Paranoid woman begs court to let her abort baby
she gave up pills to protect

 

A pregnant woman suffering from “severe” mental health problems has made an impassioned plea to a High Court judge, asking that she be granted an abortion.

The 37-year-old, who suffers from bipolar and paranoid delusions, had planned the pregnancy with her husband and previously seemed happy to be expecting a child. But last month, the woman, who is 23 weeks pregnant, became convinced that she wanted a termination.

Mr Justice Holman heard the case in the Court of Protection yesterday, which is expected to continue for several days.

The woman, known only as 'SB' is currently staying in secure mental health facility. For the woman's protection, neither her identity nor the name of the health authority can be reported.

She wants to have a medical abortion, rather than surgery, which means a decision needs to be made "within a matter of days".

She suffers from what doctors say are paranoid beliefs that she is being persecuted by her husband, mother and social services. Her husband has been restricted from visiting her since last week, because she assaulted him.

She is thought to have stopped taking drugs to treat her mental health issues at some point after becoming pregnant, in order to protect the health of her baby. Her doctor said the timing of this fitted with her gradual mental decline, culminating in her change of heart about the unborn baby last month.

She wanted to attend the hearing but her doctor advised against it saying attendance might worsen her condition. Instead she was allowed to submit a 23 minute video plea to the judge, begging for permission to have an abortion. In the film, recorded on Sunday, the judge reported her as saying: "If you force me to have this baby and lock me up I will try to kill myself." She is said to have added: "There's nothing wrong with me".

Her solicitor also reported her saying that she would kill the baby if she was forced to carry it to term.

The judge said he was "quite affected" by the DVD and decided to allow her to attend Tuesday's proceedings.

Dr T, a consultant psychiatrist employed by the NHS institution that has brought the proceedings said that her desire to have an abortion arose when she became unwell and that before that she had been enthusiastic about pregnancy. He said he was "100 per cent" clear she did not have the capacity to make the decision herself. "In my opinion she doesn't understand everything she needs to."

Previously close to her mother, seeing her every day, she is understood to have communicated much less in recent weeks. Her mother told the court: "I know my daughter very well. I've experienced several times when she's been in hospital. I know the symptoms; I know my daughter when she's well and she's definitely not well now."

The patient's husband was said to have told his barrister: "she's not herself". He did not speak in court, but observed the proceedings, often with his head in his hands.

Her doctors believe she has had access to cannabis in the secure mental health facility because she associates with those known to deal it - and because she has smelled of the drug.

Dr T said: "Drugs are available on the unit. There are some very creative patients on the unit that smuggle [cannabis] in in various ways. This weekend a different patient told us that she had been asking him to supply cannabis and he refused on the grounds that she was pregnant."

Dr T said he believed she had "the ability to understand the court proceedings," but that she was not capable of making an informed decision about her unborn child. "Because of her persecutory delusions she refuses to take on information which she should be taking on to perform a balanced decision."

Judge Holman also took the opportunity to tell lawyers to make further efforts in making evidence in Court of Protection cases available to the press. He said that the press needed to be given full information about cases such as these "otherwise misunderstanding of what goes on in the Court of Protection will continue and we will only have ourselves to blame."

The case continues today.

News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionPart of 'best-selling' Demeter scent range
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Data Warehouse Developer - (Oracle, PL/SQL, ETL, OLAP, B

£65000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: One of the global leaders in fina...

Deputy Education Manager

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Deputy Education Manager (permanent ...

Science Teacher Urgently required for October start

£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: We are currently recr...

ICT Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Group: We are looking for an outstandi...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering