Teenager gives birth after judge approves C-section against her wishes

A 16-year-old girl with mental health difficulties has given birth by C-section after a judge gave doctors approval to perform the procedure without her consent.

The teenager, who has not been named, wanted to deliver her baby naturally, but specialists said her mental health issues made a caesarean the only "realistic" option.

Mr Justice Cobb said it would be lawful for medical professions to operate on the girl, who is in council care, if it was necessary.

He was told she had a "history of sexual exploitation", post-traumatic stress disorder and an anxiety disorder.

As a result, bosses at the Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Greater Manchester had asked him to decide what moves were in the girl's best interests.

The judge made the ruling at a public hearing in the Court of Protection in London on Friday, but placed reporting restrictions on the result until the baby had been born.

On Monday, lawyers representing hospital bosses responsible for her treatment and care confirmed the teen had given birth.

Specialists said efforts to induce had been unsuccessful because of the youngster's problems.

'Significant risk of still birth'

Barrister Peter Mant, who led the trust's legal team, told the judge that the girl's views on giving birth had changed repeatedly recently and there was a "significant risk of still birth".

Evidence indicated that the teenager's capacity to make decisions "fluctuated", the judge was told.

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The lawyer representing the teenager told the hearing she had a "strong wish" to give birth naturally and to be "awake and aware" when her baby was born.

Judges in the Court of Protection consider issues relating to people who might lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.