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Consultant recalls clashes with hierarchy
[Posted: Wed 05/01/2011 by Niall Hunter, Editor www.irishhealth.com]
A leading Irish paediatric cardiologist, now retired and living in London, has outlined to irishhealth.com how he clashed with the Catholic hierarchy while holding a position as a senior consultant at Dublin's Crumlin Hospital and Professor of UCD from the 1950s to the 1980s.
On one occasion, Dr Conor Ward's position as professor of paediatrics at UCD was put under threat as a result of his inquiring about the possibility of arranging an antenatal test in the UK for a woman whose previous child had been born with a congenital condition, gargoylism.
At the time, the test - amniocentesis - was not available in Ireland.
Prof Ward clashed with two previous Catholic Archbishops of Dublin during his time at Crumlin - Dr John Charles McQuaid and Dr Dermot Ryan. These difficulties with Catholic authority and its diktats occurred despite the fact that Prof Ward is himself a devout Catholic.
In the interview, Prof Ward also recounts how in the 1960s he identified a hitherto unidentified genetically inherited cardiac arrhythmia which now bears his name Ward-Romano Syndrome.
Its discovery led to an advances in the understanding and effective treatment for this condition, a major cause of sudden cardiac death.
Prof Ward is firmly opposed to the plan to locate the new national children's hospital on the Mater site, and dismisses suggestions that the current opposition to the plan is a manifestation of age-old rivalries between the existing three children's hospitals.
He says there were plans to amalgamate Crumlin with Harcourt Street Hospital in the 1970s, but they never came to pass, largely due to the opposition of Archbishop Ryan.
Prof Ward says he is concerned at the growth of two-tier healthcare in Ireland in recent years.
Since his move to London in 1990 with his wife Pauline following his retirement from Crumlin Hospital, Conor Ward, now 87, has led what he describes as a personally fulfilling and professionally active life.
He has maintained an active interest interest in Down's Syndrome, has been heavily involved in the Down’s Association in the UK, and has written an award-winning book on John Langdon Down, who identified the syndrome.
Read the full interview here
|Anonymous Posted: 10/01/2011 16:02|
Such medically unsound meddling from the catholic church is probably mild considering the other heinous crimes commited by them.
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