Intended for healthcare professionals


Concerned parents cannot have Down’s daughter sterilised, court rules

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 19 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1138
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

A “delightful, warm, engaging, and affectionate” 21 year old woman with Down’s syndrome should not be sterilised despite her parents’ fears that she could be taken advantage of and become pregnant, a judge has ruled at the Court of Protection in London.

The woman, named only as K, a student at a college for people with learning disabilities, had a hormonal contraceptive implant inserted in her arm by her GP, but it was removed after causing significant changes to her temperament. Her parents wanted her to be sterilised and she was referred to an NHS gynaecologist, Dr X, who agreed to perform laparoscopic sterilisation.

A matron responsible for safeguarding vulnerable …

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