The HSE says it has issued “clear guidance” to the heads of mental health services “detailing and clarifying the roles and responsibilities of psychiatrists in cases where a pregnant woman is seeking an abortion on grounds of suicide risk.
The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act allows for abortion where a woman is assessed as suicidal on the opinion of two psychiatrists and an obstetrician.
But an internal HSE document, overseen by Philip Crowley, the HSE national director for quality improvement, warned of the failure to always secure a psychiatrist locally to give the necessary second opinion.
In some cases this stage is having to be bypassed and the woman must go before a review panel to assess her case. . . [Full Text]