UK judge: Woman wanting home birth will be physically ‘forced’ into hospital instead
LONDON, May 14, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A judge in the U.K. has ruled that a young, pregnant mother who has a severe fear of leaving her home will be “forced” by medics into hospital to give birth.
Justice Holman, of the Family Division of the High Court, gave the ruling May 13, although details of the woman and the National Health Service (NHS) hospital involved were not released due to legal reasons.
In the ruling, Holman outlined that it would in fact be in the best interests of the young mother to have medical staff use some restraint techniques on her, should she not leave home for the birth of her child. He argued that the woman’s partner and mother also thought she should give birth in the hospital.
Holman stated that “proportionate” force could be used by trained staff, should she refuse to leave her home on a specific day close to her due date.
This force permitted did not include “mechanical restraint,” a “prone restraint position,” or any techniques which apply “pressure to the diaphragm or abdomen.” Specialists warned that she could suffer psychiatric harm from the use of force.
Holman’s ruled in favor of the NHS legal team, who advocated for the use of force even in circumstances where there was no emergency. He stated also that the woman’s partner and mother also supported the decision for her to give birth in hospital.
“I am satisfied that it will be in the best interests of this mother if, if the necessity arises on the day, some trained force and restraint is used to transfer her to hospital,” he declared.
In addition, Holman justified the decision by saying he was convinced that were it not for her agoraphobia, the woman would want to give birth in hospital. She has reportedly not left her home in nearly four years and appeared in court via a video link. For over a year now, public health officials around the world have warned people about the supposed dangers of leaving home unless for “necessary” or “essential” reasons during the coronavirus pandemic.
The judge alluded to evidence which showed that there was a risk of something going wrong should she give birth at home, and this would be a “catastrophe.” Home births for normal pregnancies are safe and generally result in fewer complications or forced medical interventions than hospital births.
Speaking to the mother, Justice Holman said: “I think you should go to hospital and have this baby, it will avoid potential risks and disaster if something goes wrong. I think it is better than some awful rush job in the middle of the night.”
He conceded that going to hospital would be “an ordeal for you,” but ultimately made the decision to remove her to hospital to deliver her child, since he judged that she did not have capacity to make decisions on the matter. Holman added that the use of force was “of course unattractive.”
The decision was made in the court of protection, which rules on issues regarding those deemed to not have capacity.
The Guardian reports that there is a four-page care plan in place to prepare for the delivery of the baby.
Rise in obstetric violence
Holman’s ruling has raised concerns about the treatment of women while preparing to give birth due to apparent state concern for those involved, and LifeSiteNews recently reported how mothers and babies had suffered as a result of government-promoted COVID-19 restrictions.
Research from several institutions, including the Fetal Medicine Unit at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and King’s College London, documented that there was an increase in “avoidable deaths of both mothers and babies.”
Women were forced to deliver their babies alone, as husbands, midwives, doulas, and visitors have been routinely banned, and even nursing delivery staff cut from the labor and delivery wards during COVID time. A number of mothers described their experience as hostile, with 42% of women saying they were verbally or physically abused during their labor before COVID restrictions forced them to deliver alone.
As well, unreliable COVID-19 testing, regardless of symptoms, has become a routine feature of delivery wards. Hospitals routinely take babies away from parents if any of them test positive for the virus.
Most hospitals in the Western world have forced women to wear masks during labor and delivery, with reports of women being threatened by hospital staff that they will not be assisted if they take them off, and some women saying they were traumatized by the experience.
A BBC report recently noted that while birthing mothers are exempt from wearing masks, a survey found that one in five women were ordered to wear a mask while giving birth.
Natalie Titherington, who underwent an emergency c-section, told the BBC that she was unaware of the guidance on face masks when giving birth in December, and was made to wear a mask all through the operation.
“I was gasping for air. I felt completely suffocated. I’m never going to be able to forget the feeling of not being able to breathe, and the fear and panic I felt while wearing a mask. Someone put the mask on me. I said ‘you can’t be serious,’ and she replied ‘yes,’ and then I remember having a contraction. My body was already in a state of distress, and I tried to remove the mask at one point, but I was told I had to put it back on.”
Since undergoing the trauma, she has been unable to wear a mask, noting that the “feeling of suffocation and panic is something that still stays with me. It is something that flashes back as the worst fear I have been through.”