International Symposium on Excellence in Maternal Healthcare

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The International Symposium on Excellence in Maternal Healthcare was held on Sep. 7, 2012 in Dublin, Ireland. At the Symposium which was attended by more than 140 Irish medical professionals, experts in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, mental health, and molecular epidemiology presented new research, and shared clinical experiences on issues surrounding maternal healthcare. Particular attention was paid to the management of high-risk pregnancies, cancer in pregnancy, foetal anomalies, mental health and maternal mortality.[1]

Organizing Committee

Committee for Excellence in Maternal Healthcare

The Committee for Excellence in Maternal Healthcare organized the Symposium. This Committee is a group of physicians and other health care providers who are committed to achieving excellence in healthcare for mothers and babies. The Committee is chaired by Professor Eamon O’Dwyer, MAO, LLB, FRCPI, FRCOG. Professor Emeritus, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, NUI Galway.[2]

Also serving on the committee is Dr. Eoghan de Faoite, chairman, Youth Defence.[1]

Speakers

The following made presentations at the Symposium:[3]

  • Byron C. Calhoun, Professor and Vice-Chair, Dept of Obstetrics and Gynecology, West Virginia University-Charleston
  • Frederic Amant, Specialist in Gynecologic Oncology, UZ Gasthuisberg, Leuven
  • Priscilla K. Coleman, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Bowling Green State University in Ohio
  • Elard Koch, Institute of Molecular Epidemiology (MELISA), Center of Embryonic Medicine and Maternal Health, Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción
  • Jean Kagia, Consultant Obstetrician/ Gynaecologist, Private Practice
  • Monique V. Chireau, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Duke University Medical Center
  • John Monaghan, Consultant Obstetrician/ Gynaecologist, Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
  • Eamon O’Dwyer, Professor Eamon O'Dwyer, NUI Galway

Dublin Declaration on Maternal Healthcare

The Symposium's conclusions were issued in the Dublin Declaration on Maternal Healthcare which states:[1]

  • “As experienced practitioners and researchers in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.
  • We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.
  • We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”

Professor Eamon O'Dwyer, speaking for the Committee of the Symposium, said that the outcome of the conference "provided clarity and confirmation to doctors and legislators."

Clarification on Ectopic Pregnancies, etc.

Professor O’Dwyer stated,[1]

“Irish Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have previously pointed out that treatment for conditions such as ectopic pregnancy are not considered abortion by doctors, yet misinformation in regard to this abounds in public debate. The Symposium clarifies that direct abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of a woman, and that’s good news for mothers and their babies."

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Youth Defence: MAJOR MEDICAL SYMPOSIUM IN DUBLIN CONCLUDES THAT ABORTION IS NOT MEDICALLY NECESSARY TO SAVE THE LIFE OF A MOTHER., Sep. 10, 2012 (accessed on Sep. 12, 2012)
  2. ISEMC: About Us (accessed on Sep. 12, 2012)
  3. ISEMH: Speakers (accessed on Sep. 12, 2012)