News State Victoria News Disabled woman will not be sterilised

Disabled woman will not be sterilised

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An intellectually disabled woman will not be forcibly sterilised despite fears she could become pregnant.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal denied an application from the 25-year-old’s parents to provide consent for the woman, known as ZEH, to have a tubal litigation as a form of permanent contraception.

Her parents raised concerns that the woman’s friendly and trusting nature was easily influenced and vulnerable of being taken advantage of sexually.

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They said her character and personality had evolved into a person who gravitated to anyone who smiled or showed interest in her and always did what others said.

Her sister said ZEH struggled to care for herself on a daily basis and would be unable to care for a child if she were to become pregnant.

“To expect her to care for another person and be accountable for that individual is simply preposterous,” her sister said.

Her parents, who cannot be named because it would identify ZEH, said she experienced health effects linked with her taking the contraceptive pill and feared the treatment could lead to breast or cervical cancer.

The woman, who is described as an accomplished athlete, has been taking the contraceptive pill since 2007.

But psychologist Kerry Arrow said she found ZEH wanted to remain on the pill and was reluctant to pursue other options.

The tribunal was not satisfied that the “invasive procedure” would be in the best interests of the woman.

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