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Mentally Handicapped Children (Sterilisation)

Volume 976: debated on Wednesday 16 January 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he plans to issue the guidelines on sterilisation of mentally handicapped children under the age of 16 mentioned in circular DS/333/75.

Comments from organisations and authorities on the discussion paper circulated with DS/333/75

Special hospitals
Sections of Mental Health Act 1959BroadmoorRamptonMoss SidePark Lane
MaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemale
(a) Section 26442811210466394
(b) Section 60591275124677
(c) Sections 60 and 6537859309311321339
(d) Sections 71, 72, 73 and 744294931916
(e) Sections 29, 25 and 136

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many of the patients currently detained in each of the special hospitals are in the following age groups (a) less than 12 years of age, (b) 12 to 14 years, (c) 14 to

Special hospitals
BroadmoorRamptonMoss SidePark Lane
Age groupMaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemale
14 to 16 years2
16 to 18 years1311
18 to 21 years1442444571
21 to 65 years5731095971912396564
65 to 75 years1079332
More than 75 years2221
Grand totals5991216352002977667
There are no patients under 14 years of age in the special hospitals.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services on how many occasions patients in mental illness and mental handicap hospitals were sterilised during the years 1975 to 1979;

revealed no general acceptance that a code of practice on this subject was either necessary or likely to be helpful. My right hon. Friend has at present no plans to issue guidance in relation to the sterilisation of mentally handicapped children.