A barrister’s take on the Essex council forced caesarean case

A comprehensive legal analysis of the reporting of the forced caesarean case and the truth behind the headlines

Recent headlines about an Italian woman who was given a forced caesarean while on a work trip to Britain provoked outrage from some media outlets and members of the public.

Thousands took to social media and online message boards to condemn Essex council’s social services, believing draconian social workers had called for the operation (presumably for no better reason than the pleasure of snatching babies from loving parents).

We recently published a social worker’s take on the case, and now barrister Carl Gardner has published his take, analysing the facts and the media’s selective reporting of them.

It’s a fairly exhaustive look at the controversial case and makes essential reading for anyone interested in the truth behind those headlines.

Here’s a taster – an extract from Mr Justice Mostyn’s ruling on the caesarean application:

the application to me was not made by the local authority or social workers. Rather, it was an urgent application first made at 16:16 on 23 August 2012 by the NHS trust, supported by the clear evidence of a consultant obstetrician and the patient’s own treating consultant psychiatrist, seeking a declaration and order that it would be in the medical best interests of this seriously mentally ill and incapacitated patient, who had undergone two previous elective caesarean sections, to have this birth, the due date of which was imminent (she was 39 weeks pregnant), in the same manner.”

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