Derby

Judge allows doctors to perform hysterectomy on mentally ill woman

Court of Protection Image copyright Google
Image caption The judge's ruling was published following a trial at the Court of Protection

A judge has granted permission for doctors to perform a hysterectomy on a mentally ill woman.

A consultant gynaecologist overseeing her care said the operation was the "last realistic option" to control hormonal changes.

Mr Justice Williams said care for the woman was the responsibility of the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust.

The woman's parents and her lawyers supported the decision.

In a review of the case at the Court of Protection, Mr Justice Williams said the move was in the best interests of the patient, who cannot legally be identified and is mentally incapable of consenting to sex or making decisions regarding her care.

A psychiatrist treating the woman thought a hysterectomy would make her behaviour "more manageable" and improve her quality of life.

Doctors have tried to combat the woman's problems with a range of treatments over a number of years, the judge was told.

Describing her behaviour as "aggressive and challenging" at times, Mr Justice Williams said he had "no hesitation" in recommending the procedure.

"Since she started menstruating as a teenager her monthly cycle has affected her behaviour and mood, which has in turn restricted her lifestyle," he said.

"She is very upset at the sight of blood, and her distress manifests itself in various forms."

He added: "In addition, the hormonal changes... prompt an increase in her aggressive and challenging behaviour."

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