Judge rules pregnant paranoid schizophrenic woman must undergo Caesarean section

Psychiatrist said woman had a ‘child-like vision’ of birth

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The Independent Online

A judge has ruled a pregnant woman who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia will undergo a Caesarean section.

Mrs Justice Roberts gave specialists permission to perform a planned Caesarean section following a hearing in the Court of Protection in London.

Doctors said the woman's "level of unpredictability" posed a risk if a natural delivery was attempted.

A psychiatrist said the woman had a "child-like vision" of babies "popping out".

They said a delivery by planned Caesarean section was the safest option, a conclusion the woman's husband agreed with.

The judge said she was satisfied that a planned Caesarean section was in the woman's best interests and that the woman did not have the mental capacity to made decisions about treatment.

Any "deprivation of liberty" which was "necessary or consequent" was also in the woman's best interests, the judge ruled.

She heard evidence from specialists and the woman's husband at a public hearing on Tuesday evening.

The judge said the woman, who is Polish and is detained under the terms of mental health legislation, could not be identified.

But she said the health authority which had made the application could be named as the London North West Healthcare NHS Trust.

The NHS trust had asked the judge to rule that delivery by planned caesarean section would be lawful - and lawyers appointed by the court to represent the woman's interests had supported that application.

Mrs Justice Roberts said woman was not resisting undergoing a Caesarean section - but simply lacked the capacity to make an informed choice.

The judge was told that the woman was likely to undergo surgery within the next two days.

Additional reporting by Press Association