A bit of knowledge is bad for you

There’s been a very lurid and unpleasant news story doing the rounds this week.  In bald terms it sounds absolutely horrendous – so it’s perfect tabloid fodder then.

There’s a woman.  She was pregnant.  A “secret” family court agreed that medics could then require a c-section on her and then take her baby away.  Orwellian nightmare!  So says the judge who insists on the state’s agents explaining themselves.

And it is pretty horrible.

But the real oddity is the way the story was reported.  It all seems to be about the faceless bureaucrats merciless stealing a woman’s baby, helped by evil medics doing the state’s dirty work.  And, reading that link’s comments, this is how people are reading it.  Even Liberty seem to say that this is all horrible and they’re the bastions of uber-PC nonsense and protecting scum [/irony], so it must be bad.

On first thought though it does seem a trifle overblown.

Firstly the medics can’t force treatment on someone unless they’re detained under the mental health act.  So clearly there are at least some mental health issues in the story.  This is quite an extreme response so I’m guess that the mental health issues are quite extreme.  Indeed the last line in that linked story says

“Essex children’s services said a health trust had applied for the forced caesarean after telling social workers it had concerns over risks to the health of mother and baby. It said Italian courts had been made aware of the case and ‘social workers liaised extensively with the extended family”.

That sounds very thorough.  No doubt the county court weighed the evidence and came down on the side of the county.  Of course there can be errors but to contemplate actions like forced c-section I can’t believe they didn’t have some pretty urgent and valid reasons.

The judge asking them to explain themselves isn’t news – it’s what judges do – that’s what going to court is about.

And Liberty didn’t say it WAS horrible they said

“At first blush this is dystopian science fiction unworthy of a democracy like ours. “

Hardly the same thing.  In fact it’s pretty much what I’m saying now.  Sounds horrible but without the back story (which we rightly won’t get the full details of) it’s impossible to know.

And of course the flip side of this story could perhaps have ended up with a story along the lines of

“Schizo woman kills unborn baby after social services fail to intervene. Sack those responsible for failing to protect this child.”

Leave a Comment

This blog is protected by Dave\'s Spam Karma 2: 36253 Spams eaten and counting...