Judge rules woman must have contraceptive device

  • Published
The JRImage source, PA
Image caption,
The hearing came after bosses at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust asked the judge to decide on the contraception used

A woman with learning disabilities should be fitted with a contraceptive device against her will, a judge ruled.

Specialists told Mrs Justice Gwynneth Knowles the woman, who has given birth to a number of children and had them taken from her, was pregnant again.

The court heard the woman, aged in her 20s, had a number of health problems and further pregnancies could pose a significant risk to her.

"It's my body and it's my life," the woman told the judge.

The hearing, conducted via Skype, came after Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust asked the judge to rule on the contraception used.

The woman said she would agree to having contraception via three-monthly injections but did not want to be fitted with a contraceptive device.

"I should have the choice on what I want," she said.

'Best interests'

Doctors were concerned that she would not turn up to appointments for injections and said fitting a device was the best option.

Mrs Justice Knowles analysed the case in the Court of Protection, where judges consider issues relating to people who may not have the capacity to make decisions for themselves.

In a written ruling published after the hearing, the judge decided that fitting a contraceptive device would be in the woman's best interests.

She said the woman, who cannot be indentified for legal reasons, did not have the mental capacity to make decisions about contraception.

The judge said a device should be fitted when the woman was having a planned Caesarean section operation.

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.