A 13-year-old who has received the implant spoke out to explain her decision.

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Its aim is to alleviate suffering, which can take many forms.

I have called on the hospital chaplain to provide comfort and support for patients countless times.

For those with terminal diagnoses, who have experienced severe trauma or who feel scared and alone, they provide an invaluable service.

At one hospital where I worked, the local priest, Father Bruce, was a regular fixture on the psychiatric ward.

This poor girl is only a child, so I think we should be cautious before heaping any opprobrium on her personally. So the girl might feel like having sex, but tough, she’s not allowed to. A 13-year-old might not appreciate that, which, surely, is where the parents come in.

Given free reign, children would do all sorts of things they shouldn’t.

For them, it was normal and, most tellingly, none of their parents seemed to care.

Something needs to be done, and perhaps offering covert contraception to schoolgirls is the only way around the epidemic of sexual amorality.

But as a doctor, I have worked with youngsters and can confirm what most parents will already know – that they really have no clue about the real world and, most dangerously, don’t realise their ignorance.

They will always try to push against authority, take risks and strive to do what adults do.

Even though I am an atheist, there are many times when I’ve thanked God for chaplains.