Medics will tie-down ‘violent’ pregnant woman to perform C-section

Medics will tie-down ‘violent and psychotic’ pregnant woman to perform C-section after judge rules surgery is in best interests of mother and baby

  • Mrs Justice Gwynneth Knowles said that the woman could be dangerous
  • She highlighted that the woman might not listen to the instructions of midwives 
  • Judge concluded that the woman in her early 20s lacked the mental capacity to make decisions regarding birth options

Medics have been given permission to tie-down a ‘violent and psychotic’ pregnant woman to perform a C-section after a judge ruled that surgery would be in the best interest of mother and baby.

Mrs Justice Gwynneth Knowles has said that medics can restrain the woman if necessary, after specialists said a caesarean section, under general anaesthetic, would be the safest delivery option for the heavily pregnant woman.

They highlighted that the woman, who is in her early 20s, could be dangerous, was psychotic and might not follow the instructions of midwives if she was allowed to give birth naturally.

A judge ruled that the woman did not have the mental capacity to make birthing decisions (stock image of pregnant woman having a scan)

At a hearing in London, the judge concluded that the woman lacked the mental capacity to make decisions regarding birth options and that a caesarean would be in the best interests of both her and the baby.

Mrs Justice Knowles analysed evidence at a hearing in the Court of Protection, where judges consider issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions.

She said the woman could not be identified in media reports of the case.


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The judge was also told that the woman’s sister was in favour of delivery by caesarean section (stock image of pregnant woman above)

Bosses at two NHS trusts with responsibility for the woman’s maternity care and mental health treatment had asked the judge to rule that delivery by caesarean section would be in the best interests of the woman and her baby.

The judge said neither trust could be named in media reports and that journalists could give no indication of where in England the woman lived.

She said she did not want to run the risk of reporters creating an information jigsaw which might reveal the woman’s identity.

Mrs Justice Knowles, who is based in the Family Division of the High Court in London, heard evidence from specialists and legal argument from lawyers representing the two trusts and the woman.

The woman was represented by staff from the office of the Official Solicitor, who help vulnerable people at the centre of litigation.

She was told that the woman’s sister was also in favour of delivery by caesarean section.

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