S v Birmingham Women's And Children's NHS Trust [2022] EWCOP 10

Abortion (1) The medical bodies' assertion that there had been "unanimous agreement" that S lacked capacity or that abortion was not in her best interests was a distortion of reality, as they had excluded S's objections from their decision making. Their failure to refer the matter to court, which was in contravention of Practice Guidance (Court of Protection: Serious Medical Treatment) [2020] EWCOP 2, meant that: (a) S, while a s3 patient and at the cost of incurring personal debt, had to bring proceedings herself; (b) there was extreme time pressure, the last day for a lawful abortion being the day after the hearing; and (c) the hearing inappropriately had to be held remotely and without the opportunity for public observation. (2) The relevant information in this particular case was: (a) what the termination procedures involve for S ("what it is"); (b) the effect of the termination procedure/the finality of the event ("what it does"); (c) the risks to S's physical and mental health in undergoing the termination procedure ("what it risks"); (d) the possibility of safeguarding measures in the event of a live birth. (3) S had capacity to decide whether to have an abortion.


Essex newsletter 121.pdf
This case has been summarised on page 10 of 39 Essex Chambers, 'Mental Capacity Report' (issue 121, April 2022).

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Full judgment: BAILII


  • Medical treatment cases🔍

Date: 7/3/22🔍

Court: Court of Protection🔍



  • S🔍
  • Birmingham Women's And Children's NHS Trust🔍
  • Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust🔍

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Published: 12/3/22 22:52

Cached: 2024-06-20 18:14:58