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Doctors seek permission to terminate a pregnancy without consent of the disabled mother

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March 28, 2024

Medical staff treating a pregnant mentally disabled woman plan to apply to the High Court later this week for permission to carry out a termination without her consent.

According to a report in the Telegraph, the doctors, from an NHS trust in the south of England, will apply to Court of Protection at the High Court later this week for a legal order allowing the procedure.

Their patient suffers from sickle cell disease which has caused multiple strokes, and they believe her pregnancy could be life-threatening if allowed to continue. They say the woman, who has a “significant learning impediment”, cannot make the “urgent” decision herself.

The Court of Protection is empowered to make rulings about the welfare, property and finances of people who are not  capable of making their own decisions.

Sickle cell disease, also known as sickle cell anaemia, is an inherited condition in which blood vessels form an abnormal sickle shape. It is most common amongst people from parts of the world in which malaria is common, as well as their recent descendents.

Photo by Elliott Brown via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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