‘Not The Solution’


From this morning’s Irish Times

This morning.

In The Irish Times.

Kitty Holland reports:

A girl deemed to be at risk of suicide who wanted an abortion was sectioned under the Mental Health Act because her treating psychiatrist said terminating the pregnancy was “was not the solution”.

In the case, which was before the courts last year, an order was made to detain the girl on the evidence of a psychiatrist who said that while the child was at risk of self-harm and suicide as a result of the pregnancy, “this could be managed by treatment and that termination of pregnancy was not the solution for all the child’s problems at this stage”.

A few days later, however, a second psychiatrist said although the “young girl” presented as being depressed “there was no evidence of a psychological disorder”.

…An abortion would have been performed under the terms of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act. However, it seems the Act was not invoked, despite her having been deemed suicidal as a result of the pregnancy by the first psychiatrist.

Further to this…

A petition – calling on Taoiseach-in-waiting Leo Varadkar to respond to the story – has been launched.

It can be signed here

Girl sectioned after psychiatrist ruled out abortion (Kitty Holland, The Irish Times)

61 thoughts on “‘Not The Solution’

    1. Barry the Hatchet

      No, not in and of itself. I suppose it’s a symptom rather than a disorder.

      Legally speaking, under the Mental Health Act 2001, people can only be committed involuntarily when they are suffering from a mental illness, severe dementia or significant intellectual disability, such that their mental functioning is seriously impaired. They must also meet other criteria (e.g. be a danger to themselves or others) and the involuntary admission must be likely to benefit or alleviate the condition. It’s not sufficient for someone to merely be depressed and to have suicidal ideation. Which makes a lot of sense when you consider how serious a step it is to deprive someone of their liberty and the agency to choose their own course of medical treatment.


      1. mildred st. meadowlark

        From what I have read, they misled the mother as well as the child/young woman. The mother and child came to Dublin, having been told that the abortion was going ahead, and they sectioned her instead. Now whether or not that’s true is one thing, but how could the authority of one doc override the mother/guardian consent, in a legal sense? Is it even legal?

        1. Barry the Hatchet

          I read that too, Mildred. It was pretty shocking. It’s not clear whether they were deliberately misled or just not kept properly and clearly informed but, either way, it’s a disgusting way to treat anyone – particularly a child who is suicidal.

          Leaving aside the above however, a child can be admitted without the consent of their parent/guardian where they have been examined by a consultant psychiatrist who is satisfied that the child is suffering from a mental disorder. The court then considers the evidence of the psychiatrist, and any other evidence before it, and is entitled to order that the child be detained. It’s the court making the determination – not the psychiatrist. And it does make sense for it to be possible for the court to in a sense “override” the parents’ wishes, as the court is charged with considering the best interests of the child (which will not necessarily tally with what the parents want). It’s a terrible situation for anyone to be in though.

        2. Daisy Chainsaw

          She’s being referred to as a girl, not a teenager or young woman. I would take that to mean she’s under the age of consent , so you’re talking about a 12 year old being sectioned. I wonder if her mother hadn’t been involved would we be looking at another situation where a suicidal woman/girl is incarcerated, force fed and cut open?

          I hope the mother has gotten in touch with some of the prochoice groups who can help with finances. If the girl had to go through this hideous process in the first place, it sounds like she couldn’t afford the costs involved to travel.

      1. postmanpat

        Nobody. The doctor is opus dei and so are the police chiefs and judges. She should have gotten help from an abortion rights group and traveled to England on the q.t. in the first place. Its too late now. She’s under the watchful eye of Vatican spies. Another unwanted child of the state to pass around from orphanage to foster home to foster home and will be easy pickins for sex perverts around every turn.

  1. Junkface

    Did they not try praying about the problem?

    …this country, utterly moronic sometimes. The mind boggles. #Repealthe8th

  2. jungleman

    I was under the impression that in Ireland people are regularly committed temporarily where they are a suicide risk.. Am I wrong?

      1. Sheik Yahbouti

        Yeah, thanks for that, jungleman. Females find themselves in this position owing to our bizzarre laws. I’m a veteran of the “johnnies only on prescription for MARRIED couples” modus vivendi in this sick faux Republic. I would venture to surmise that fewer young females would be suicidal in their pregnancies if certain referenda had not taken place. This should not be construed as saying I’m not in favour of arresting 13 year old rape victims – it’s only right and proper in this “great little country to do business”. Is there now a shortage of “Babies for Sale”? We specialize in ‘live exports ‘ don’t we?

        1. Daisy Chainsaw

          The “Babies for Sale” racket dried up when women decided not to be bullied into laundries anymore and their families decided not to care too much about what the neighbours thought about them supporting their child and grandchild.

          I’ve found that the kind of people who are antichoice also have a dislike for single mothers, probably due to them holding on to a commodity that could have been “given” to a more deserving (married, catholic, heterosexual) couple who are now forced abroad to buy their bundles of joy.

      2. Barry the Hatchet

        I’m afraid I don’t really have an answer for you there, Jungle. Suicidal people are certainly admitted involuntarily to psychiatric facilities. The point I was making above is that suicidality is not, in and of itself, sufficient for an involuntary admission. There are other criteria which must be met. I suppose this makes sense, as there are degrees of suicidality (degrees of risk) and different causes for same. There are lots of different methods of treatment that don’t require involuntary admission, which is really a last resort.

        As to the regularity of it, involuntary admissions are not that common (nor should it be in my view). To the best of my knowledge, there are about 18,000 admissions to psychiatric facilities each year in Ireland. I think about 12% of those admissions are involuntary.

