Monday, March 16, 2009


Youth Defence, Ireland’s top Pro-Life group, has hit out at the HSE (Health Service Executive in Ireland) for using taxpayers’ funds to sponsor a lecture supporting euthanasia, saying it was “absolutely unacceptable that the government is using our taxes to promote an agenda which targets the old and the vulnerable for extermination.” Spokeswoman for the pro-life organization, Íde Nic Mhathuna, said that the lecture should be cancelled and that if pro-euthanasia campaigners wanted to sponsor a lecture they use their own resources to do so.

The controversy has arisen since the HSE, through the Cork University Hospital, has issued an invitation to attend a 9th of April lecture entitled “Why Euthanasia Should Be Legalised”. The guest speaker for the evening is British professor Len Doyal, who in 2006 called said doctor-assisted deaths should be legalized and called for the law to enable doctors to give lethal injections even if patients cannot consent.

His extraordinary remarks prompted the organization Care Not Killing to say “Doyal is advocating the very worst form of medical paternalism whereby doctors could end the lives of patients after making a judgment that their lives are of no value and claim that they are simply acting in their patients’ best interests.”

“The people are entitled to know who authorised this lecture and who in the HSE is committing funds to a pro-euthanasia event,” said Ms Nic Mhathúna. “This is an abuse of our trust at a time when the government and the banks are being sharply criticised for being non-transparent and wasteful.”

“We’ve seen Baroness Mary Warnock and others in the UK say that people in need of special care are wasting resources. Is this the first step by the HSE to save money by killing off the old and the vulnerable?”, she asked.

The YD spokeswoman added that the event was clearly not an attempt to facilitate a debate, since the lecture’s title was not a question but a statement. “We’ve been contacted by a great many people who are very concerned that the HSE are pushing this agenda. They’ve asked us to organise a protest outside the event to highlight what the HSE are doing.”

Youth Defence urge all pro-life people in Ireland to call the General Manager of the Cork University Hospital, J. A. McNamara, on 00 353 21 4922133 to complain TODAY and to demand that the lecture be cancelled.

“The General Manager may say that it is a matter for the Hospital Ethics Forum since they have organized the pro-euthanasia event,” said Íde Nic Mhathúna. “But that’s just a fob-off. The event has been sanctioned by Mr McNamara and he needs to hear these complaints.”

Youth Defence said they would be raising the issue with organizations representing older people this week.

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