Scroll down to the web links section for links to all the coverage & commentary on the Essex forced caesarean & adoption story
On starting a family when you’re managing a mental health problem: reality and scare stories
Earlier today, a story about a mother with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder broke which was so utterly grotesque that it has caused a storm of protest on twitter and elsewhere. Questions are to be asked in the House of Commons. Although so far we only have a story reported in the Telegraph newspaper (based on incomplete information), there appear to be 2 main aspects. These fall into familiar media narratives:
- “Evil social workers steal our children.” And, in this instance, rip a baby from it’s mother’s womb in an enforced caesarean the mother didn’t know about till she came round to find the scar in her abdomen. As reported in the Telegraph, a woman with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, visiting the UK for two weeks from Italy, was sectioned and taken to a psychiatric hospital. Without informing her, social workers went to court and a judge made an order that a caesarean section could be performed on the woman and the baby taken away. Without warning, the woman was forcibly sedated and, when she woke up, a caesarean section had been performed on her and her baby removed. She has never seen the baby.
- “Women with mental health problems are unfit mothers.” The Telegraph reports that, subsequently, the mother went to court to seek the return of her baby. The judge decided against returning her baby because – despite the fact she was currently well – he said her lifetime risk of relapse meant she was an unfit mother.
There are other troubling aspects to the news story too, but these are the two that relate to mental ill-health. I comment below on these aspects. In summary:
- We don’t yet know all the facts around the caesarean section in 2012. It seems so grotesquely barbaric and traumatising that there must be more to it. A c-section is a medical matter, not one for social services. Other seemingly plausible explanations have been put forward and what’s been reported doesn’t ring true. Court of Protection cases are not routinely reported, so we may never see the judgment in this case and the local authority involved may be unable to comment. The main source of information for media coverage is the original Telegraph report, which is based on information provided by only one source (the mother’s solicitor). As a comparison, the Telegraph report refers to a “panic attack”, whereas other commentary refers to a psychotic episode. And the Telegraph story is written by a journalist who has been criticised for writing misleading court reports in pursuit of his cause. He is a journalist with an agenda. At best we can say for certain that the information we have is incomplete.
- As written, it appears that the fact that the woman had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder was the judge’s justification for refusing to return the child to its mother. This is appalling. This – and the real problems women managing mental health problems face in accessing the support they need – are the real issues for debate.
This scare story contrasts sharply with the reality of women’s experiences of managing a mental health problem and wishing to start a family (for instance this by Erica Camus, 33, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and contemplating whether she can become a mother; or these comments by Seaneen Molloy, in her twenties, diagnosed with bipolar disorder and also wishing to become a mother).
Many women’s mental health problems will start during child bearing years – so there are a lot of us affected. Women and couples make decisions every day about sex, contraception, psychiatric medication and abortion. With so many of us living this reality daily, the real conversations should be about the following issues:
- The provision of supportive mental health care in partnership with women, so they don’t fear asking for help in case they risk losing their autonomy or children
- The provision of sufficient specialist maternity mental health services, both outpatient and inpatient, so mother and baby or babies can be cared for together, no matter how unwell the mother is (it was recently reported that, “Only 50% of areas have any kind of specialist perinatal mental health services“)
- Ensuring worst case scenarios are planned for in advance, in partnership with the woman (to hopefully reduce the risk of such heartbreakingly sad events as the deaths of Daksha and Freya Emson)
- Researching the effects of psychiatric medications on unborn babies (this research project is currently recruiting women participants for a study on pregnancy and antipsychotic medication)
Let’s hope that the furore generated by this seemingly sensationalised scare story provides a window of opportunity to discuss these real issues women face daily. And let’s hope that women who are wrestling with these very issues now will not decide to have a termination, or to not have children, or to not seek help with mental health concerns as a result of such scare stories.
