St Andrew's Bans Abortion; New Hospital Policy Adopted

Article excerpt

ABORTIONS have been banned at St Andrew's Hospital.

The simmering row over the influence of the Presbyterian Church at the hospital yesterday took a new turn.

The hospital's board chairman, Reverend Andrew Clarke, in a statement said a new interim policy on abortions would effectively ban the practice at St Andrew's.

The church sacked former long-standing board chairman Treg Rowe and eight governors two weeks ago after the church feared the former board was attempting to overturn the church's influence on the running of the hospital.

The row centres on the hospital's abortion policy with the church attempting to take a hard-line moral stance on the issue.

Rev Clarke yesterday confirmed that a resolution was passed at the inaugural meeting of the new board on June 29 to change the current hospital policy on hysterotomy/abortion.

The current policy was in accordance with Queensland legislation where an C[pounds sterling]abortion is lawful when carried out if there is serous danger to the woman's physical and mental health from the continuance of the pregnancyC[yen].

He said the new interim policy would effectively mean there would be no terminations performed at St Andrew's.

C[pounds sterling]However, in the rare contingency where two specialist gynaecologists, in consultation with the medical director, deem that termination of a pregnancy is necessary to prevent life-threatening injury to the mother, and that the threat of injury is so imminent as to require intervention prior to the age of foetal viability, such intervention is ethically justifiable. …