Court of Protection ponders hysterectomy for mentally ill woman

Family Law|April 5th 2014

The Court of Protection is to rule on whether or not a severely mentally ill woman should be given a hysterectomy, despite lacking the capacity to agree to the operation.

The woman, in her 30s, has been detained at a secure unit, and doctors say the operation is vital. However, due to her illness, she would need to be handcuffed during her stay in hospital, except when under sedation.

A lawyer representing the doctors told the court that she had been “…detained under the provisions of the Mental Health Act 1983.”

“She lacks capacity and requires medical treatment for a prolapsed uterus. It is proposed that she will receive surgical treatment, namely a hysterectomy, under general anaesthetic at [a] hospital.”

They added:

“For reasons of security, it is proposed that, whilst [she] is away from [the unit] for the proposed treatment, she is to be restrained at all times by means of handcuffs except when under the general anaesthetic.”

Mr Justice Peter Jackson will now rule on whether the operation would be lawful and in the woman’s best interests, given her inability to legally consent to the procedure.

The Court of Protection makes legal decisions on behalf of mentally ill or impaired individuals.

Photo by jasleen_kaur via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

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  1. Anon1 says:

    Doesn’t the MCA 2005 have greater application considering she lacks capacity?

  2. Family division judge reunites father with baby daughter - Marilyn Stowe Blog says:

    […] at the Family Court in Manchester, Mr Justice Peter Jackson […]

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