Here are my thoughts (tweets edited only slightly due to the lateness of the hour) in response to the initial Telegraph story:
The Telegraph reports that a judge ordered – without even telling her – that a mother could be forcibly sedated & her baby delivered by caesarian section then taken. And that a new judge has ruled that a bipolar diagnosis – just the diagnosis – makes a mother unfit to have her child with her.
Can you imagine a mother with Crohn’s disease who experienced a relapse being forcibly sedated and having her baby removed by secret caesarean? Just like bipolar disorder, doctors diagnose Crohn’s as a lifelong relapsing and remitting condition. At times of relapse, a parent with Crohn’s may be unable to take care of their child. Would anyone say that a mother with Crohn’s was, by virtue of that diagnosis alone, unfit to keep her child just in case she relapsed? No. That judgment seems reserved for those of us with a mental rather than physical health diagnosis.
My impression is that society, doctors and the courts infantilise women who are pregnant. And that certainly happens to people with mental health problems. That’s a double whammy for pregnant women who are managing mental health problems if their case comes before a court.
One question that arises in reading the Telegraph story is where was the perinatal psychiatric service? The point of perinatal psychiatric services is to support mothers through pregnancy and delivery. Since pregnancy is linked to bipolar relapse, it’s all the more important for women to get proper perinatal psychiatric care. That doesn’t seem to have been the case with this mother, though there is a perinatal psychiatric service in Essex.
However, the scary message from these two legal cases, as reported, seems to be this: if you have a bipolar diagnosis, you shouldn’t tell anyone that you’re pregnant because, if you do, you could lose your baby. That you should steer clear of mental health services at all costs.
Wouldn’t a better message be that, if you have a bipolar diagnosis and you want to become pregnant, you should get in contact with a perinatal mental health service so you can plan the pregnancy? Wouldn’t a better message be that, if you’re already pregnant, you should make contact with a perinatal mental health service so they can support you during and after your pregnancy? Wouldn’t a better message be that, if a woman gets a bipolar diagnosis – or any other mental health diagnosis – she is still a full human being. She is not merely a womb. She is not merely a piece of meat to be sedated and sliced open without her knowledge. She is not merely a risk to children. She is a full human being.
At the moment, we know only a partial view of what has happened. The report is based on instructions the mother gave her solicitor. We don’t know why the caesarean was performed. There must have been some medical reason. We are told that the mother wasn’t warned about the planned caesarean and that the child was taken away without the mother seeing it. We are told that the child hasn’t been returned to the mother for the apparent reason of the mother’s bipolar diagnosis and therefore possibility of relapse.
Let’s hope this is just some really, really badly reported media story that’s actually a bit dull. That would be better than the alternative. It will be interesting to see what comes of this story when it’s reported fully. I wonder if either journalist has relevant expertise. I wonder if either has form for whipping up a storm of controversy for a story that turns out to be far more straightforward.
But basically, if you’re a woman with a bipolar diagnosis, you’re an unfit mother. What a sweeping generalisation that infantilises women & reduces us to no more than our diagnoses.
I can guarantee that, when this story is picked up more widely tomorrow, there will be people who will defend the court’s decisions purely on the basis that the woman had mental health problems. Some – who see a diagnosis, who see risk, rather than a person – will see mental health as a trump card, a byword for dangerousness and unpredictability.
Does a bipolar diagnosis make a mother unfit? No, not in and of itself. No more than would a diagnosis of another relapsing and remitting condition like Crohn’s disease. Yes, the mother might relapse. Maybe relapse is not a possibility but a certainty, so the only question is when the next relapse will happen, not if it will. That’s equally true of Crohn’s disease.
If a mother has a bipolar diagnosis, that’s an argument for supporting the family, not removing her children. Supporting the family is a far cheaper option than taking children into care of putting them up for adoption. Both are astronomically expensive options financially. If a mother has a bipolar diagnosis, that’s an argument for supporting the family, not removing the children. That’s the humane and compassionate response.
Let’s hope this case receives such an outcry that women with a bipolar disorder will be viewed more realistically. Not infantilised.
Related web links:
The following topics are covered:
- Statements from the parties involved – including court judgments (including the judges’ reasons), Essex County Council, the mother’s solicitor & MP, and the hospital where she was treated
- Other court cases related to pregnancies
- Mainstream media coverage
- Commentary and blogs – Birthrights charity, British Association of Social Workers, blogging barristers & others
- Other relevant material – Eg research, perinatal mental health, Court of Protection, twitter conversations
Statements from the parties involved:
- Mr Justice Mostyn, Court of Protection – August 2012 caesarean judgment – Includes (a) preface by judge (b) judgment (c) transcript of hearing and (d) copy of the Order made – Court of Protection, Mr Justice Mostyn, Re AA (Thursday 23rd August)
- His Honour Judge Newton, Chelmsford County Court – February 2013 child placement judgment – The judge’s reasons for why baby (P) should not be returned to her mother – (A) – His Honour Judge Newton in the matter of Re: P (a child) – Chelmsford County Court judgment (February 2013)
- Essex County Council – Essex County Council responds to interest in story headlined “Essex removes baby from mother” – Key dates, context and statement (Monday 2nd December)
- Brendan Flemming, solicitor – Statement of the mother’s UK solicitor on his website – Brendan Fleming, solicitor, was “unable to discuss the facts, evidence or information in this case” and had “a duty to ensure information relating to ongoing proceedings remains confidential. As such, we are unable to offer any comments or information relating to this case.” (Monday 2nd December)
- North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust– Statement on Caesarean Case (the hospital where the mother was treated) (Wednesday 4th December)
- John Hemming MP – Various statements on Hemming’s blog
- Mr Justice Charles, High Court – Reporting restrictions link (prohibiting the identification of the child or her carers) (Wednesday 4th December) Here’s the reporting restrictions order (version 2 – version 1 named the child) & here’s the judgment transcript (erronerously dated 2012)
Other court cases relating to pregnancies:
Case 1 (1998): Forced caesarean was unlawful, despite High Court judge’s ruling
- Summary: Court-ordered caesareans in the UK – Sheila Kitzinger’s Letter from Europe in Birth – Issues in Perinatal Care (September 1998, Vol. 25.30) –
- Full court judgment:Re SB (a patient; capacity to consent to termination)
- Mental capacity, mental illness and pregnancy – Miss B and the “bipolar abortion” case (May 2013) – My commentary <== This post includes links to other commentary and coverage
Mainstream media coverage:
Saturday 30th November:
- ‘Operate on this mother so that we can take her baby’ – “A mother was given a caesarean section while unconscious – then social services put her baby into care” – Telegraph newspaper, by Christopher Booker – the original story
- Woman has child taken from her womb by social services – “Essex social services have obtained a court order against a woman that allowed her to be forcibly sedated and for her child to be taken from her womb by caesarean section” – Telegraph newspaper, by Colin Freeman – follow up a few hours later
Criticism of Christopher Booker:
Christopher Booker is the journalist who wrote the original Telegraph piece.
