Judgment following an out of hours application by an NHS Trust concerning their plans for managing a woman with a schizoaffective disorder during the birth of her first child.
The mother, SEB, is a drug user and has been diagnosed with a schizoaffective disorder. However her condition responds well to drugs but has a history of non-compliance leading to relapses, which in turn usually lead to psychiatric crises and inpatient care. During the pregnancy, her condition deteriorated and she was currently detained under the MHA. Keehan J was asked to determine whether SEB lacks capacity to make relevant decisions; her best interests; whether the restraint proposed by the Trust was appropriate and proportionate; and whether there would be a deprivation of her liberty.
He finds that all the medical evidence shows SEB lacked capacity to litigate and to make decisions about her obstetric care and mode of delivery. Also the restraint proposed was proportionate and the deprivation of liberty was approved. In response to a query from the OS about the need for a C-section he pointed out that the order was permissive, allowing the clinicians to review the position on the ground. As a postscript he notes that the birth proceeded well with no need for restraint.
Read the full judgment on Bailii.
Case summaries on every Court of Protection case & other relevant decisions with links to the full judgment where available.
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