High Court judge gives permission for forced caesarean section on mentally ill woman
Doctors say the mother had stopped taking her diabetic medicine and had attempted suicide
Saturday 01 February 2014
A mentally ill woman gave birth to a baby boy on Saturday by a forced caesarean section after a High Court judge gave doctors permission to perform the urgent operation.
Mr Justice Hayden gave specialists working for the Royal Free London NHS Trust the go-ahead on Friday after concluding that the woman, who was 32 weeks pregnant and is diabetic, was unable to make a rational decision over how to give birth.
The judge said a decision "compelling" a caesarean section was "draconian", but concluded that the woman lacked the mental capacity to regulate her diabetic medicine and monitor her own intake of food and water.
At a hearing in the Court of Protection in London, which specialises in issues relating to the sick and vulnerable, trust officials said the woman, 32, was in an "unstable mental state" and that she could not be treated properly.
The court heard that the woman was thought to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and had attempted suicide. She has not been named.
Mr Justice Hayden said: "The decision to compel a caesarean section on an incapacitous woman who is mentally and physically ill is an extremely draconian one.
"Doctors do not embark upon this lightly. It occurs extremely rarely. It is one that the lawyers also take very seriously indeed."
The woman's husband also has mental health difficulties and had initially opposed a caesarean section but had changed his mind and agreed to the surgery.
Lawyers representing the trust said the baby had been delivered without any problem in the early hours of Saturday and that no restraint had been necessary.
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says jobless migrants should be banned from entering the UK
- 1 Barbarians vs Samoa interrupted by sprinklers as fans criticise lack of Wi-Fi and poor seating at West Ham's Olympic Stadium
- 2 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 4 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night