown into disarray yesterday when dozens of doctors walked out in protest that their views were not being taken onboard ahead of the January 1 deadline for the introduction of abortion. . . [Full text]

GPs walk out of EGM over concerns about abortion services


Update: Dozens of GPs staged a walk-out of the Irish College of General Practitioners’ Extraordinary General Meeting today.

300 members attended the meeting to discuss the provision of abortion services by GPs.

According to the ICGP, 50 or so GPs walked-out after 30 minutes over objections to the official procedure of the meeting.

However, Killarney-based GP Dr Andrew O’Regan, who is Pro Life, said about one-third of the group of more than 300 walked out when the board of the ICGP “refused to accept members’ motions from the floor”. . . [Full text]

GPs critical of timing of ICGP meeting on provision of abortion services

Raidió Teilifís Éireann

Ailbhe Conneely

GPs who organised a petition calling on the Irish College of General Practitioners to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting on the provision of abortion services in Ireland, have described the decision to hold it in four weeks time as “wholly unacceptable”.

The 2 December EGM was announced in a statement by the ICGP board this evening, after it received a petition from hundreds of General Practitioners, who are concerned about the introduction of GP-led abortion services here. . . . [Full text]

Majority of GPs favour Eighth Amendment repeal, campaigner claims

Halappanavar death a watershed moment, pro-choice GP campaigner says

Irish Times

Barry Roche

A significant majority of general practitioners now favour repeal of the Eighth Amendment, marking a significant change in doctors’ views over the past 15 years, according to long-time campaigner for abortion services Dr Mary Favier.

She says the death of Savita Halappanavar in 2012 proved a watershed moment for GPs, as much as for the general public.

“The death of Savita Halappanavar: that was the watershed moment – as much for GPs as for society at large,” she said. “There were just so many people upset, right-minded people who just said: ‘Oh my goodness, that’s dreadful, how could this possibly happen?’ ”

Ms Halappanavar died at University Hospital Galway a week after she presented with back pain and was found to be miscarrying, 17 weeks into a pregnancy. Although the pregnancy was not viable, her requests for termination were refused because there was a foetal heartbeat. She then contracted sepsis and died of multi-organ failure and septic shock. . . [Full text]