Twenty Major highlighted something I have been meaning to write about. That is the rather odd (crazy?) decision of the Mater Hospital. I will try and tell the story in brief for those of you who have not read about it.
Brian Conlan, Chief Executive of the Mater hospital, along with the clinical trials advisory group, decided that it was against the hospital’s Catholic ethos to allow a clinical trial of Tarceva, a drug which is said to prolong life in patients with lung cancer. This was because women in the trial would be required to use contraceptives, as the drug could have catastrophic effects on an unborn baby. The trial was therefore deferred.
The Irish Times recently reported:
In June Mr Conlan wrote to the hospital board saying his group was receiving clinical trial applications which contravened the hospital’s ethos.
The Mater said the advisory group deferred its decision on the Tarceva trial because it knew another committee in the hospital, with three members, was drafting the wording of an extra information leaflet which would be given to trial participants and would reflect the hospital’s ethos.
Fr Kevin Doran, Mater chairman John Morgan, and a nurse tutor, Sr Eugene Nolan, are on this group which will report on its leaflet to a full meeting of the hospital board on October 18th.
A hospital spokesman said that if the board adopted the wording at that stage, the advisory group could give the trial the go-ahead.
I side with Twenty on this one:
The irony of a nun and a priest making a decision about contraception is hardly worth noting but this is the kind of shite we had to put up with for years in Ireland. We had a government but the church ran everything really. I really did think their influence had waned to a point where they were as insignificant as they deserved to be but there’s still a bit of life left in the rancid old dragon yet.