An Italian woman visiting the U.K. on a work trip was reportedly sedated and forcibly given a caesarean section by social workers last year after they obtained a court order saying the mother had suffered a mental breakdown.
She Was Forcibly Sedated by Social Workers. But What Reportedly Happened Next Is Unprecedented.
A woman was reportedly forcibly sedated and given a caesarean section in the U.K. after social workers obtained a court order saying she had suffered a mental breakdown. (Image source: Shutterstock)
The incident was first reported in Sunday’s edition of The Telegraph which noted that 15 months later the child is still in the care of social services, despite the mother’s claims that she has made a full recovery.
“I have never heard of anything like this in all my 40 years in the job,” the woman’s British lawyer, Brendan Fleming, told The Telegraph.
“I have never heard of anything like this in all my 40 years in the job.”
“I can understand if someone is very ill that they may not be able to consent to a medical procedure, but a forced caesarean is unprecedented,” he continued. “If there were concerns about the care of this child by an Italian mother, then the better plan would have been for the authorities here to have notified social services in Italy and for the child to have been taken back there.”
The 2012 incident occurred after the Italian woman, visiting on a work trip, suffered a mental breakdown likely related to an existing bipolar condition, according to The Telegraph.
The woman was reportedly detained under the country’s Mental Health Act and social workers eventually obtained a court order for the birth “to be enforced by way of caesarean section.” After five weeks of forced detention, the woman then says she was forcibly sedated and had her baby removed from the womb, according to The Telegraph.
John Hemming, a British lawmaker, said he plans to present this case to parliament.
“I have seen a number of cases of abuses of people’s rights in the family courts, but this has to be one of the more extreme,” he reportedly said.
“It involves the Court of Protection authorising a caesarean section without the person concerned being made aware of what was proposed,” Hemming continued. “I worry about the way these decisions about a person’s mental capacity are being taken without any apparent concern as to the effect on the individual being affected.”