Court rules in favour of caesarean for mentally ill woman

Family|April 30th 2014

The Court of Protection has once again ruled that a caesarean section may be carried out on a mentally ill mother.

The mother, in her 30s, suffers from a condition similar to schizophrenia. She has  a liver condition which meant both her she and her baby were at risk from a conventional birth. Doctors at her local health authority in Sunderland applied for the right to carry out the caesarean using sedation, saying it was in the woman’s best interests. Her father supported their application, telling the court that a “normal birth” would be “far too stressful” for his daughter.

High Court judge Mr Justice Hayden said there was “compelling evidence” that the woman lacked the capacity to evaluate medical advice. He noted that her health problems were intermittent and that she otherwise had a successful career. He said there was evidence to suggest that the woman would put the child’s interests first  and follow medical advice if she was mentally well.

Following the birth, the woman’s parents were to look after the child, until she was well enough to do so herself.

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