Pregnant woman with mental health problems to undergo forced caesarean section at Sunderland Royal Hospital

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A COURT has ruled that a pregnant Wearside woman who suffers from a mental disorder can today be given a caesarean section without her consent.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons and is 36 weeks pregnant, is due to undergo the operation.

As well as suffering from a psychotic disorder, she is said to have a serious liver condition which poses a risk to her and the unborn child.

She could be sedated and restrained as part of the procedure.

The woman’s father told the Court of Protection that a natural birth would be too stressful for his daughter to cope with.

City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust applied to the court to make the ruling, which Mr Justice Hayden made following a hearing in London on Wednesday.

He said there was “compelling evidence” that the woman, who is in her 30s, lacked the mental capacity to evaluate medical advice.

The judge added that there was also compelling evidence that if well, she would put her unborn child’s interests first and follow medical advice.

He was told that the woman’s mental health problems were intermittent and that she was a graduate who had built a successful career.

The woman’s parents would initially care for the baby, the judge heard.

But he was told that doctors hoped that her condition would improve so that she could eventually assume responsibility of the child.