High Court forced mentally ill woman to have caesarean section, newspaper claims

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 03 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7205
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

A pregnant Italian woman who was sectioned under the Mental Health Act after having a panic attack while staying at an airport hotel in London last year was forced to undergo a caesarean section by order of a High Court judge, it has emerged.

The birth took place 15 months ago, and the baby girl was taken into care by Essex County Council, which has received court approval to have her placed for adoption in the United Kingdom.

Brendan Fleming, the solicitor now representing the woman, issued a statement declining to “discuss the facts, evidence, or information in this case.” But Essex later set out a timeline of events after criticism in the media branding its actions “extraordinary” and “unprecedented.”

The council said it was …

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