Since 1988, there have been a number of Family Court of Australia cases where permission was sought for a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) to be performed on premenarchal women who have an intellectual disability. The case judgments refer to several cases from appellate overseas courts. While the judgments indicate a division of judicial opinion on the issue of the necessity of court consent for such surgery on this group of young women, all of the judges sanctioned a premenarchal hysterectomy. This paper will review the cases with specific reference to relevant Australian legislation, and the implications for women who have an intellectual disability which may have international applicability. 

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