Forced caesarian highlights need for scrutiny over family courts

There is more than enough proof, this case providing a pinnacle, that there needs to be scrutiny of the family courts. That does not mean open season for salacious and selective reporting.

What strikes home with this case as no other is that whereas there have been children taken into care, families split up, allegations of abuse etc been made behind closed doors in the past, what we have here is not just a deprivation of family life and association but - let us be frank - a barbaric surgical removal of a child from its mother - and how in a civilised society can this be in any way justified without proper scrutiny?

Without scrutiny in this regard one is only a step removed from justifying the removal of an unborn child from a mother's womb to a scary, paternalistic new order of intervention in and over peoples' lives.

While one would not want to be arguing against safeguarding measures in terms of the vulnerable, protecting people and process in terms of sensitive family or medical issues, that does not and should not mean that these are therefore exempt from and untouchable in terms of scrutiny. Surely it is their scrutiny that legitimises their actions.

So we should not be seeking to exclude scrutiny and restrict the media's ability to scrutinise. What we should be doing is facilitating that while ensuring appropriate measures are in place to safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of that process.

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