Peter J. Martin
transparency, accountability and effective representation

Donaghadee - Councillor Peter J. Martin

Celebrating New Life

Monday 11th September 2017

As a father of three small children, I recently brought a proposal to Ards & North Down Borough Council to celebrate the thousands of new lives born into this borough and the healthcare staff who served women, unborn children and their families.

Celebrating New Life

It read,

“That in 2015–16 over 4,000 babies were delivered in our local maternity unit at the Ulster Hospital (the 2nd highest in Northern Ireland) literally bringing new life to our Borough. Council wishes to underscore that healthcare exists to support and nurture life and not to end it deliberately. In this context, Council warmly welcomes the excellent work which our Doctors and Midwives carry out for the health, life and wellbeing of women, unborn children, families and our wider community. It writes to the Chief Executive of the South Eastern Regional Trust to emphasise these sentiments”

At Council it was then amended by the Green Party who were deeply unhappy with the phrase “and not to end it deliberately” and requested that this be removed. A vote was eventually taken and I was very disappointed that the Green Party, TUV, Alliance and majority of the Ulster Unionists all aligned to support the Green Party amendment. I read out a definition of ‘Healthcare’ at the Committee meeting and then reiterated this definition during the debate that,

“Healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in human beings”

I believe that the job of Healthcare should be to sustain and nurture life. While I am still glad that the motion passed celebrating the new lives born and the healthcare given to women and their families, I am clearly very disappointed that so many Councillors believe that Healthcare also exists to end life very deliberately. 

Human life, in all its forms is a beautiful and amazing gift; my youngest son Zachary is just one of the 4,000 births that the great staff in the Ulster Hospital delivered that year. Life is something we should both value and treasure as very precious. 

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