- Must journalists attend court hearings to report accurately? “I posted last week on a judgment given by His Honour Judge Bellamy in a family court case involving a mother’s abuse of her baby The judge took the unusual step of criticising media reporting of the case. He said the Telegraph’s Christopher Booker’s reporting was “unbalanced, inaccurate and just plain wrong”.“ – UK Human Rights blog (May 2011)
- The superhuman cock-ups of Christopher Booker – “The journalist makes so many errors that you would be forgiven for thinking he did it deliberately to waste everyone’s time” – Guardian newspaper (October 2011)
Sunday 1st November
- ‘Am I crazy to want a baby when I’m schizophrenic?’ After a decade-long struggle, one woman tells of her fears as she contemplates starting a family. “Erica Camus, 33, has lived with paranoid schizophrenia for ten years.She manages her mental illness with daily medication and therapy.When she was first diagnosed she was convinced she was a fugitive. She is now pondering how her schizophrenia would affect a child” – Daily Mail newspaper
- Baby taken from mother by UK social services in ‘forced caesarean’ – RT.com (Russia Today)
- Council forces caesarean on mother – Sunday Times newspaper (£)
- Forced C-section was ‘the stuff of nightmares’ – “Social Services condemned for forcibly removing unborn child from woman” – Independent newspaper
- MP queries ‘forced’ caesarean section – “Child still in Essex social services’ care 15 months after Italian woman with mental health problems had baby removed” – Guardian newspaper
- Pregnant woman has unborn baby girl forcibly removed by caesarean after social workers obtain court order because she had suffered a mental breakdown – “Italian woman claims she was not warned she would be given a ceasarean. Essex council obtained order allowing them to sedate her against her will. The case has now escalated into an international legal row” – Daily Mail newspaper
- Social Services forcibly remove unborn child from woman by caesarean after she suffered mental health breakdown – Independent newspaper
- Woman’s Baby Taken From Womb By Court Order – “An MP is to raise the case of a woman whose baby was taken from her after she suffered a mental breakdown.” Sky News
- Woman’s baby taken from womb by social services – video – “A pregnant woman from Italy, in Britain on business was given a Caesarean section against her will, and had her baby removed by social services. The child is now in the process of being adopted.” – Channel 4 news, with Katie Razzall (twitter @katierazz)
Monday 2nd December
- British Social Services Sedate Woman, Take Child from Her Womb, Confiscate It Indefinitely – National Review (USA)
- Caesarean case mother denied chance to keep baby in hospital – “Doctors’ suggestion that baby forcibly removed from mother’s womb by court order should stay in hospital with her was rejected by court” – Telegraph newspaper
- Child taken from womb by social services: it’s not always wrong – “We must not get distracted by vilifying the Court of Protection when children’s rights are at stake. The system needs to be respected and supported, argues solicitor-advocate Sophie Khan” – Telegraph newspaper
- Council claims concern over risk to mother and child led to forced Caesarean – “Concerns about “risks to mother and child” led a health trust to apply for permission to deliver an unborn child by Caesarean section, a local authority said today.” – Independent Ireland
- ‘Forced caesarean’ mother ‘sends message of thanks’ – Video with MP John Hemming – ITV news
- ‘Forced’ caesarean case – Italian mother in talks with MP – “John Hemming says he hopes to raise matter in parliament, and has been in touch with Italian officials to see if they can help” – Guardian newspaper
- Judge intervenes in case of mentally-ill mother whose baby was delivered by caesarean section after court order – ITV news (2 min video)
- Judge intervenes over woman made to have caesarean – “Britain’s top family judge has taken over the case of an Italian mother whose baby was taken into care after an enforced Caesarean section.” – Times newspaper (£)
- Social workers ‘seize unborn baby from the WOMB’ after mother has panic attack – “Italian woman visiting UK on work training trip subject of bizarre legal action – it is claimed social services obtained High Court order for enforced birth by caesarean section” – Daily Mirror newspaper
Tuesday 3rd December:
- Caesarean and adoption mum’s treatment ‘brutal and invasive’ – “Stefano Oliva’s client was forced to undergo a Caesarean section and give her baby up for adoption because of fears for her mental health” – BBC news
- County council explains actions amid storm over caesarean section case – “The county council at the centre of the media storm after the baby of an Italian woman was delivered by enforced caesarean section has issued a statement explaining the background to its actions.” – Local Government Lawyermagazine
- Explain why you snatched baby girl at birth: Judge’s order to social workers behind forced caesarean – “Sir James Munby has demanded answers in extraordinary case. The child was taken from the 35-year-old Italian in forced caesarean. The case shines light on murky secrecy of Court of Protection” – Daily Mail newspaper
- Father of forced caesarean child is ‘over-stayer’ in Italy – ITV news
- Forced caesarean case: Italian woman ‘suffering like an animal’ – Guardian newspaper
- The forced Caesarean case proves that light must be shone on social services and the courts – Spectator magazine
- It’s not the caesarean but the adoption that is an act of violence – “The sedation of a bipolar woman for a caesarean is a medical issue. It’s what happened next to her baby that’s truly alarming” – Guardian newspaper, by Zoe Williams
- Italian woman who was given forced caesarean section: I want my baby back – Guardian newspaper
- Pregnancy and mental health & here – BBC Woman’s Hour, including an interview with Sarah (@HackneyBird)
Wednesday 4th December:
- Caesarean case mother ‘was six weeks off due date when baby was forcibly removed’ – “The lawyer of an Italian woman whose baby was removed by caesarean section and put up for adoption says the procedure was done weeks before she was due to give birth” – Telegraph newspaper
- Corrections and clarifications – Guardian newspaper correcting factual inaccuracies in earlier pieces
- Essex caesarean pregnancy ‘not full term’ – “Stefano Oliva’s client was forced to undergo a Caesarean section and give her baby up for adoption because of fears for her mental health” – BBC news
- Forced caesarean was ‘manifestly’ in Alessandra Pacchieri’s interest, says judge – “Papers from secretive Court how that a forced caesarean section on the Italian mother Alessandra Pacchieri was allowed because of fears for mother and baby” – Telegraph newspaper
- I could feel my baby kicking inside me. I was crying as I begged them not to cut me open: Mother whose baby was snatched from her womb by the State talks to the Mail – “Alessandra Pacchieri’s baby was taken into care from forced caesarean birth. Sinister decision was approved by shadowy Court of Protection. The distraught mother says her body was ‘invaded’ and her baby ‘stolen’.” – Daily Mail newspaper
Thursday 5th December:
- Court: forced C-section was medically justified – Las Vegas Sun
- Court judgment: Cesarean section forced on Italian woman in UK justified medically – Ottawa Citizen
- Caesarean case mother: Italian government to step into Alessandra Pacchieri adoption battle – “Italian government stepping into British legal battle over Alessandra Pacchieri and her baby delivered by forced caesarean” – Telegraph newspaper
- How the court ruled caesarean of Italian mother whose baby was snatched from the womb must be kept secret – “Girl was born to mother, who has bipolar disorder, by court-ordered caesarean 15 months ago. Her Italian mother, 35, says she has suffered ‘like an animal’ at having child she wants to raise taken away from her.” –Daily Mail newspaper
- The mother, the C-section baby and ‘secret British court’: the reality behind an ‘inhuman’ legal case is now emerging – Independent newspaper
- ‘Social workers stole my baby’: Forced caesarean mother tells of horrific ordeal – Independent newspaper
- ‘They have stolen my baby,’ insists Caesarean mother – Times newspaper (£)
Friday 6th December
- Court approved caesarean section for mentally ill woman because of two previous caesareans – BMJ (British Medical Journal (£)
- Court judgment: Cesarean section forced on Italian woman in UK justified medically – The Province (Canada)
- The inhumanity of a forced caesarean – “The Italian woman forced to have a c-section was effectively treated as a fetal container.” – By Barbara Hewson for Spiked
- I was tricked into having a caesarean – Essex Echo (twitter @essex_echo)
- The mother, the c-section baby and ‘secret British court’ a secrecy scandal – or the birth of a scare story? – Independent newspaper
- What about the mental effects on the mother of a forced caesarean? – “After a week of revelations about the Italian mother whose baby was snatched from the womb by social services, Beverley Turner speaks to a bipolar mother and a human rights lawyer about the broader ramifications.” – Telegraph newspaper
Saturday 7th December:
- Judge must unravel saga of baby snatched from womb – “In the shocking case of an Italian mother whose child was removed by caesarean, the head of Britain’s family courts will be looking closely at social workers’ actions.” – Telegraph newspaper, Christopher Booker. He’s back.
