An Italian woman visiting Essex, England for a two-week work training course was forced to undergo a caesarian section while sedated after authorities assessed that she was mentally unwell. Her baby was then taken from her.
The woman, who suffered from a bipolar condition and had apparently stopped taking her medicine, was staying in the Stansted airport hotel for a Ryanair training course last July, the Telegraph reported. She had a panic attack while in her hotel and called the police. The police were concerned for her mental state and took her to a hospital — which she soon realized was a psychiatric facility.
The woman was kept in the hospital for five weeks with no notion of when she would be released. One day she was told not to eat breakfast, but she was not told why. She was then sedated, and when she woke up, she had had a C-section and did not have the baby.
Back in Italy, the divorced mother of two resumed her medication and began the legal battle to get her child back, which has involved lawyers from three countries and is yet to be resolved. British social service workers are still refusing to give back the baby girl, who is now 15 months old.
The High Court of Rome concluded that since the woman didn’t protest at the time of the procedure, she had accepted the British courts and jurisdiction, despite the fact that she didn’t realize what was being done to her and was not in a fit state to instruct lawyers. The British judge ruled that the child should be put up for adoption due to the risk of the mother experiencing a relapse.
British MP John Hemming, who has helped other foreign parents whose children were taken from them under the UK child protection system, called the episode “extraordinary, unlike any other case I have come across, and one I hope to raise in Parliament.”
He told The Independent, “I think this has a fair chance of being the worst case of human-rights abuse I’ve ever seen. She wasn’t treated as a human being.”