Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vasectomies and written consent by your spouse.

This came up recently and I assume that there is no double standard but this is quite interesting:
"I've booked an appointment for a consultation, but the doctor has asked me to bring my wife - why? In a couple, the decision to have a vasectomy affects both partners, so logically both should be involved. Research clearly shows that regret and requests for reversal are much rarer if men have had good counselling, and the couple have been involved with the decision. Unfortunately, this is not explained, and tends to come across as "You can't have a vasectomy without your wife's signature" - which isn't the case! Joint counselling isn't a legal requirement anywhere to my knowledge, but many doctors prefer it for the reasons above. As far as I know, no laws exist anywhere requiring a wife's consent for the husbands vasectomy. What can happen is that there is one form to acknowledge receipt of counselling, and consent for the operation that both are asked to sign."
Source and further information:

"The wife's consent is not a legal requirement but except under unusual circumstances it would be inadvisable for a doctor to perform a vasectomy without ascertaining that the wife was aware and approved of her husband's intention to be sterilized."
Source and further information:

"A wife's consent should not be mandatory for a man to have a vasectomy. However, the man may wish to discuss the decision with his wife and family." "There are no studies on male regret based on the influence of the wife's consent on the decision for a vasectomy. In general, the literature supports the finding that couples that reach a decision together are more satisfied with their decision."
Source and further information:

Well, according to Janet Crepps, a lawyer at the Center for Reproductive Rights, while there’s absolutely no law requiring men to obtain their partner’s consent, it can be imposed on a case-by-case basis at a clinical level. Doctors can impose requirements in a private setting in order to protect themselves legally. It’s their choice that they want to do that. While it would be pretty difficult for a wife to successfully sue a doctor for doing a vasectomy on her husband, it wouldn’t surprise me if their legal counsel insisted that they would be better off getting that consent. That said, nobody I know is imposing that kind of requirement. In short, doctors are given license to decide on whom they perform surgery based on medical judgment and experience, but most of them seem to be conducting themselves reasonably and ethically.

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