Judge rules pregnant woman cannot decide treatment

Family Law|February 11th 2016

A 21 year-old woman expected to give birth in the next week is not able to make decisions about her treatment the Court of Protection has ruled.

She had been detained under mental health legislation as a result of extensive drug use. The mother-to-be had developed psychosis due to her use of cannabis and MDMA and was prone to violence. Doctors in charge of her care believed that this behaviour could put her, the baby and the attending medical staff in danger.

Although her mother told the court that the woman wanted to give birth naturally, Mr Justice Hayden ruled that she did not have the mental capacity to make informed decisions about her treatment.

The judge said he did not want to “micro-manage” the birth so he was leaving the decisions in the hands of her doctors. He granted the medical staff permission to perform a caesarean section if they believed it was necessary for the health and safety of the mother and child. However, he insisted that they “tried as hard as they can” to give the woman the natural birth she wanted.

Mr Justice Hayden also rejected the medical team’s request to allow handcuffs or leg straps to secure the woman during labour but said “chemical restraint” would be allowed if it was deemed appropriate.

Social services told the judge that they planned to take the baby from the mother immediately after its birth. The child’s long-term future is to be decided by a family court judge at a later date, The Guardian reports.

Photo by Frank de Kleine via Flickr

Author: Stowe Family Law

Comment(1)

  1. shawn r. willard says:

    (I DONT KNOW THIS MOTHER PERSONNALLY!!!) BUT OUTCH! I THINK THE SYSTEM IS OUTTA LINE !!!
    BIRTH IS A GOD GIBEN RIGHT!!!! (NOT A “GOVERNMENT GIVEN RIGHT”!!!!
    IT SOUNDS LIKE SOCIAL SERVICES JUST DOESNT LIKE THIS WOMMAN BECAUSE SHE CANNOT BE CONTROLED BY THEM!!!!
    (I KNOW I’VE BEEN THROUGH THAT B.S. MYSELF!! FOR ALMOST 2 FULL YEARS OF MY FIRST DAUGHTERS LIFE!!!!!IN VANCOUVER B.C.(VAC-FSS)…..ALL I WANTED WAS TO BE A FATHER WITH THE MOTHER!!! AND ALL VAC-FSS WANTED WAS THE MOTHER TO DO EVERYTHING ON HER OWN????????(WITHOUT ME!!!????? THE FATHER!!! )
    THEN ONE DAY I GOT SMART AND FIRED MY LAWYERS 5 OF THEM)ALL LEGAL AID!!!) AND I COURT ORDERED A FEW THINGS THAT WHERE VERY IMPORTANT TO BE ANSWERED BY (VAC-FSS) S/W’S @ PRE TRIAL THAT I ALSO FORCED THEM INTO!!!!! TO BE ABLE TO TELL THE JUDGE HOW ME AND MY WIFE HAD AND HAVE CONTINUED TO OVERCOME TOGETHER IN OUR LIFE’S TOGETHER!!!…. ANYWAYS LONG STORY MADE SHORT … VAC – FSS “COULD NOT”…more like “WOULD NOT ANSWER ANY OF THE COURT ORDERED QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED!!
    AND THEY GAVE ME BACK MY FAMILY!!!!
    AND I AM JUST SUPPOSED TO FORGET ABOIT THE FIRST 2 YEARS OF FATHER&DAUGHTER BONDING TOGETHER!!!! ( THAT VAC-FSS STOLED FROM ME!!!)
    ALL I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE SYSTEM…..
    IS …….??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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