More than anything, I hope for better advance planning for pregnant women with mental health challenges in the future, so that they can exercise their right to bodily autonomy (even if that means making decisions that others see as unwise or morally repugnant) and can have their wishes and feelings fully acknowledged and respected in best interests decisions made about them.
Despite guidance concerning applications for court-sanctioned interventions in childbirth, it’s common for cases to come before the court (as here) where women are within 4 weeks of their expected delivery, and judges regularly express concern that they are having to make decisions about childbirth for women close to (or even after) their due dates.
There had been two major changes in the situation since the first hearing a week ago. Firstly, SM’s baby was now in the breech position. Secondly, as expressed by Mr Justice Holman, the Trust was now “not necessarily resistant to doing some form of spinal anaesthesia on the day if that is her express preference and she is cooperative”.