Statement by Consultant Psychiatrists expressing concern with Government plans on abortion

Statement by Consultant Psychiatrists expressing concern with Government plans on abortion

Below is the text of the Statement by Consultant Psychiatrists launched at Dáil Éireann today

25th April, 2013


• As practicing psychiatrists we are deeply concerned at the Government’s stated plan to legislate along the lines of the X-Case, as this will mean legislating for suicidality.

•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.

•Any proposal being considered by the Government must be based on a rigorous appraisal of the available psychiatric research and medical evidence.


The statement was sent to 302 consultant psychiatrists in Ireland.  They were asked to agree/disagree with the above statement. Respondents were given the option of ticking a box on whether they agreed or not. It was optional for respondents whether or not they signed their name to the statement. Respondents were asked to reply using an enclosed stamped addressed envelope.


127 responded out of 302 Consultant Psychiatrists.  This represents a 42% response rate

• 89.1% agreed with the statement (113)

•11% disagreed (14)

Therefore almost 90% agreed with the statement

Of the 113 who agreed, 68 chose to sign their name

Of the 14 respondents who disagreed, 4 signed their name

Additional information

320 names were taken from the Medical Directory 2012

The numbers were culled to exclude those not in any psychiatric practice, those who were deceased or living outside Ireland.  Any uncertainty was checked against Medical Register

Based on this, the survey was sent to 302 consultant psychiatrists

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