Mother seeks hysterectomy for disabled girl



A mother wants her seriously disabled daugher to have her womb removed, arguing that it will “give her a better life.”

Alison Thorpe believes her daughter Katie, 15, should not have to go through the discomfort and inconvenience of menstruating.

Doctors are seeking legal advice over whether they have the proper consent to go ahead with the hysterectomy on the girl, who has severe celebral palsy.

Alison Thorpe said: “I am looking at the interests of an individual, my daughter. I am not suggesting that disabled children as a whole are given this operation. I think there needs to be choice for individuals.

“Please realise I am not advocating this as a blanket policy for disabled children. For my daughter this, I think, is the right decision and a decision we have thought long and hard about.”

Andy Rickell, an executive director at Scope, said it was “very difficult” to see how invasive surgery which was not medically necessary could be in the girl’s best interests.

He warned:  “This case raises fundamental ethical issues about the way our society treats disabled people and the respect we have for disabled people’s human and reproductive rights. Scope is concerned that doctors are supporting parents in this case. If this enforced sterilization is approved it will have disturbing implications for young disabled girls across Britain.”

The case is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK.

In the US, the parents of a severely disabled girl known as Ashley X sought surgery to restrict her growth when she was six years old to enable them to care for her better. Her treatment was announced earlier this year.

Related articles

US case of disabled girl throws up ethical debate. Bob Benson and Martin Ward Platt take their positions on the case of Ashley X

Scope launches campaign following Ashley X case

More information

Further press coverage of the case




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