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Do you think the Judge is right?

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Muffyxx Report 16 Feb 2013 11:36

The parents of an 'affectionate' 21-year-old woman with Down's syndrome have been forbidden from having her sterilised despite their concerns she could fall pregnant.

In a landmark ruling at the Court of Protection in London, Mr Justice Cobb concluded that such a procedure would be 'disproportionate'.

He said the case engaged important human rights considerations and that the woman, referred to as K, lacked the capacity to understand and weigh up the options for herself.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 16 Feb 2013 11:47

Difficult as the parents and carers can't guarentee to be able to protect her in the future.

In the short term, a vaccination lasting 3 months would be preferable.

Hayley   Empress of Drama

Hayley Empress of Drama Report 16 Feb 2013 12:05

I agree with DET, short term yes ! But its a very big decision to make, there would be an issue for the standard of care and support for both mum and baby could and would recieve. Very hard for the parents but I do agree with the Judges ruling at this time.


Sharron Report 16 Feb 2013 12:09

And the rights of any child she might give birth to?

♥†۩ Carol   Paine ۩†♥

♥†۩ Carol Paine ۩†♥ Report 16 Feb 2013 13:03

We could all give reasons for or against a female with Down’s Syndrome being sterilized, but each case is different.

Having read that article it seems a very good decision to me, when there are other methods to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.


Eeyore13 Report 16 Feb 2013 13:10

Strikes me as being an extreme step to take, I presume every other form of contraception has been considered fully?? or does it just make life "easier" for everyone else in her life.


Sharron Report 16 Feb 2013 13:14

Most forms of contraception are able to fail.

Sterilization would be extreme but not as extreme and cruel as subjecting the poor girl to a termination with it's subsequent hoemonal upheavals should a chosen form of contraception fail.


DazedConfused Report 16 Feb 2013 13:21

Whilst the concerns for the girls health both mental and physical are of great concern for all.

Who is going to have to look after any child born to this girl. Her parents - who already have the worry of keeping her safe.

Yes, sterilization is a big step to consider, but yet again without this, it will be down to her parents to ensure that any form of contraception, expecially the pill, is taken.

As a person who has a Downs Syndrome nephew I can the the toll of looking after him has taken on his parents (especially his mother) for the last 30 years. He is a grown man with the mental age of an 8 year old. Everything to him is black or white there are no grey inbetween areas in his life. I know I could not do what his mother does or any other parents out there.

Also you have to consider the level of Downs - some are very hard to notice yet others are so obviously Downs. And they all have different levels of competency so like the rest of us they cannot all be put in the 'one size fits all' category.

Maybe the judge should have spent 1 week living with this family to see what their day to day life is like.


Muffyxx Report 16 Feb 2013 13:23

I wonder if the judge will be helping with the child care arrangements,cost of counselling, upkeep or any other issue should the contraception fail.......

I'm a *don't know* on this one...but my gut feeling is that the parents aren't wanting the sterilisation against her best interests and ultimately they are the ones who are dealing with her care and day to day needs so they know best.

I can of course see the other side to it.

♥†۩ Carol   Paine ۩†♥

♥†۩ Carol Paine ۩†♥ Report 16 Feb 2013 13:59

Anaesthesia complications are more likely to occur in individuals with Down syndrome than people without, so a non surgical way could be far safer for her.

We do not know the severity of her condition, but the fact that she is at college gives the impression that hers is not too severe.

'I have sought to achieve the right balance between protection and empowerment.'


JoyBoroAngel Report 16 Feb 2013 14:01

we have a wonderful village near us at Danby called Botton village
every house has a carer and everybody else is downs or has learning problems
its a wonderful place ive been many times with the school band
they have a bakery a farm a doll shop a printers ect
they make bread jam wonderful dairy produce and farm grown veg to sell
they milk the cows feed the animals
all money made goes back into the village
my point is two of the residents with downs had a baby
that was born without downs
and the carers are helping the parents to bring the child up
and they are doing a good job :-D

there but for the grace of god goes I :-D :-D


Sharron Report 16 Feb 2013 14:07

What a strange place to be doing that good job though.

It has been born and is being given a good life but, had they been planning ahead,I doubt that it would have been an ideal choice to be bringing up a child,who may or may not have learning difficulties in a village made up almost entirely of those who do.


JoyBoroAngel Report 16 Feb 2013 14:13

some of the Downs People are driving tractors
and a few can drive cars there to
they have a wonderful life there in the village
you can tell by how happy they are by the smiling faces :-D
i dont think anybody has the right to remove this girls baby
when she is doing a good job with suport to bring it up
i think the childs about 9/10 now it was a long time ago


Muffyxx Report 16 Feb 2013 14:17

But Joy there isn't a baby...that's the whole point..and her parents want to make sure for her sake that it stays that way as they are clearly going to be the ones who will have to pick up the pieces should she fall pregnant.


Muffyxx Report 16 Feb 2013 14:17

ooops..sorry you were talking of the one in the village...just re read..


JoyBoroAngel Report 16 Feb 2013 14:28

I can see two sides to this muffy
the fore and against

i dont think any of us can make that choice unless
it was a close family member
and even then all cases are diffrent in some ways :-D


Guinevere Report 16 Feb 2013 14:28

Exactly, Muffy, the judge isn't going to be the one left holding the baby. The parents are acting out of love for their daughter, they know what she can and cannot cope with far better than a total stranger.


Muffyxx Report 16 Feb 2013 14:28

Absolutely agree but it appears even her close family aren't allowed to make that decision for her......


Caroline Report 16 Feb 2013 14:44

Whilst it is a very difficult situation to say the least I'm behind the parents on this one I'm afraid.
Joy the place you've described sounds amazing but how many people have access to somewhere like that ? Not many I'm afraid. Most live at home with aging parents or end up in nursing homes.
I have a Neice who has Downs, a lovely women living with her family still. She is just about capable of looking after herself in the most basic way...would she be able to care for a pet let alone a baby ?...of course not.
My heart goes out to the family involved here because I'm sure they didn't take this decision lightly, and now after all this they are still in the same situation. Maybe the use of other methods isn't posible for some reason we don't know.
Human Rights are always banned around these days, and yet more often than not they don't seem to really care about the person at the centre of it all. Is it really against her Human rights to not be allowed to have a baby ? It can't be for the Human rights of an unborn baby.


Sharron Report 16 Feb 2013 16:14

Part of the basis of common law is precedent. It is one of the things the judge had to take into account when coming to his decision,as do all judges in all decisions.

He had to be careful not to set a precedent that could be interpreted in any way that would be detrimaental to any Downs girl in the future whose fertility was being threaetned by another person.