Today in horrendous overreaches by the state, an example from my country of birth. Per Metro:
Social services forcibly sedated a pregnant woman and removed her baby by caesarean section, it has been revealed.
Officials in Essex were granted a court order to take the baby from the Italian woman after she suffered a mental breakdown while in Britain on a work trip.
The council said it was acting in the best interests of the woman.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, social services are refusing to give the baby girl, who is now 15 months old, back to her mother – despite the woman claiming she has recovered.
The case is set to be raised in Parliament next week, with the woman’s lawyers claiming the council should have consulted her family first and Italian social services should have been put in charge of the child.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, came to Britain last July to attend a training course at Stansted Airport.
I’m trying my best to put myself in the position of the authorities here. I can just about get to the part at which they sedate the woman. The details of her condition are somewhat thin on the ground, but it is obvious that people occasionally really lose it and need medical help. According to the story, the woman’s attack “was caused by a failure to take medication for her bipolar condition.” Certainly, it would take an extreme form of libertarianism to argue that the state should have ignored her if she really was in extremis. And, by all accounts, this is what appears to have happened. Having had the attack, Metro reports:
the woman later tried to return to her hotel but was restrained and sectioned under the Mental Health Act . . .
All just-about-reasonable so far. But then it gets tricky. At what point exactly did authorities decide that they had to cut her open and take her child from her body? As the woman’s lawyer observed, the practice of “social services [acquiring] a High Court order to remove [a] baby” is in no way normal:
Brendan Fleming, the woman’s British lawyer, told the newspaper: ‘I have never heard of anything like this in all my 40 years in the job.
‘I can understand if someone is very ill that they may not be able to consent to a medical procedure, but a forced caesarean is unprecedented.
One would hope so, yes. Still, it doesn’t end here. Even if one can justify this step, one still has to get to the stage at which it is reasonably decided that, having recovered, the woman cannot have her baby back — in fact, that she can’t even have the baby returned to her own country. As the woman’s lawyer argued:
‘If there were concerns about the care of this child by an Italian mother, then the better plan would have been for the authorities here to have notified social services in Italy and for the child to have been taken back there.’
The authorities are stonewalling, and in that viciously officious language that only local government mandarins seem to acquire:
A council spokesperson is quoted by the BBC as saying: ‘Essex County Council does not comment on the circumstances of ongoing individual cases involving vulnerable people and children.’
I have a vague knowledge of the contours of British social services because my mother used to work for them (albeit as a teacher, not as someone with the authority to cut open tourists and remove their offspring). And I’m afraid to say that, while this is an extreme example of the manner in which they tend to behave, it does not come as too much of a surprise. There is a certain sort of person who is attracted to this sort of position, and, once they have got it, they tend to use it in as muscular a manner as they can. It was around this time last year that a couple in Britain had their three foster children removed by authorities for the high crime of supporting both British withdrawal from the European Union and a cap on immigration. The father – a Navy reservist who works with the disabled – and the mother – a nursery nurse – were disgusted by the accusation that they were “racists” for holding a position that the majority of Britons do. But that didn’t matter. Some jumped up little rainbow warrior in the local office had decided that the pair’s political views weren’t kosher and that they thus couldn’t be trusted to raise kids. So they took them away.
At the time, I wrote this:
Napoleon is alive and well, and he is living in British local government offices up and down the land. Stewed in the fetid Leftist mire, he has been given a broad capacity to make serious decisions that affect people’s lives and permitted by the culture to couch his justifications in emotional, slanderous terms that have become all but meaningless.
In this new case, “Napoleon” seems too kind. It’s almost as if they’re begging us to call them something stronger. “Caesar,” perhaps . . .