I heard about this story a few weeks ago on the radio, and thought I would share a newspaper article about it here.
It is the first time in the Disunited Kingdom that a “forced sterilisation” of a person has been allowed by the courts. Because of the man’s learning difficulties, he was not able to give consent to the vasectomy operation himself because he has the mental age of a child. But, he told the court that he wanted this operation, so that he would be able to re-engage in an intimate relationship with his girlfriend, who also has learning difficulties and with whom he already has one child who is cared for by the girlfriend’s mother.
I think the story raises some interesting questions. After hearing the story on the radio, I also heard an interview with a person from a mental health charity, who was supporting this unprecedented ruling. What are your thoughts about this? Is it too intrusive for courts to decide such matters for individuals who don’t have the capacity to make such a decision, or was this decision the best thing for the man’s wellbeing?