IVF, sterilisation and morning-after pill banned by Sisters of Charity

Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Bishop Kevin Doran may have been speaking “in general terms” last Sunday about healthcare provision in Catholic-run institutions, but he accurately reflected the views of the Sisters of Charity.

Replying to the Sunday Times, the chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Bioethics said Catholic hospitals have an obligation to care for all those who need it. However, they have to have “a special responsibility . . . to Catholic teachings about the value of human life and the dignity and the ultimate destiny of the human person.

“Public funding, while it brings with it other legal and moral obligations, does not change that responsibility,” said the Bishop of Elphin, who was in touch with the newspaper from Lourdes.

In an April 2010 document, Religious Sisters of Charity Health Service – Philosophy and Ethical Code – the last such document known to have been issued, the Sisters of Charity laid down clear rules for what should happen in their hospitals.

The morning-after pill is not permitted, while in vitro fertilisation, vasectomies, the sterilisation of women and abortion are always beyond the ethics Pale, too.

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