        The figures are much lower for children (under 18), however. There are about 500 admissions annually and about 3% of those are involuntary. So the involuntary admission of this girl really does represent an unusual case – this sort of thing does not happen every day of the week.

        1. jungleman

          Thanks Barry. The reason I’m asking is the main issue here seems to have focused around whether she could be committed. The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act doesn’t seem to have been invoked. So a question arises as to what happened after the court ordered her release.

          Another question arises as to whether the second psychiatrist felt that abortion was the appropriate action to take.

          There was clearly a conflict between how both psychiatrists viewed her mental health status and also in how they interpreted the regulations within which they operate. There is also clearly a problem where psychiatrists are reluctant to go down the abortion route which was an inevitable consequence of placing the burden of decision on them.

          1. Barry the Hatchet

            Yes I don’t understand why a review panel was not established in line with PLDPA, once the first psychiatrist gave an opinion saying the girls’ case did not warrant an abortion. I suppose the girl’s parents must not have made a review application under the Act. But then it’s also reported that the girl and her mother believed she was going to have an abortion, so they may not have been informed that they could make an application for a review (information which the first psychiatrist would have been obliged to pass on to them) or that they even needed to make one. Lots of unanswered questions.

            100% agree with your comments. I hope the ultimate outcome for this poor girl is that she managed to get some proper psychiatric care, as well as the abortion she wanted.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      Sorry, Frilly, but if the young lady is with baby, it’s God’s will. It’s a blessing. Who are you or I or anyone else to question or hamper the holy course of God’s judgement? I ask you that.

        1. delacaravanio

          the irony here being that the psychiatrist was probably the one hearing voices: god’s

      1. Sheik Yahbouti

        And you are so right to do that, Brother, may enlightenment come to us both :-D

        1. Sheik Yahbouti

          (PS, Brother, I’m so sick of every hog, dog, and divil having a say over someone else’s serious dilemma)

        2. Brother Barnabas

          Indeed, Sheikh.

          Of course, in accordance with the Apostolic Authority of the One True Roman Catholic Church, I’m a good few rungs above your fine self when it comes to enlightenment and redemption.

          It’s not too late to swap your harem of virgins for a room in my father’s house. Could I persuade you?

          1. Sheik Yahbouti

            Ah, Bro, I’m still lusting after the sensuous Millie, who let both of us down, if I’m not mistaken. Still, gratitude to you, Brother, for your generous invitation! ;-)

          2. Brother Barnabas

            Suffice to say, the bold Millie will not qualify as a young virgin of unsullied mind and virtue.

          3. Bertie "the inexplicable pleasure" Blenkinsop

            Ah come on, tone it down lads, that’s somebody’s internet wife you’re talking about!

          4. Bertie "the inexplicable pleasure" Blenkinsop

            Yes, I’m the Father Ralph de Bricassart of Northside Dublin.

  3. Listrade

    So they didn’t even invoke POLDA. I thought only 3 doctors could make a decision on the impact of suicide risk, not just one.

    It now puts suicide into the Catch-22 insanity area. If you really are suicidal, then no termination, just committal to a mental health institution. If you aren’t suicidal enough for committal, then no termination.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      We shall presume this one doctor had the Holy Trinity guiding him, so technically that’s four in all. Nothing to see, move along.

  4. Nigel

    Well that’ll make people who need particular types of help think twice before looking for it.

  5. newsjustin

    Very serious medical issue and 60% of the comments on here are b/s-ing on religious bogey men.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      And what has fundamentally caused this serious issue, Justin? And doesn’t it deserved to be treated with contempt and ridicule? This issue isn’t complex or complicated; couldn’t be simpler – get the fupping church out of education, healthcare and everything else.

      1. Brother Barnabas

        They controlled people with mockery and judgement for decades, Sheikh. But they don’t like it turned back on them.


    Page one of the website…..

    “To: Leo Varadkar – Taoiseach in Waiting”

    Ok, so you email, deliver by hand the 3,000 sigs, then what?

    Page two of the website…..

    “Will you chip in?
    Together we can win this campaign”

    Wait you say I need to donate a min amount of 3 euro otherwise the petition page will not complete?

    I see you have 3,180 of 4,000 signatures

    So it takes 9,000 euro to post a letter.

    Have not seen any follow up to any previous ‘campaigns’

    What does the campaign actually entail?

    I mean will I get a parker pen just for making a donation & pictures of
    you hitting the email resend on list of signatures.

    How did your last anti vulture fund campaign go… haven’t heard any follow up.

  7. ReproBertie

    Speaking of religious bogeymen, while lamenting the loss of control over the new maternity hospital, Ronan Mullen pushed the line about repealing the 8th resulting in disabled genocide.

    ‘The Religious Sister of Charity Health Service Philosophy and Ethical Code will be replaced by references to “national and international best practice guidelines on medical ethics and the laws of the Republic of Ireland”.

    Remember that “international best practice guidelines on medical ethics” frequently involves the abortion of children with disabilities like Down Syndrome and terminations for mental health reasons.’

    (behind a paywall) http://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/secular-bullies-have-done-nuns-and-mothers-a-cruel-disservice-35785994.html

    This is clearly the line the Retain people will be pushing when we finally get a referendum but what it boils down to is that women can’t be trusted to make the choice the Retain people want them to make so they shouldn’t be allowed choose.

    Clearly he has no need to worry about “mental health reasons”.

    1. Sheik Yahbouti

      Repro, I hope you aren’t disrespecting our Foremost Amateur Gynaecologist?! Face down in pudenda he is, all day. (horrible job,but someone has to do it).

  8. Papi

    Trying to explain this to an office of Norwegians has them mystified and not really believing me. Yay Ireland! Cos God!!

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