FIVE Law Lords were due this Thursday to consider the application to sterilise a 17 year old girl with a mental handicap. Last week Lord Bridge, sitting with Lord Templeton and Lord Goff, ruled that the Lords should examine the case because of the degree of public interest in it. The Court of Appeal had earlier given the girl's guardian Sunderland Borough Council, permission to go ahead with the
sterilisation so that she would avoid pregnancy.
In advance of the ruling Nicholas Coote, Assistant General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales urged that the Law Lords would not set a "precedent" by upholding the earlier ruling. Sterilisation would then become a "first rather than a last resort" he told the Catholic Herald.