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Abortion Act will be a 'logistical nightmare' for doctors say experts

The Life Institute has accused the Minister for Health of ignoring best medical practice in commencing an act permitting abortion, and has reminded him that experts say that the legislation will be a 'logistical nightmare' for psychiatrists. Minister James Reilly has signed an order allowing the Protection of Life During pregnancy Act to commence from January 1st.

Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute said that the Minister had ignored a previous warning from the Chairman of the Irish Association of Suicidology has said that legislation based on the X case would create a ‘logistical nightmare’ for psychiatrists if implemented. 

Dr Justin Brophy, a consultant psychiatrist, made his comments an interview with an Irish language newspaper, Gaelscéal. Dr Brophy said that medical judgements can be wrong and psychiatrists will be on a “hiding to nothing” if asked to adjudicate in these cases. 

He told Gaelscéal that suicidal intent is an 'easily fabricated condition' and that while psychiatrists can show that a woman is suicidal based on her stated symptoms, it is very difficult for them to prove that a woman who says she is not suicidal is not, nor is it their job to do so. "The Act now requires doctors to ignore best international medical practise, and to ignore the overwhelming medical evidence that shows abortion is not a treatment for suicidality," said Ms Uí Bhriain. 

"It's bad news for mothers, bad news for babies, and bad news for medical practitioners," she said. The Life Institute spokeswoman said the timing of the order smacked of the bad grace with which the Government had handled the abortion issue. "For mothers in crisis, and for their babies, James Reilly is worse than Scrooge and a whole lot meaner than the Grinch," she said. 

"At Christmas we celebrate the birth of a child, and we can do better for mothers and babies than abortion."    

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