Judge who ordered mentally ill pregnant woman to undergo Caesarian birth insists that decision was in her best interests


Lewis Smith
Wednesday 04 December 2013 22:33 GMT

The judge who ordered a mentally ill pregnant woman to undergo a Caesarian section instead of a natural birth insisted that it was in her best interests.

Mr Justice Mostyn said there was a serious risk of a ruptured womb and damage to the baby should the Italian woman have been allowed to go through a natural birth. The level of risk was put at one per cent, described by the judge as “significant”.

He pointed out that the woman, Alessandra Pacchieri, had been represented by a Queen's Council at the original court hearing. The QC had been instructed by the official solicitor and agreed that a Caesarian was in her best interests.

The judge ruled that the Ms Pacchieri, who suffers bipolar disorder, can be identified by her maiden name but that the 15-month-old girl's identity be kept secret. The child was taken into care and is to be adopted.

Stefano Oliva, now Ms Pacchieri's lawyer, said in a radio interview that it was “absolutely unreasonable” to make her undergo a Caesarian. He said she should also be given a chance to prove she can care for her baby.

Ms Pacchieri underwent the Caesarian in August last year after suffering a “panic attack” during a trip to Britain. She has two other children, both of whom are in the legal custody of their grandmother.

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