Intended for healthcare professionals


Caesareans without consent authorised

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 21 September 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:705

A high court judge authorised doctors to perform caesarean sections against the woman's wishes in two separate cases, it emerged this week.

In the two cases, heard coincidentally on the same day in June, Norfolk and Norwich NHS Trust and Rochdale Healthcare NHS Trust made emergency court applications while the patients were in labour. Mr Justice Johnson authorised the operations, in the Rochdale case after hearing only a two minute outline of the facts.

The woman in the first case, W, had gone into the accident and emergency unit of a Norwich hospital at 9 am, already in labour but denying that she was pregnant. She had had three previous caesarean sections, and the judge was told that …

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