Doctors For Life

We Stand For A Natural Birth To A Natural Death For All

Press Conference 19th May 2018

Dr Deirdre Gleeson  Chair, Consultant Occupational Physician and GP


Good morning and welcome to Doctors for Life press conference. My name is Dr Deirdre Gleeson. Doctors for life is an organisation for doctors who wish to uphold the practice of medicine as a service to human life at all stages.

We believe that when caring for a pregnant woman that we are caring for two patients, the mother and her developing baby. The child in the womb is a fellow human being growing and developing like any other child.

The 8th Amendment is the provision in our constitution that protects the right to life of the unborn baby, while first ensuring the mother’s right to receive all necessary medical treatment to protect and save her life.

Abortion is never necessary to save the mother’s life and is not a known treatment for any medical condition, in fact there is evidence that abortion causes harm to women’s health. Therefore, removal of the 8th amendment will not improve maternity care in this country and we believe that the introducing the government’s proposed extreme abortion regime will have an adverse effect on the delivery of healthcare in Ireland.

Under the proposed bill, termination of pregnancy is defined as a medical procedure which is intended to end the life of the Foetus. We became doctors to protect and save life and we are not prepared to cooperate with any procedure which clearly intends to take the life of one of our patients and causes harm to another.  

Our Speakers today will speak in a personal capacity as professional experts. They are not representing the HSE or any other employer.

  1. Dr Trevor Hayes Consultant Obstetrician,
  2. Dr Anne Doherty Consultant Psychiatrist, 3. Mary McConalogue Pharmacist,
  1. Dr MarieTherese McKenna GP.
  2. Dr Eileen Reilly Consultant Obstetrician,

Dr Trevor Hayes: Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, graduated from UCC in 1994 and trained in Obstetrics and gynaecology. He has worked in Ireland, Scotland and England.

Dr Hayes will speak about how repealing the 8Th Amendment will affect children with Down’s syndrome.

Dr Anne Doherty: Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist, graduated from  NUIG in 2005, she trained in liaison psychiatry and worked in The UK before returning to Ireland. Her research interests include translational medicine and adjustment disorders.

Dr Doherty will speak about abortion and mental health.

Ms Mary McConalogue: Pharmacist, graduated from as a pharmacist from TCD in 2003 and worked in community and hospital pharmacy and research.

Ms McConalogue will speak about the implications of removing the 8th Amendment for the practice of pharmacy and her concerns about conscientious objection and health professionals.

Dr Marie Therese McKenna: General Practitioner graduated from UCD in 1996 and trained as a GP and is working in general practice in her native Donegal since 2000.

Dr McKenna will speak about The implications of introducing The government’s abortion proposals for General Practitioners and their patients


Dr Eileen Reilly:  Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, graduated from Glasgow University in 1990. Dr Reilly trained in Obstetrics and gynaecology and worked in Ireland for many years before returning to her native Scotland where she works in a busy maternity unit.

Dr Reilly will discuss how laws shape our culture and that legalising abortion normalises abortion and adversely changes the culture of medicine and the care of women and their babies in pregnancy.


Thank you all very much for your attention. To summarise our message today:

The 8th Amendment protects the right to life of the unborn child while at the same time ensuring the mother’s right to receive all necessary medical treatment to protect and save her life. Removing the 8th amendment will leave this government and future governments free to legislate for abortion on whatever grounds they chose without ever consulting the people again. This government is already proposing a radical abortion regime which we believe will negatively affect the delivery of healthcare in Ireland.  

I wish to thank our speakers   Dr Trevor Hayes, Dr Anne Doherty, Dr Marie-Therese McKenna, Ms Mary McConalogue, Dr Eileen Reilly

Doctors for Life also take this opportunity to launch our fact sheets on perinatal palliative care, abortion and mental health, the tragic death of Dr Savita Halappanavar and The medical reasons why we are calling for a No vote.

We wish to take this opportunity to direct the public to our website Irish Doctors for Life. Com where you will find evidence based medical answers to questions about abortion and maternity care.

Finally, we ask the people of Ireland to stand with us to protect the 8th Amendment and to protect mothers and babies and vote NO on May 25th

We are happy to take questions.


In Conclusion, the scientific evidence shows that the unborn child is a human being, a child growing and developing like any other even from the early weeks of pregnancy.

The 8Th Amendment provides the unborn child with the basic human right of the right to life. in the referendum on 25th May we are being asked to vote away the right to life of the most vulnerable members of our society…the unborn child.

The government is proposing an extreme abortion regime to replace the 8th Amendment, which we believe will have an adverse effect on the delivery of healthcare in Ireland.

Abortion is not healthcare and does not help women and leads to the intentional ending of the life of the baby.

We call on the government to focus in improving resources for women in crisis pregnancies and to implement a perinatal palliative care program as the best model of care for families who receive a devastating diagnosis of life limiting condition.

Please refer to the Doctors for Life website and fact sheets for further information.

Thank you all for your participation today.

Dr Deirdre Gleeson, Chair of meeting 19/05/2018

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