A Local Authority v K; COP 15 Feb 2013

References: [2013] EWHC 242 (COP)
Links: Bailii
Coram: Cobb J
K was a young lady llivng amid her family with Downs syndrome. The family were thought too want her to be sterilised. The local authority applied to the court to determine whether this should be prevented. It was agreed that she was not currently sexually active and that there was no health condition requiring it.
Held: K would not have capacity to understand and weigh up the immediate medical issues, she lacks capacity in this regard and the court therefore considered making a decision in her best interests.
Cobb J said: ‘it is my judgment that sterilisation would be a disproportionate (and not the least restrictive) step to achieve contraception for K in the future (absent significant change in her circumstances). Plainly risk management is better than invasive treatment, it is less restrictive. Moreover, I am persuaded . . that there are less restrictive methods of achieving the purpose of contraception than sterilisation, and that in the event of a need for contraception, these ought to be attempted.’
Statutes: Mental Capacity Act 2005, European Convention on Human Rights 8
This case cites: