Should drs refuse vasectomies or tubal ligations?

Merry - posted on 08/17/2011 ( 56 moms have responded )

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I hear this alot, "I wanted to get my tubes tied but the dr refused." or a guy getting refused a vasectomy.
Why?
Isnt the world populated enough?
Aren't there enough abortions?
Aren't there enough kids in foster care?
Aren't here enough parents out there who didn't want the child but kept it anyways and may or may not be a good parent?

Do drs simply refuse for fear of being sued later on if the patient changes their mind?

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Mary - posted on 08/18/2011

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Katherine, what "kind of practice" do you mean, exactly? Tubals are done by OB/GYN's, and vasectomies are done by urologists...they are a very small part of what they do. In the case of these elective procedures, yes, they have the same rights that ALL people should have to abstain from doing something they feel is not right. We are not talking about an emergent, life-threatening surgery here - we are talking about surgical contraception. Just because a person prefers this method to the many other non-surgical options out there, does not mean that they need it.

Those of you who feel that a GYN should just give out tubals on demand must then also feel that Octomom's reproductive endocrinologist did nothing ethically wrong by agreeing to transfer all of those embryo's into her at one time. After all, it was her body, her eggs, and her choice, right? Nothing irresponsible about doing IVF on a 65 y/o woman either, is there?

Krista - posted on 08/17/2011

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Personally, I find it irksome.

A young woman is considered old enough to get married, to get a mortgage, to have a baby, to travel the world, to run a company, and to fight in a war.

But if she decides to not ever have kids? Well, by gosh, she's just too young to know her own mind and to live with the consequences of her decisions, so why don't we just protect the poor young dear from herself?

Mary - posted on 08/18/2011

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" I also believe in a doctor's right to refuse treatment in non-emergent situations."

Erin brings up a rather critical point in this debate - both tubal ligations and vasectomies are elective procedures, in the same way that breast augmentation or nose job is. And yes, a doctor does have the "right" to say they are not comfortable performing this for whatever reason, including age. First of all, there are numerous means of non-surgical birth control available, so they are not condemning a person to pregnancy by their refusal.

Yes, *you* have the right to make your own decisions about your own body and your reproductive status, but that does not mean a doctor is under any obligation to enable those choices if they believe it could be detrimental. That's why there is no written, hard-and-fast "rule" about an age requirement for surgical sterilization. Like it or not, doctors have their own sense of morality, and, in the case of purely elective procedures, do have the right to refuse to be a part of something they believe is "wrong".

Jenny - posted on 08/17/2011

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The person affected should have the final say but I do like that you go through hoops to make sure you are sure. Although it was pretty easy for me and I was just turned 28 when I got fixed. I had my girl and my boy and I was done. I told the doctor I would adopt if the desire for more kids should come and she was satisfied with that answer.

There certainly are far too many people around and the last thing we should encourage is even more of them.

User - posted on 12/11/2012

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I think refusing to do it based on age or how many kids you have is rediculous.



If you have sex you are expected to understand the consequences and then deal with them. If you get pregnant you are then to make a decision, have the baby and deal with the changes and choices that come with it (keeping it or giving it up for adoption), or have an abortion and deal with the changes and choices that come with it.

If a woman is old enough to check the adult box, sign government documentation - old enough to choose to have sex, choose to have a baby, choose to not have a baby... then why can she not choose to have her tubes tied.

If we are expected to deal with the consequenses of our actions and a 23 year old chooses to have her tubes tied, and in 10 years changes her mind, that is the consequence of an action made by an adult.

I dislike the idea that is a womans purpose on earth to reproduce - you are just as much a woman if you have kids (no matter how many) or don't have kids...

