Hospitals and civic and scientific ethos


Sir, – In his speech last Saturday, Leo Varadkar presented to the world a picture of a new Ireland where publicly funded hospitals “are imbued with a civic and scientific ethos” and where “women should make their own decisions”. Mr Varadkar’s scientific insights were sharper last year when he observed that “there are people who take the view that human rights only begin after you’re born and that a child in the womb with a beating heart, the ability to hear, the ability to feel pain, should have no rights whatsoever. I don’t agree with that.”

An unborn child’s heart is beating no less strongly in 2018 than in 2017, yet Mr Varadkar is preparing legislation that will still it forever. Is the ethos he now advocates truly civic or scientific? – Yours, etc,


Law School,

Trinity College Dublin,

Dublin 2.