For Her Own Good

4 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

An Italian woman attending a training course in Britain was sedated and had her fetus forcibly removed without her consent by Essex social services. No, this is not the plot of a dystopian thriller like The Handmaid’s Tale. This really happened. The dystopian future of feminist nightmares is now.

I cannot tell you on how many levels this scares me, starting with the the inhumane treatment of a person with a treatable mental illness. The mother had a panic attack and was arrears on her bi-polar meds so she “called the police, who became concerned for her well-being and took her to a hospital, which she then realized was a psychiatric facility. She has told her lawyers that when she said she wanted to return to her hotel, she was restrained and sectioned under the Mental Health Act.” I don’t know if she was actually a danger to herself, so I cannot criticize the hospital. However, her bi-polar disorder had been treatable with meds so why wasn’t she treated, monitored, and then released in a reasonable time period?

Many mentally ill women stop taking their meds when they are pregnant; they want to see if they can “tough it out” so the fetus won’t be at risk from alien chemicals. This is COMMON. Why didn’t the hospital take that into consideration? Why didn’t they give her the meds, tell her she clearly needed them and couldn’t quit, and let her have her life back? I can even see a court order demanding weekly check-ups to make sure she was not going to hurt herself of the fetus. Instead, “Essex social services obtained a High Court order in August 2012 for the birth “to be enforced by way of caesarean section” … The woman, who says she was kept in the dark about the proceedings, says that after five weeks in the ward she was forcibly sedated. When she woke up she was told that the child had been delivered by C-section and taken into care.”

Essex social services “said it was acting in the best interests of the woman”. Right. To take the baby via forcible sedation from a woman who has suffered debilitating panic attacks is totes in her best interest. This would in no way contribute to the fear and paranoia people with anxiety disorder suffer!

Fuck you, Essex social services. I am a “mentally ill” Mommy and the idea of having had one of my precious children ripped out of me and placed in another home where I could not see her would turn me from “depressed” to “homicidal”. Just so you know.

It’s even WORSE than it looks, BTW. “Lawyers for the woman are demanding to know why Essex social services appear not have contacted next of kin in Italy to consult them on the case. They are also upset that social workers insisted on placing the child in care in Britain, when there had been an offer from a family friend in America to look after her.”

By not notifying the next of kin they basically kidnapped a woman and stole her little girl. Nor was Essex social services done with their asshattery. Even after the woman was rescued and could start taking her meds again, the “baby girl, now 15 months old, is still in the care of social services, who are refusing to give her back to the mother, even though she claims to have made a full recovery.” What’s the excuse? The judge whom she petitions to get her toddler back “ruled that the child should be placed for adoption because of the risk that [the woman] might suffer a relapse.”

So, it’s fair game to take any mentally ill woman’s kids from her, in spite of the fact she is not a threat to the child, just in case? Are they planning on kidnapping the children of women who are temporality ill, like with post-partum depression? How about a diabetic mom’s kids, since the mommy’s blood-sugar might crash and the child would be at risk with an unconscious caregiver in the home? Or if a woman with a young baby is diagnosed with cancer? Do we take that baby, too? You know --- FOR HER OWN GOOD.

I wish patriarchal culture was a little less concerned about”taking care” of us feeble women-folk by doing things without our consent “for our own good”.

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