"I'd rather keep him chaste": Retelling the story of sterilisation, learning disability and (non)sexed embodiment

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This note examines two recent judgements of theEnglish Court of Appeal, Re S.L. and ReA., concerning the sterilisation of a womanand a man with learning disabilities. The casesare significant for health care lawyers in thatthey effect a reworking of the common lawdoctrine of necessity, which serves as thelegal justification for providing medicaltreatment to adults lacking capacity to giveconsent. The cases are also significant forfeminist scholars engaged in the project of`sexing' the subjects of legal discourse (forexample, Naffine and Owens, 1997). Thejudgments of Re S.L. and Re A.,consistent with earlier sterilisation cases,fail to offer a conception of learning disabledsubjects as `sexed'.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)185-194
Number of pages10
JournalFeminist Legal Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2001

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