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Judge orders London doctors to operate on a mentally-ill woman

A High Court judge last night gave permission for doctors to perform a caesarian on a mentally ill patient Credit: PA

London doctors were given permission to perform an urgent Caesarean section on a mentally-ill woman last night.

A High Court judge ordered the surgery after concluding that the woman lacked the mental capacity to make the decision at a hearing in the Court of Protection yesterday.

Mr Justice Hayden gave specialists working for the Royal Free London NHS Trust the go-ahead late last night. Lawyers representing the trust today said the baby had been delivered without any problem in the early hours and the woman had hugged a surgeon after recovering consciousness.

The judge described the decision as "draconian", but said he had heard evidence that the woman's life might have been in danger and had concluded the woman, who is 32 and was 32 weeks pregnant, lacked the mental capacity to make the decision herself.

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Judge: Decision on Caesarean taken 'very seriously'

A High Court Judge heard a pregnant woman was thought to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and had attempted suicide.

The decision to compel a Caesarean Section on an incapacitous woman who is mentally and physically ill is an extremely draconian one,

Doctors do not embark upon this lightly. It occurs extremely rarely. It is one that the lawyers also take very seriously indeed.

– High Court judge Mr Justice Hayden.

As he ruled that doctors should be given permission to perform a urgent The judge said neither the woman nor the hospital could be identified but he said the health authority could and should be named.

He said the scrutiny of doctors' conduct could only "serve to reassure public confidence".

The Court of Protection is part of the High Court and analyses issues relating to sick and vulnerable people.


Lewisham hospital High Court bid

A government challenge to overturn a High Court ban on planned cuts at Lewisham Hospital is to be heard today.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt suffered an embarrassing defeat when changes to emergency and maternity services were declared "unlawful" in July.

Lewisham Hospital was saved from cuts in July Credit: Reuters

The government lost the case because the cuts were judged to be in breach of the National Health Services Act 2006.

The Health Secretary was attempting to deal with problems created by the financial collapse of neighbouring South London Healthcare NHS Trust, which went into administration after it started losing more than £1 million a week.


Terror suspect Ahmad in extradition fight

Terror suspect Babar Ahmad has launched a High Court bid to halt his removal from the UK to the United States, it was confirmed earlier.

The computer expert's judicial review application is now expected to be heard on Tuesday along with that of radical cleric Abu Hamza and another suspect, Khaled Al-Fawwaz.

The men are seeking injunctions preventing extradition to the US. Ahmad's move was confirmed by a spokeswoman for the Judicial Office.

Royal wedding police challenge

Individuals arrested or subjected to police searches are challenging the legality of the policing of the royal wedding in London last year.

As another major royal event fast approaches, the police are being accused of operating an unlawful policy of arresting those with "anti-monarchist" views.

The challenge is being heard by Lord Justice Richards and Mr Justice Openshaw sitting at the High Court in London.

Metropolitan Police lawyers are expected to argue there is no evidence that an unlawful policy was in operation on Friday April 29, 2011 when Prince William married Kate Middleton.

The application for judicial review is being brought by some 20 individuals who were arrested on the wedding day, or were subjected to searches on days leading up to it.

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