A mother has defended her plan to have the womb of her seriously disabled daughter removed over claims it violates her human rights.
Doctors at St John's Hospital, Chelmsford, Essex, are seeking legal advice to see whether they have the proper consent to proceed with surgery on 15-year-old Katie Thorpe despite there being no medical need.
Alison Thorpe, 45, from Billericay, Essex, wants doctors to perform a hysterectomy on Katie, who has severe cerebral palsy, to prevent her menstruating as she fears the teenager will be unable to cope with the complications of adulthood.
Ms Thorpe said: "I am looking at the interests of an individual, my daughter. I am not suggesting that disabled children as a whole are given this operation. I think there needs to be choice for individuals.
"Please realise I am not advocating this as a blanket policy for disabled children. For my daughter this, I think, is the right decision and a decision we have thought long and hard about."
Disabled charity Scope has said the unnecessary surgery may not be in the teenager's best interests and could have "disturbing" consequences for other children.
Andy Rickell, the charity's executive director, said it recognises that it is a difficult situation and is aware of the challenges faced by families like Katie's.
However, he added: "It is very difficult to see how this kind of invasive surgery, which is not medically necessary and which will be very painful and traumatic, can be in Katie's best interests.
"This case raises fundamental ethical issues about the way our society treats disabled people and the respect we have for disabled people's human and reproductive rights.
"Scope is concerned that doctors are supporting parents in this case. If this enforced sterilisation is approved it will have disturbing implications for young disabled girls across Britain."
He continued: Society should adapt itself to include disabled children, rather than them being "modified" to fit society."
Katie's case mirrors that of Ashley X, the nine-year-old US girl with the mental age of a three-month-old baby, who had surgery to keep her a child.
Her parents said keeping her "frozen" as a girl would give her a better life, but the move provoked worldwide controversy.