This is a personal subject for me, as I am 28 with a 10 year old son, it was not my only pregnancy over the years and i have been fighting for over 5 years to have my tubal ligation done. I have just now found a Dr. willing to do it. The rest said no, I was too young and I only had one kid. I love my son to pieces but I knew when I was in junior high I didnt want children - my son was a happy accident (not a mistake) but if it would have never happened, I would have been ok with my life child-free.



ok my point was - if a person is a legal adult in every other aspect of the world then why does it stop at one of the most responsible choices they can make. Here is a person saying, "I don't want to be put in a position to have to have an unwanted pregnancy"... and with all the abortions and children in foster care just so desperately wanting to be apart of a home; no one should have the right to say that is not the right choice for them because of these pieces of facts decided by some random person.

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Becky - posted on 08/19/2011

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A friend of mine had triplets in her mid-20s, already had a son she got pregnant with in highschool, got her tubes tied, and still got pregnant with another!

Morgan - posted on 08/19/2011

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a good friend of mine had triplets at 23 she asked to have her tubes tied, doctor said she was too young......the triplets are 5 now and there trying for another, so in some cases its good i guess

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/19/2011

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Dana, just tell him what my sister in law told my brother, you got to pick the last name.



Laura I became obsessed with baby names when I started writing in high school. I go a lot for meaning or family history. My first daughter is Abby short for Abigail which means a Father's Joy (too bad her real father is an ass, but her step dad loves her) and she has my middle name. My 2nd daughter is Lillian Kathleen after my great aunt and my maternal grandma. She was due on what would've been my great aunt's 107th birthday, but I had her early.

Dana - posted on 08/19/2011

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That's exactly what I told my husband, he has to pick the name and then I'll agree or disagree.

And he didn't like what I wanted to name our first son, which was Ethan. I suggested it at the very beginning of my pregnancy, he said, "No". So fast forward to me giving birth to our son, we had no name and I gave him the baby name book and said, "FIND SOMETHING". lol So, he looks for a day or so then says, "How about Ethanael, we'll call him Ethan." All I could do was laugh. And of course he didn't remember that he turned the name Ethan down long ago. I had him flip to the back of the book where I had written names down though and there it was.

So, now we have Ethanael, Ethan for short. ;)

Merry - posted on 08/19/2011

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Dana I have that issue with my hubby too, so I make him suggest names! Honestly sometimes he will suggest a name he previously turned down! It's so much easier to pick one from ones he suggested cuz it seems every name I ever suggest he says no. And then sometimes he suggests it like it was his own idea! :/ lol make ur hubby write down 20 names he likes....go from there

Dana - posted on 08/19/2011

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That's great, Jessica! Good luck! :)

Megan, I've come up with names but, my husband doesn't like them. lol Of course I'm never sure if I truly want to use the names I've come up with either. I think we're both just picky. ;)

Merry - posted on 08/19/2011

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Ah! A fellow name addict! Hi Megan :) my son was named, first and middle, for four years before he was born! While dating I made sure we were compatible name wise, and that's when we chose Eric Ryan. :)
Jessica I'm glad you get the water birth! Mine was absolutely wonderful, it hurt, but the water was soothing. And I think it's so much kinder to the baby to be born into warm water instead of the cold air

Becky - posted on 08/18/2011

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Well, I can understand their reasoning for refusing vasectomies and tubals to very young, unmarried, childless people. (Like say, under 25-30) A person may be absolutely sure they never want children, but then again, what if they meet the love of their lives and change their minds? Really though, that's the only circumstance where I think it's acceptable.
I'm particularly uncomfortable with the idea of giving a vasectomy to a 19/20 year old just because he/she wants to run around and be promiscuous and not worry about making a baby. Not only because of the possibility for regret in the future, but also because I think in this circumstance, having been sterilized may potentially cause the person to "forget" that their are other reasons for using protection besides pregnancy prevention and to be careless in preventing STDs.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/18/2011

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Glad to hear that Jessica.
Dana, the biggest issue with my nephew's name was the first name. My sister in law was telling my brother that he already picked the last name and they had a middle name but no first name. My brother is against nick names (we called him John John until he was 14!) and he didn't want his son named after him because we have too many Johns in the family. My nephew is Jacob James Donnelly.

I'm a name aholic like another member on here. My older daughter's name was picked out after the first ultrasound and my 5 month old had a name back in December.

