Doctors told to seek court orders in good time for expectant mothers who lack capacity

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 03 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5424
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1The BMJ

UK doctors caring for expectant mothers who are thought to lack the capacity to make their own decisions on childbirth have been told that they must seek court authorisation in good time if there is a real risk that more than transient force will be needed to effect the delivery or that the process will deprive the mother of her liberty.

Mr Justice Keehan has set out detailed guidance for trusts on deciding whether they need to go to court and the steps they should take.

The guidance comes in an annex to his full judgment in the case of a 24 year old woman with schizoaffective disorder, named only as FG, who was detained under the Mental Health Act and who believed that staff were conspiring to murder …

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