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Holles St chief backs panel of two medics

THE Master of the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street, Dr Rhona Mahony, has said that in cases where pregnant women are genuinely suicidal, they should be assessed by two psychiatrists backed up by a review panel.

However, she described the idea that they should be seen by a succession of doctors as unworkable and "not humane".

She was speaking after she gave a talk for Women on Air at the Radisson Blu in Dublin's city centre last night.

Dr Mahony said that she believed that it would be "very reasonable" for a woman who has expressed suicidal ideation to be assessed by two psychiatrists.

"They would be looking at her complete care pathway, not simply the issue of termination," she said.

"I think a woman's views should be respected and the woman's situation should be respected."

In order to safeguard the care pathway, a review panel – who would not meet with the woman unless she requested it – would consider the psychiatrist's recommendation and could then come to a "reasonable decision".

"She must not be made see doctor after doctor after doctor. That is not humane, it is not sensible or workable," she said.

Irish Independent