Government forcibly sedates woman, removes baby from womb; cites mom's "mental break"

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  1. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    Child taken from womb by social services
    Exclusive: Essex social services have obtained a court order against a woman that allowed her to be forcibly sedated and for her child to be taken from her womb by caesarean section

    By Colin Freeman8:58PM GMT 30 Nov 2013

    A pregnant woman has had her baby forcibly removed by caesarean section by social workers.
    Essex social services obtained a High Court order against the woman that allowed her to be forcibly sedated and her child to be taken from her womb.

    The council said it was acting in the best interests of the woman, an Italian who was in Britain on a work trip, because she had suffered a mental breakdown.

    The baby girl, now 15 months old, is still in the care of social services, who are refusing to give her back to the mother, even though she claims to have made a full recovery.

    The case has developed into an international legal row, with lawyers for the woman describing it as “unprecedented”.

    They claim that even if the council had been acting in the woman’s best interests, officials should have consulted her family beforehand and also involved Italian social services, who would be better-placed to look after the child.

    Brendan Fleming, the woman’s British lawyer, told The Sunday Telegraph: “I have never heard of anything like this in all my 40 years in the job.

    “I can understand if someone is very ill that they may not be able to consent to a medical procedure, but a forced caesarean is unprecedented.

    “If there were concerns about the care of this child by an Italian mother, then the better plan would have been for the authorities here to have notified social services in Italy and for the child to have been taken back there.”

    The case, reported by Christopher Booker in his column in The Sunday Telegraph, raises fresh questions about the extent of social workers’ powers.

    It will be raised in Parliament this week by John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP. He chairs the Public Family Law Reform Coordinating Campaign, which wants reform and greater openness in court proceedings involving family matters.

    He said: “I have seen a number of cases of abuses of people’s rights in the family courts, but this has to be one of the more extreme.

    “It involves the Court of Protection authorising a caesarean section without the person concerned being made aware of what was proposed. I worry about the way these decisions about a person’s mental capacity are being taken without any apparent concern as to the effect on the individual being affected.”
    The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is an Italian national who come to Britain in July last year to attend a training course with an airline at Stansted Airport in Essex.

    She suffered a panic attack, which her relations believe was due to her failure to take regular medication for an existing bipolar condition.

    She called the police, who became concerned for her well-being and took her to a hospital, which she then realised was a psychiatric facility.

    She has told her lawyers that when she said she wanted to return to her hotel, she was restrained and sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

    Meanwhile, Essex social services obtained a High Court order in August 2012 for the birth “to be enforced by way of caesarean section”, according to legal documents seen by this newspaper.

    The woman, who says she was kept in the dark about the proceedings, says that after five weeks in the ward she was forcibly sedated. When she woke up she was told that the child had been delivered by C-section and taken into care.

    In February, the mother, who had gone back to Italy, returned to Britain to request the return of her daughter at a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court.

    Her lawyers say that she had since resumed taking her medication, and that the judge formed a favourable opinion of her. But he ruled that the child should be placed for adoption because of the risk that she might suffer a relapse.

    The cause has also been raised before a judge in the High Court in Rome, which has questioned why British care proceedings had been applied to the child of an Italian citizen “habitually resident” in Italy. The Italian judge accepted, though, that the British courts had jurisdiction over the woman, who was deemed to have had no “capacity” to instruct lawyers.

    Lawyers for the woman are demanding to know why Essex social services appear not have contacted next of kin in Italy to consult them on the case.

    They are also upset that social workers insisted on placing the child in care in Britain, when there had been an offer from a family friend in America to look after her.

    An expert on social care proceedings, who asked not to be named because she was not fully acquainted with the details of the case, described it as “highly unusual”.

    She said the council would first have to find “that she was basically unfit to make any decision herself” and then shown there was an acute risk to the mother if a natural birth was attempted.

    An Essex county council spokesman said the local authority would not comment on ongoing cases involving vulnerable people and children.
  2. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    Re: Government forcibly sedates woman, removes baby from womb; cites mom's "mental br

    While interesting there is not near enough detail to determine if it was warranted to remove the child by cesarean to protect the child - if that is the case then the fact she now wants the baby back shows it was in fact in the best interest of both the child and the mother that was incompetent at the time to make clear decisions for the health of the unborn child.

    The child has been cared for and paid for and because the child was born in the UK is a UK citizen which makes the UK perfectly reasonable in an assumption that it has jurisdiction - is it supposed to send a 15 month old citizen to another country simply because it no longer wants to pay for the childs care? There is not nearly enough detail to determine if the mother has made progress or demonstrated it sufficiently to decide if that is a good or bad decision for the best interest of the child which is all that really matters at this point after 15 months .... I am sure that UK and Italy consulates will work out the details using ALL the information rather than a 600 word editorialized new article written to provoke....
  3. Butterfly

    Butterfly Resident SF Sims Enthusiast Staff Alumni SF Author SF Supporter

    Re: Government forcibly sedates woman, removes baby from womb; cites mom's "mental br

    I can't help but feel that this article is a little, well a lot far fetched and missing some important details. The telegraph or daily mail aren't exactly the most factual of newspapers so I would take this article with a pinch of salt.
  4. justMe7

    justMe7 Well-Known Member

    Re: Government forcibly sedates woman, removes baby from womb; cites mom's "mental br

    I'm not too sure what can justify this unless there is immidiate danger to the baby. I'm talking like she's dead or her body is rejecting the baby. I'd like to hear from the Doctor who made the final call, aswell as the people who suggested this course of action. I don't particularly understand to be honest what's happening in this situation, but I'm the sort of person who gets extreamly worried when a community feels they have the right to invade a persons body for the wellbeing of another. It had better be justified or they just effectively violated this women on all levels.

    Plus if she's on Bipolar medication and missed her regular dose, she's going to snap into emotions that she normally would be able to resist, and she'll hit them harder because she doesn't have the mental discipline to endure that rush due to having the medication aid her all the time.
    Again I don't understand this call... obviously sedatives must have been not an option because of possible harm to the baby? Obviously getting into contact with the Italians and making them get into contact with her family was not an option? Obviously the only course of action to save the baby and the mother was to perform a C-section to initate the birthing process. Obviously without this proceedure the baby and mother would have died in a mater of hours or the baby would have suffered permenant mental and physical damage. Obviously they had to bypass the mother(the individuals) free will ..

  5. Daphna

    Daphna Well-Known Member

    Re: Government forcibly sedates woman, removes baby from womb; cites mom's "mental br

    I was still suffering bipolar when I was pregnant with my first kid. It was tough. I had to deal with it plus all the normal stress that came with a first pregnancy. It magnified Everything.
    I am not saying that I agree with their actions, but that lady must have really flipped to get the officials involved. My husband had to deal with my issues, but it made my problems more tolerable with his support. Without him
    I dunno what would have happened.
    The world is getting scarier by the minute.
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