The Medical Society in UCD are to host a panel discussion on the implications for medical students if the 8th Amendment is repealed. The 8th Amendment states “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

Speaking to the Tribune, auditor of the society Shane Kelly said “The majority of members are going to go on and be doctors and there’s certain aspects of being a doctor that aren’t addressed by UCD so we think that that’s our role and we need to fill in that void”. One of the ways they want to fill in the void is to host a panel discussion with 4 doctors, two of which are in favour of Repealing the 8th Amendment and 2 against. Shane explained “We feel that it’s something that’s going to directly affect our members in future in a way that won’t affect everyone on campus so we’re having a more focused event on that just to explain the way this debate may or may not affect our careers in the future.”

He continued “Obviously it affects a very small percentage of people in Ireland, the actual ins and outs of doing these procedures, the logistics of things that would come with that so it’s something that doesn’t get a whole lot of coverage but will have a massive impact. If any of us who go into Obstetrics and Gynaecology and this becomes legal, it’ll have a massive impact on just the nature of the job itself. So we’re hoping to shed some light on what the implications of the Yes or No vote in the future referendum would be. So it’s a slightly different perspective. ”

Speaking on the Repeal side will be Dr. Rhona Mahony, Master of Holles Street and Dr. Marion Dyer of Doctors for Choice. The opposition side will be made up of Dr. John Monaghan who addressed the Citizen’s Assembly and Dr. Eleanor Corcoran. Both are members of the group Doctors for Life. The panel will be chaired by Prof. Chris Fitzpatrick, a professor here in UCD. Prof. Fitzpatrick recently wrote a piece in the Irish Times detailing how he wants there to be considered debate about the 8th Amendment. Speaking about having him chair the debate Shane said “I’m not sure either side will be totally happy with him, it’s hard to find someone which both sides find appealing so it’s probably better to and someone who both side have problems with but he himself wants discussion regardless of his opinions so I think he’s the perfect person to have as Chair.”

The event will take place on October 17th at 7pm in the Health Science Building with a panel discussion followed by a Q&A. The event page can be found here.

Rachel O’Neill – Editor