A woman with learning disabilities can be sterilised by force, a judge has ruled.
Health and social services have been given permission to force entry into the woman's home, use ''necessary restraint'' and sterilise her, at a hearing in the Court of Protection in London.
Mr Justice Cobb, who described the case as "exceptional," declared that the 36-year-old woman lacked the mental capacity to make decisions regarding contraception.
Specialists said the woman, who has six children, had physical health problems which could put her life in danger if she became pregnant again.
The judge concluded that "therapeutic sterilisation" would be lawful and in the woman's best interests.
Mr Justice Cobb said the case was not about eugenics and that a further pregnancy could threaten the woman's life.
He said the woman had a history of concealing or attempting to conceal pregnancies from health professionals.
"The risk to (the woman) of a future pregnancy, especially if concealed, is highly likely to lead to her death'," he added.