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Mentally Handicapped Patient (Sterilisation)

Volume 113: debated on Friday 3 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the effects on his policy for mentally handicapped people of the recent Appeal Court ruling approving of the sterilisation of a 17-year-old mentally handicapped patient.

Whether sterilisation is advisable for any mentally handicapped child or adult, and the rights and duties of the individual, parents and others concerned, are important and difficult issues on which up to now the law has not been entirely clear. Following the recent appeal court ruling in an individual case, the House of Lords heard an appeal on 2 April, and the Government will await the outcome before considering what further action may be necessary.