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Sunday 24 September 2023 Dublin: 18°C
# lucina
RTÉ received 31 complaints about a mannequin giving birth on the Late Late Show
The simulator is used by RCSI medical students to prepare them for the real-life labour ward.

RTÉ RECEIVED over 30 complaints about a birthing simulation robot which appeared on the show on Friday night.

The mannequin – called Lucina – ‘gave birth’ to a ‘baby’ live on the show, while being coached by tutor and specialist registrar Catherine Finnegan and medical student Ciara Malone from the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI).

There was some surprise about the use of the simulator on the show, with confusion expressed on Twitter:

RTÉ confirmed today it received 31 formal complaints to date about the mannequin.

During the segment, Master of the Rotunda Hospital, Professor Fergal Malone, told the show that the simulation mannequin “is the future” and helps the students be prepared before they move to the maternity hospital.

Lucina featured in this video from 2017: / YouTube

AIMS (the Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services Ireland) released a statement today calling for RTÉ to apologise for the segment. 

“There are so many things wrong here it’s hard to know where to begin,” said AIMS. “But let us start with the recent coverage of birth trauma on RTE Radio’s Liveline programme. In an unprecedented move, and due to the sheer volume of calls, Liveline aired the stories of people all over Ireland over 7 days…

“Then, only weeks later, the same broadcaster, RTE, decides to depict this very same style of birth ‘management’ as ‘entertainment’ on a prime time entertainment show.”

They added: 

“Doctors (and midwives) of course need to learn the mechanics of the seven Cardinal movements of birth in educational spaces, but to extend the use of a dummy beyond pure mechanics and imply that the dummy can actually be interacted with via conversation and instruction introduces the concept of a woman as a passive passenger in her birth, and as such is completely inappropriate, unacceptable and educationally counterproductive.”

RTÉ said it was not commenting on AIMS call for an apology. 

- Additional reporting by Conor McCrave

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