- Father of caesarean scandal woman: Why I DON’T believe she should keep the baby – “Alessandra Pacchieri’s baby was taken into care from forced caesarean birth. Controversial decision was approved by secretive Court of Protection. Father Marino has backed the court’s decision to put child up for adoption. Says daughter is a ‘threat’ to the baby because she suffers ‘manic delusions’.” – Daily Mail
Sunday 8th December:
- Father of woman forced to have caesarean backs British court’s decision – “The father of a woman forced to have a caesarean so her child could be put into care has backed the decision by British courts over fears of his daughter’s mental condition” – Telegraph newspaper
Saturday 14th December:
- I’m not scared by the forced caesarean row, I’m reassured… and I’m bipolar and pregnant, too – “Kerry Hudson suffers from a bipilar-type mental illness. She is pregnant and has come off medication for the duration. Kerry is reassured she has doctors to help her make decisions.” – Daily Mail newspaper
Commentary & blogs:
Sunday 1st December:
- Pregnant woman has unborn baby girl forcibly removed by caesarean after social workers obtain court order because she had suffered a mental breakdown – A Conservative Edge blog (Philadelphia, USA)
- Hemming helps woman in forced Caesarean and adoption case – Liberal Democrat Voice website
Monday 2nd December:
- BASW hits out at social worker scapegoating in Essex caesarean row – BASW (British Association of Social Workers)
- Forced caesarean: a legal perspective – Birthrights (“Birthrights is the UK’s only organisation dedicated to improving women’s experience of pregnancy and childbirth by promoting respect for human rights”)
- Italian woman continues legal battle for return of her child after court-ordered caesarean birth – Marilyn Stowe blog
- Italian mother: Statement by John Hemmings – Statement by the MP in contact with the mother
- A mother was given a caesarean section while unconscious – Obiter J blog
- Media portrayals of social work – By David Niven (twitter @davidniven)
- Never let the facts get in the way of a good story eh? – By Pink Tape blog (family law barrister Lucy Reed)
- Opinion: Child taken from womb by social services. Really? – Lib Dem Voice by Evan Harris (part of Hacked Off)
- Our response to media reporting on forced caesarean and continued separation of mother and child – “The forced caesarean and continued separation of mother and child is, we believe, unprecedented.” – Bipolar UK (national bipolar charity)
- Untimely ripped – Suesspicious Minds blog (an overview of the legal points) (twitter @suesspiciousminds)
Tuesday 3rd December:
- ‘Essex council should be commended for speaking out on the forced caesarean case’– “It’s time for councils to reconsider their position of not commenting on individual cases” – Community Care (twitter @communitycare)
- Forced caesarean case: Italian mum ‘suffering like an animal’ after baby taken by social services – “She was heavily pregnant when she fell ill at an airport, taken to a psychiatric hospital where her baby was delivered against her will” – Daily Mirror newspaper
- Forced caesarean: the mother’s story and the judge’s – Heresy Corner blog by Heresiarch (twitter @Heresy_Corner)
- Forcible caesarean section authorised for Italian national present temporarily in England – 39 Essex Street Chambers newsletter (barristers) (page 9)
- Lessons learned from the ‘Forced C-section’ case – UK Human Rights blog (by human rights barrister Adam Wagner)
- More questions than answers – on the ‘forced caesarean’ case – The Small Places blog by Lucy Series (twitter @thesmallplaces)
- A piece that is not about forced caesareans – Mental Health & Mental Capacity Blog – by Dr Nell Munro of Nottingham University Law School
- When we don’t know what we don’t know: the “forced C-section” case – “What concerns me about the reporting of this case is the lack of detail surrounding legal issues. Without detail speculation fills a narrative vacuum, resulting in some possibly unfounded conclusions – and frightening people, especially women with mental health issues, in the process.” By Charlotte Walker (twitter @bipolarblogger)
