In a historic case a judge in the High Court granted the sterilisation of a male as it is in the man’s ‘best interest’ for the procedure to be carried out. The man is in his mid-thirties, suffers from learning related difficulties, and has already become a father once in 2010 when his girlfriend gave birth to a boy. Mrs Justice Eleanor King held that since a second child is likely to cause “psychological harm” to the man a vasectomy is appropriate in the circumstance and is permitted to be carried out following the legal process. Medical experts gave their expertise that the male was not mentally capable of making reasoned decisions regarding contraception although has the capacity to make judgments as to sexual consent.
The trial was brought to court due to strong evidence against the male, his identity kept anonymous and referred to by the letters DE, is not capable of making the decision of whether he should be sterilised or not so thus the decision had to be made in the courtroom by a judge. The Court of Protection which is based in London has been told that the man in question does not wish to become a father for a second or a further time. The Court further heard that DE was unreliable as to ensure adequate methods of birth control in order to avoid pregnancy or to use condoms. Mrs Justice King in her judgment stated that the man lived at home with his parents but meanwhile maintained a long-term relationship with a woman which the court referred to as PQ who likewise suffered from learning impairment of a less serious nature.
The couple’s first child had a serious impact on both sides of the family with efforts being made in order to avoid a repeated pregnancy which went as far as separating the couple and monitoring all their get-togethers. A specialist social worker who took care of DE in a statement before the court said that it is astonishing and rare how such a deep relationship could be maintained by a couple who can be said to be very disabled. The judge stated that the male suffered from distress as a result of the break-up in addition to a loss of confidence due to losing his freedom.