Wednesday 25 April 2018

Psychiatrists say they don't want to take part in assessment panels

Eilish O'Regan and Fionnan Sheahan

A GROUP of almost 70 psychiatrists will this morning tell TDs and senators they are "deeply concerned" at the Government's plan to legislate for abortion where there is a threat of suicide.

Adding to the reservations from psychiatrists on the legislation, a statement calling for any proposal to be based on a "rigorous appraisal of the available psychiatric research and medical evidence" was also signed by 68 members of the profession.

"We believe that legislation that includes a proposal that an abortion should form part of the treatment for suicidal ideation has no basis in the medical evidence available.

"We as psychiatrists are being called upon to participate in a process that is not evidence-based and we do not believe that this should be asked of the profession," the statement said.

The statement originated from a letter to colleagues sent by psychiatrists Dr Bernie McCabe, Dr Jacqueline Montwill, Dr Richelle Kirrane and Dr Martin Mahon.

Perinatal psychiatrist Dr Anthony McCarthy, of the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street, Dublin, said forcing psychiatrists to participate in this kind of system was an abuse of their profession.

Martina Devlin

Irish Independent

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