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Still a stringent test

A recent Court of Protection case may be novel but it's not as groundbreaking as some have claimed, says Fiona Scolding

20 August 2013

The ruling in NHS Trust v DE [2013] EWHC 2562 (Fam) has been heralded as groundbreaking by some in the media. It is certainly novel, as it is the first case where the court has approved the non-therapeutic sterilisation of a male, rather than a female. It is, however, no more than a restatement of the principles elucidated already in such cases, and is most certainly not a ruling which will open the floodgates to other, similar, claims.

As in all cases of non-therapeutic sterilisation, the court will only act where the treatment is not only in the best interests of the incapacitated person, but where there is, in effect, no practical and less intrusive contraceptive alternative.

Reflecting on the facts of this case (and others involv...

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