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Fears for hospital

by
02 November 2006

THE Archbishop of Dublin, Dr John Neill, has discussed the future of Ireland 's only Protestant teaching hospital, the Adelaide at Tallaght, Dublin, with the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern. Dr Neill, who is president of the hospital's board, expressed concern that the facility might be downgraded.

"Our ethos is very dear to us . . . it is inclusive and patient-centred, with no ethics committee imposing standards" - a reference to the way in which other hospitals operate in Ireland, where they are run along broadly Roman Catholic guidelines.

The Primate of All Ireland, Dr Robin Eames, also expressed concerns, speaking in the Synod of the "inclusive medical ethos, long cherished by this Church and other Protestant Churches".

However, in a letter to the Irish Times at the weekend, Dr Robert MacCarthy, Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, accused Dr Neill of "playing the Protestant card" to garner sympathy with the government. "The new hospital will presumably be a state hospital, following state rather than Roman Catholic medical practice," he wrote.

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