The College of Psychiatrists in Ireland are demanding clear clinical guidelines in advance of overcoming any abortion logjam
This will be one serious teething issue as the government continues to try make abortion in Ireland a reality. The latest abortion logjam involves real concerns by the Irish College of Psychiatrists. A near prohibition like order on engaging with review panels has been made to its members. These panels were established with the purpose of assessing suicidal ideation in pregnant women. The College feels that the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act needs clear clinical guidelines. Until such guidelines are in place, psychiatrists should abstain from participation with the review panels. This presents an abortion logjam for the government keen to deliver a broader healthcare system.
When might this abortion logjam be ironed out?
The government’s Department of Health have implied that the abortion logjam can be sorted early this year. The clinical guidelines are at an advanced stage. But given the clout of the College of Psychiatrists, acceptance of them cannot be a given. Considering the nature of their genuine concerns for their members as well as their clients, the guidelines might require serious revision. The government have being pushing so hard to roll out abortion in Ireland, at the expense of any real dialogue with medical professionals.
What are the genuine concerns of psychiatrists?
The concerns centre on issues in ethics, and areas the termination bill impinges on. The government’s seemly carte blanche approach to abortion portrays a tunnel vision mentality on the issue. What is at stake here is integrity. Does the psychiatrist sign off pregnant women on suicide ideation for the sake of an abortion? Should there be recourse to a second opinion? Do the guidelines have any secure foundation, without risk of changing haphazardly? There is the issue of psychiatric training for GPs and gynecologists as well. The abortion logjam in Ireland looks set to continue into the future, until the Department of Health begin a meaningful dialogue…
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