declaration ordering surgery was the right outcome. I saw a rigorous but caring and collegial environment in court, with a genuine commitment to involving P. Counsel for the parties adopted a clearly non-adversarial approach throughout. The focus for everyone was on making the right decision for P.
This was a case in which the judge and all the parties to the case (including the local authority) were doing their utmost to help a vulnerable young person against the backdrop of a nationwide shortage of appropriate provision.
By Ruth Fletcher, 5th July 2021 The decision in ‘An Expectant Mother’ is unsettling on many levels, not least because it takes a harsh legal approach when a care-full one is needed. Instead of paying even more attention to the experience of the agoraphobic pregnant woman at the heart of this case, somehow the judgment has endedContinue reading “On care, coercion and childbirth in the Court of Protection”
On 14th May 2021, BBC News and two national newspapers ran a story about a Court of Protection hearing concerning a 21-year-old woman with agoraphobia who is pregnant and wants to give birth at home. There is no published judgment available yet so these media reports are the only publicly available sources of information.
“… I remain hopeful that by highlighting cases such as Paul’s and learning from lived experiences of psychiatric survivors, we can make small steps that will lead to better experiences of treatment for those in mental health crisis.”
“…Two aspects of Paul’s treatment particularly interest me. First, that the restraint required is rather extreme. Second, that the patient had expressed a clear desire to be restrained as he wants to be dialyzed…”
“For Paul, the outcome was the one he wanted – at least at time of capacity…[but]…That decision was not his. it was a best interests decision made by the court…”
“…The person at the centre of the case (“F”) was described as an intelligent, articulate woman. She is 38 years old and has end-stage kidney failure. She had refused dialysis between 28 July and 11 August 2020 and was at a real risk of dying…”