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decision to allow termination of pregnancy overturned by Court of Appeal

3 July 2019

P was 22 weeks pregnant and had a moderately severe learning disability and mood disorder. P’s treating NHS Trust brought an application to the Court of Protection to approve the termination of her pregnancy.

P’s obstetrician and psychiatrists believed that termination would be in P’s best interests, as there was a risk of P’s psychiatric health if her pregnancy continued. They were also concerned that P could pose a risk to her baby due to her mental illness and behaviour.

The court authorised a termination as being in P’s best interests. This decision was appealed by P’s mother, who was against abortion and said she could care for the child. This position was supported by a social worker who had worked with P and believed she should give birth.

On 24 June 2019, the Court of Appeal upheld this appeal and overturned the decision to allow the termination. An official judgement is still awaited.

This case serves as a reminder of the importance of making applications to the Court of Protection, especially in sensitive and controversial cases like this.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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