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Parents Win Right To Have Disabled Daughter, 11, Sterilised

March 10, 2010

I’m very sad to read that the parents of 11 year old Angela, an Australian girl who has Rett’s Syndrome, have won the right to have her sterilised.

I shared my views on this issue in some detail in late 2007 when the case of Katie Thorpe first came to public attention in the UK. I, and many people I know, were very happy when Katie’s mother did not win this right. Obviously Australian laws are very different to British ones, but my opinion on the issue is still the same now as it was then. Your comments are very welcome, as always.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Stacey Riley permalink
    March 10, 2010 3:12 pm

    I respectfully disagree. It is a hard call to make but I think in this case they made the right one if indeed the menstrual cycle was having a negative impact on the girl’s health. If the girl had indeed got the mentality of a baby, she’s not going to be able to look after any children herself.

    I wish the family all the best.

    Then again, I wish I would be allowed to have a hysterectomy myself as I don’t want children, and my periods just cause extra work for my mum who is my carer. I am considered too young for the operation at 28, and I haven’t got a serious medical reason for one. Though, I wonder how anyone expects me to cope with pregnancy and babies, when my moderate cerebral palsy means I require a carer 24/7. I already take medication for my periods it’s still tiresome when I have them. Not having them would make my life better, and my mum’s life a whole lot easier.

  2. samedifference1 permalink*
    March 10, 2010 3:30 pm

    Thanks for your comments, Stacey. As you will see from my posts about Katie Thorpe, I believe that girls who make the decision themselves should be allowed to have the operation. I don’t think it’s fair that you, when requesting one yourself using your own mind, are considered too young for an op allowed for someone who has had the decision made for them. As I said, British laws are different- in your case, it seems, unfortunately.

  3. March 28, 2010 10:17 pm

    I think this case makes a bit more sense as this girl is reported to suffer a lot with her menstrual cycle and has already been treated by gynocologists in other ways which were sadly ineffective. Sterilisation is not an infringement of her rights, as she is never going to be able to consent to having sex, and it’s not sterilisation ‘because she’s disabled’ but because her womb causes her suffering.
    In the cases of Katie Thorpe and Ashley X, they hadn’t started their periods so it was unknown if their periods would affect them badly at all (while it is known surgery will be unpleasant!) and that was the reason why the surgery was refused for Katie Thorpe.
    Seems logical to me, but then I do not have a physical disability or know anyone with a severe physical disability, so perhaps I can’t judge.

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