I don't think there is enough info in there to form an opinion and then there is information in there that shouldn't be used to form an opinion. There is no talk about what other strategies have been used in the attempt to assist the woman with contraception. I do believe in CTO's for mental illness if the person is at risk (or the community) however the person needs to have been given numerous options for self management first. So maybe I would lean towards supporting management but sterilisation seems cruel.
While very sad, if this woman lacks capacity to make health care decisions, then a guardian has to make them for her.
Given her past history, both that she has experienced health issues in her pregnancy and she has concealed pregnancies and given birth at home in dangerous circumstances, potentially placing her and any unborn child's life at risk then I can't see any other option than sterilisation.
I can't imagine how traumatic it will be for her to be forced like that, but people who lack capacity to make health care decisions have medical treatments done `to' them every day.
Sterilisation is a contentious topic given the history surrounding forced sterilisations in the past but clearly this lady is placing herself and her unborn baby at unacceptable risk.
Wow. I can see the grave concerns. She (and her babies) are at high risk of death and she clearly doesn't have the cognitive abilities to understand the ramifications. Do I support sterilisation though? Truthfully I don't know where I stand.
If this woman is forcibly sterilised does that open up precedent? I know a woman that does not have an ID or developmental disorders but is a life long criminal and drug user and continues to have baby after baby that is taken from her. I'm going to be completely truthful here and probably get flamed for it - but it has crossed my mind that if forced sterilisation existed she should fit the bill.
So after all that, I really don't know what my thoughts are. On one hand I think those poor babies are being subjected to a high risk of death and danger and she isn't fit intellectually or emotionally to have them. But do we only draw the line of bodily autonomy with 'normal' women??? I don't have the answers.
It seems so cruel but, for professionals to be considering such desperate measures, it doesn't sound like this lady is going to improve and sterilisation is in the best interest of her and future babies, physically.
I guess with with long term contraception, there is nothing stopping her going and getting that removed herself from a GP.
I don't think it sets a precedent. There are existing provisions for sterilisation within the Guardianship Act
(1) The tribunal may consent, for an adult with impaired capacity
for the special health matter concerned, to sterilisation of the
adult only if the tribunal is satisfied—
(a) one of the following applies—
(i) the sterilisation is medically necessary;
(ii) the adult is, or is likely to be, sexually active and
there is no method of contraception that could
reasonably be expected to be successfully applied;
(iii) if the adult is female—the adult has problems with
menstruation and cessation of menstruation by
sterilisation is the only practicable way of
overcoming the problems; and
(b) the sterilisation can not reasonably be postponed; and
(c) the adult is unlikely, in the foreseeable future, to have
capacity for decisions about sterilisation.
(2) Sterilisation is not medically necessary if the sterilisation is—
(a) for eugenic reasons; or
(b) to remove the risk of pregnancy resulting from sexual
(3) Also, in deciding whether to consent for the adult to a
sterilisation procedure, the tribunal must take into account—
(a) alternative forms of health care, including other
sterilisation procedures, available or likely to become
available in the foreseeable future; and
(b) the nature and extent of short-term, or long-term,
significant risks associated with the proposed procedure
and available alternative forms of health care, including
other sterilisation procedures.
(4) An adult’s sterilisation, to which the tribunal has consented
for the adult, is not unlawful.
Someone who is a criminal or a drug user (although they may have fluctuating capacity when drug affected) does not necessarily lack capacity.
The law presumes everyone has capacity to make their own decisions. You cannot assume someone has impaired capacity without sufficient evidence.
‘Capacity’ is the ability to:
Just because someone has impaired capacity doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t make decisions. Many people with impaired capacity can be supported to make decisions for themselves. The law states that people with impaired capacity have a right to adequate and appropriate support in decision-making. (guardianship website)
- understand the nature and effect of decisions about a matter
- freely and voluntarily make decisions about the matter, and
- communicate the decisions in some way.
It seems this lady is unable to make safe decisions around pregnancy.
I have said for my years I support forced sterilization obviously there needs to be a good enough reason for it.
From the information in the article I would say yes I agree with them and something needs to be done
She is unable to make decisions that are in her own best interests. Her poor decision making is also threatening the lives of babies that she births. To protect the innocents she either needs to be sterilised or committed.
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