The PLC has accused HSE Chief Executive Tony O’ Brien of glaring double standards following his comments today on the merits of undercover investigations in healthcare settings.
Following the disturbing revelations from the Áras Attracta Care Home in Swinford about the treatment of elderly people, Mr. O’ Brien said that “it is clear that sending undercover workers/reporters into care settings has a certain value in exposing practices that otherwise may have continued.”
This is in sharp contrast to his attitude towards the undercover investigation into the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) regarding life-endangering practices at state-funded pregnancy counselling services. These practices included telling women to lie to their doctors and say they had a miscarriage if complications arose following their abortion. Counsellors at IFPA clinics also coached women on how to illegally import abortion pills to self-administer without medical supervision.
Cora Sherlock of the Pro Life Campaign said:
“The glaring double standard demonstrated by Mr. O’ Brien, who is also a former CEO of the IFPA, is unacceptable. What has been revealed in the Mayo Nursing home case shows the importance of undercover investigations.”
“The stance of the HSE to date has been to ignore the wrongdoing exposed in crisis pregnancy counselling services. By their refusal to condemn the practices at IFPA run clinics, the HSE is sending out a message that it is okay for counselling agencies to encourage women to lie to their doctors and to falsify medical records.”
“Cover ups of wrongdoing in any healthcare sector cannot be tolerated”, Ms. Sherlock concluded.