Judge gives permission for compulsory caesarean sections twice in a week

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 04 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1334
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

A High Court judge last week gave doctors the go-ahead to compel two women in NHS hospitals in different parts of England to undergo caesarean sections.

Mr Justice Hayden made headlines when he gave permission on Friday 31 January for a physically and mentally ill woman in London to have a caesarean section without her consent—describing it as a “draconian” step that he said happened “extremely rarely.”

But just three days earlier, in a case that received little publicity, he had ruled that doctors at Great Western Hospital in Swindon could force a “highly agitated” 25 year old woman with bipolar disorder to have her first baby delivered by caesarean …

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