Essex Caesarean pregnancy: Mother 'at risk of rupture', judge says

A judge who ordered an Italian woman to undergo a forced Caesarean section said it was because of fears she was at risk of rupture if she had a natural birth.

Mr Justice Mostyn said the ruling, made in August 2012, was in the "best interests" of Alessandra Pacchieri, 35.

She was sectioned under the Mental Health Act after she stopped taking medication for her bipolar disorder.

Mid Essex NHS Trust applied to the Court of Protection for the procedure and then took the child into care.

Ms Pacchieri is reported to have come to Britain while pregnant to attend a training course with an airline at Stansted Airport in Essex.

She became ill after refusing to take her medication and was sectioned on 13 June 2012.

In August 2012, the trust applied to the court for her to be be given a C-section.

A Caesarean was carried out later that month.

'Significant risk'

Ms Pacchieri's lawyer Stefano Oliva said the operation the treatment of his client was "brutal" and "invasive".

In his ruling, Judge Mostyn said: "There is a significant risk of a ruptured womb, perhaps as much as 1%, were she to have a natural... delivery."

He said the procedure was "manifestly in her interests".

"The patient was represented by the official solicitor who instructed a Queen's Counsel on her behalf," said the judge.

"He did not seek an adjournment and did not oppose the application, agreeing that the proposed delivery by Caesarean section was in the best interests of the patient herself who risked uterine rupture with a natural vaginal birth."

Essex County Council won a High Court ruling preventing some details of the case being reported.

It was ruled the identity of "potential adopters" for the girl, now 15 months old, must not be revealed to prevent "damage to the child".

However, a judge refused to completely keep Ms Pacchieri's anonymity.

He said although her married name should be kept secret to prevent the public linking her to the child, she could be referred to in the media by her maiden name, which has already been used in the Italian press.

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