Just when you thought humanity had reached its lowest point, a woman on a business trip to Britain was forcibly sedated so a c-section could be performed and her child could be taken from her. This came after she suffered a mental breakdown while on the trip and social services deemed her "unfit." 

The woman was not allowed to spend time with her child following the non-consensual operation, as adoption proceedings commenced almost immediately. The woman herself was "dispatched with undue haste" back to her home country of Italy.

Though the woman claims she has made a complete mental recovery, her daughter, who is now 15 months old, remains in the custody of social services. They fear her bipolar condition, though it has posed no threat over the past year, could lead to a spontaneous "relapse" and therefore endanger the child. 

The stigma surrounding mental illness is so perverse that, rather than a suffering woman be taken care of, her unborn child is stolen from her body without her knowledge. Rather than take the time to study the situation; to examine the real causes and effects, a court saw a flaw in this woman's psyche and claimed immediate domain over her life, her health, and her body. 

She is now fighting an extensive and frustrating legal battle with the hopes of reclaiming her daughter. The entire case is being referred to as "unprecedented" by both the media and the courts. We, for one, certainly hope this does not become a precedent-setting situation.

UPDATE: As revealed by BuzzFeed, various claims in the original Telegraph reporting of the case were incorrect. According to court papers, the woman in question received a c-section at term because she was at risk of a uterine rupture if she were to deliver vaginally; this was a decision social services had no part in. Social services did not begin any form of legal proceedings until after the baby was born. Italian social services were also a major part of the decisions made. 

The woman's illness was also much more severe than originally reported; a judge reported she was having "severe paranoid delusions" leading up to this incident.  

Now, the fact that does remain is that the woman's health has drastically improved since this case originally began forming. Yet, the judge ruling in the case is remaining unconvinced as to whether this will be a permanent state, and therefore is continuing to withhold custody.

 

Thanks to The Telegraph (1, 2) and Buzzfeed

Image via USA Today

 

Tagged in: women's rights, Pregnancy, mental illness, mental health, Italy, britain   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.




blog comments powered by Disqus