Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice What Your Patient is Thinking

Losing my licence meant I lost my independence

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 04 June 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1405

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  1. Zoe Barber
  1. zbarber{at}

Zoe Barber describes how losing her driving licence affected her and how health professionals could have helped her better prepare for this lack of independence.

In 2019 I gave birth to twins via planned caesarean section. Shortly after their birth I had a large haemorrhage and needed to return to theatre. While the team was preparing me for theatre I became unwell and had a seizure, which was later confirmed to be a result of eclampsia. Thanks to the prompt and expert care of my healthcare teams I made a full recovery, and my babies were healthy and well.

Informing the DVLA

Later, a friend told me that I should inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) about the seizure. Although I was aware of the DVLA’s guidance on driving after a caesarean section, I hadn’t thought about informing them of my eclampsia. I had assumed that because the seizure was a result …

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