Former Rotunda master not convinced termination of pregnancy a treatment for someone considering suicide

Dr Sam Coulter-Smith says "there isn't universal agreement between psychiatrists" on the subject

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Sam Coulter-Smith. Image: RollingNews.ie

The former master of the Rotunda Hospital says he is still not totally convinced that the termination of a pregnancy is a treatment for someone considering suicide.

Legislation introduced in 2013 allows for terminations in cases that present a risk to the life of the mother.

Sam Coulter-Smith says that there has not been an increase in the number of women seeking abortions on suicidality grounds since the new laws were introduced - despite his initial concerns.

However, he remains unconvinved that an abortion is required in these situations.

Speaking to Colette Fitzpatrick, Dr Coulter-Smith explained, "I'm not a psychiatrist, so I'm not an expert on mental health issues. Mental health is a huge issue in pregnancy.

"I'm not totally convinced - I've talked to a number of psychiatrists about this, and there isn't universal agreement between psychiatrists - that termination of a pregnancy is a treatment for someone who has suicidal ideation," he observed.