- Why The “Forced Caesarean” Story Was Wrong – “The case is complicated, unusual and tragic. But social services did not force a woman to have a caesarean so that they could take away her baby.” – Buzzfeed by @flashboy
Wednesday 4th December:
- Booker, Hemming and the ‘forced caesarean case: a masterclass in Flat Earth news – Head of Legal blog by Carl Gardner (barrister) (twitter @carlgardner)
- Caesarean sections, autonomy and consent – Practical Ethics, University of Oxford
- The judgment from court of protection in the caesarean section case – Suesspicious Minds blog – a quick overview of the legal points following the publication of the judgment – (twitter @suesspiciousminds)
- A post which is about caesarean without consent – Mental Health & Mental Capacity Blog – by Dr Nell Munro of Nottingham University Law School
- Update on the Essex c-section case – By Pink Tape blog (family law barrister Lucy Reed)
Thursday 5th December:
- The Court of Protection and the new Family Court: can publishing judgments prevent moral panics? – Cardiff Law School, by Julie Doughty and Lucy Series
- Comment: Forced C-sections and stolen babies – “The Alessandra Pacchieri case looks like the ‘stuff of nightmares’, but the problems it highlights are real.” By Jennie Bristow for BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service)
- One flew over the Hemmings nest – Ministry of Truth blog (twitter @Unity_MoT)
- Views on the forced cesarean judgment – Birthrights (“Birthrights is the UK’s only organisation dedicated to improving women’s experience of pregnancy and childbirth by promoting respect for human rights”) by barrister Elizabeth Prochaska (twitter @eprochaska) – “All in all, a depressing case for anyone concerned with modern maternity care and the rights of people with mental illness. The comment by Lucy Series on twitter best sums up my reaction: “If you were trying to convince somebody the Mental Capacity Act was progressive, empowering, person-centred, the caesarean judgment would not help you.””
Saturday 7th December:
- A forced Caesarean? Concerns still linger – Diary of a Political Hack blog by Martin Shapland (twitter @
Sunday 8th December:
- Caesarean Escalation, Judges on Human Rights and Happy Birthday – the Human Rights Roundup – UK Human Rights blog
Monday 9th December:
- Turning realisable rights into real rights – Mental Health & Mental Capacity Blog – by Dr Nell Munro of Nottingham University Law School
Other relevant material:
The Court of Protection:
- Revealed: How UK justice is dispensed out of hours down the phone line – “The Court of Protection is facing fresh questions about transparency, as The Independent reveals that its judges are making life-or-death decisions over the phone, with incomplete evidence, in proceedings that are not always recorded.” – Independent newspaper (June 2013)
Perinatal mental health:
- All Babies Count: spotlight on perinatal mental health – NSPCC (June 2013)
- Guidance for commissioners on perinatal mental health – Royal College of Psychiatrists
- We are recruiting women for a study on pregnancy and medication – “Have you used psychotropic medication and had a child in the last three years? If so, we would like to speak to you” – McPin Foundation (27th November)
- McPin Foundation – Recruiting women participants for a study on pregnancy and anti-psychotic medication – “Have you used psychotropic medication and had a child in the last three years? If so, we would like to speak to you. When women with a severe mental illness want to start a family, or find that they are pregnant, they may have to make decisions about whether to keep using medication, change it or stop it altogether. This can be a difficult decision. We want to find out more about how women decide what they want to do and what could have helped them to make that decision.”
- Bipolar disorder and pregnancy: unfit to be a mother (Saturday)
- Bipolar disorder and pregnancy: unfit to be a mother (Sunday)
- Starting a family when you have mental health problems (Sunday 1st December )
- Starting a family when you have a mental health problem (part 2) (Sunday 1st December)
- My tweets on the subject on Monday 2nd (with links)
- My tweets on Tuesday 3rd
- My tweets on Wednesday 4th
- My tweets on Thursday 5th
- My tweets on Friday 6th