LLM Studies: Week 1 {Doctrinal Research Methods}

Hey Everyone.

My Masters officially started on the 4th and I have to admit I am totally out of practice with this level of study.

Our first topic/block is regarding Doctrinal Research Methods and in particular relating to mental capacity. 

I find the topic really interesting. I would consider myself more of a research based student and this approach resonates with me. 

We have been looking at a case Re F (Mental patient sterilisation) [1990] 2 AC 1 where a lady with the mental capacity of a child enters a relationship. The Mother and Doctors treating the lady wish to perform sterilisation to prevent a possible pregnancy. Contraception is not a possibility and the mental well-being of the lady in question would only suffer futher with pregnancy/childbirth. 

The courts found in favour in this case and it was said that in all future cases where such serious operations are a possibility then the High Court must be consulted.

The law in this area still needs a lot of work and there are many issues which come to light regarding this situation. 

If the patient does not have the capacity to deal with pregnancy does she in fact understand the implications of sex? 

It may also be necessary to consider the possibility of having same sex only wards where patients are mentally vulnerable.

I’m still working through the material and looking to understand this area more but it certainly getting me interested and asking questions. 

What are your thoughts regarding this case? Or area of law? What changes do you feel should be made? I’d love to hear what you think. 

Thanks for reading. 

The Stationery Geekette x

10 thoughts on “LLM Studies: Week 1 {Doctrinal Research Methods}”

  1. I find this entire area of law fascinating, so happy to discuss things with you etc. Looking forward to seeing more of your posts on here regarding your LLM. I start mine next year!


    1. Aye, in this specific case Contraception couldn’t be given and the patient who had the mind of a child entered a relationship with another patient. It’s all very interesting.


  2. Wow such an interesting topic. It’s a tricky one as I think it really boils down to individual cases and relationships and individuals surely? I’m not sure you can have blanket ruling one way or the other?


    1. It really is difficult. The problem with law is that it can’t take into account each case as it would create too much law. It’s trying to find that balance to provide enough to help without been constricting:)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a really interesting scenario. As you say, if the person in question doesn’t understand the implications of pregnancy then do they understand and are they in a position to consent to sex? Thereby raising the question of statutory rape.


    1. The patient in question entered into a relationship with another patient as she was voluntarily in a mental ward. So I’m not sure that he would know how to consent either.


  4. I find this fascinating and complex. You raise a valid point about consent – but there’s also the question of their human rights. Really enjoyed reading this … going to sit and ponder now x

    Liked by 1 person

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