Jessica - posted on 08/18/2011

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Thank you! :) And! Got the call from my midwife today, I am going to be good to go through with my water birth, just have to do it at the hospital! :)

Dana - posted on 08/18/2011

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Megan, it seems to be out MO. We didn't have a name for our first son for the first 3 days of his life..
I'm determined to not do that again!

Love that name, Jessica! And those dresses will be perfect then! :)

[deleted account]

doctors have the choice to not perform procedures that go against their beliefs. we don't force doctors to perform abortions so why should we make them perform vasectomies/tubal ligations. and often when a doctor refuses it is because the patient is young (under 30 or 40)
and the doctor does not want to perform a procedure that is difficult to reverse and that they might regret later.

Jessica - posted on 08/18/2011

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Thanks Laura! Thats awsome that it went well for you Dana, and you'll find the perfect name for the little guy! We are having a baby boy to and he has been named since we saw his little boy parts on the ultrasound! lol. His name will be Tristan William. Also, I have tons of dresses, all flowy ones ( kind of a hippy-ish person). Thanks for the heads up!

Valerie - posted on 08/18/2011

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There is a process one must go through to get a tubal ligations. Of course, there are always exceptions, like me. I had a large tumor, they had to take the tumor quick as it was "suspicious" and attached to my left ovary when I was 28. I had a week to prepare for the surgery, etc. I had already had my 3 children, my son and my twin daughters, I signed a "waiver" that if they didn't have to take more than my ovary and left tube, then to ligate the right tube as I knew I was done having children. I had the norplant in my arm and had already inquired previously about tubal ligation but didn't get it previously. My twins were 3 years old and my son 8 when I had this surgery- I didn't know what I would wake up to, so I signed all the consents (a 3 day in considered a "waiver" of the 30-day process that is routine.). They ligated the right side and took the left ovary and tube. A few years ago, in 2008 I had a total hysterectomy due to tumors, risk of cancer (previous breast cancer in 2003), and other major problems.. and they again weren't sure if I could keep the one remaining ovary (they do try to keep at least one ovary in you - or should I say they should- for hormones, etc.)- but that ovary was extremely multi-cycstic and had other types of tumors as well and so they took everything.. I do not regret it at all! There is a process you must go through- and I think if you haven't had children, and/or you are under 40, there are more requirements the doctor needs to follow (mental health check, signed 30 day consent to give you time to change your mind, counseling sometimes)- and this goes for vasectomies as well. I used to work as a medical assistant in a medical office, family practice. We did vasectomies in the office- they are an out-patient procedure. I had assisted in probably around 15-20 in the 3 or 4 years I worked there. In all cases, there was the 30-day consent and appointments to discuss in detail the procedure itself, and the risks involved, and that you can never expect to become able to produce sperm again, even though there are reversal procedures as the reversals are not even at an 80% (or weren't then) success rate- so consider it a permanent thing. I think that a doctor who flat out refuses any and all, it is solely based on their own values/morals, and if they conflict with your values/morals, then it probably isn't the right doctor for you.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/18/2011

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LOl Dana! My brother and Sister in law just had a boy and didn't have a name for him until 2 weeks before he was born! Congratulations and good luck with a name

Jane - posted on 08/18/2011

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Doctors DO have a right to refuse to perform certain procedures (as long as the state they are in agrees). However, they need to be up front about what they will or will not do, generally at the first ever visit by the patient. A doctor, however, cannot prevent a patient from seeking out another doctor who WILL perform the procedure.



Vasectomies and tubal ligation, while somewhat reversible, are not entirely so. Doctors are not stupid - they do know that people change their minds about having children, so they prefer to perform such procedures on folks who either already have children, or who risk death by becoming pregnant.



However, doctors are also human beings. Some have strong beliefs about certain procedures and they have the right to allow those opinions to influence their practice as long as they "do no harm." NOT performing a sterilization procedure is viewed as doing no harm. Thus, you need to find out what your doctor's views are, and if you don't agree with him, vote with your feet.



And again, because doctors are human, some of them are nuts.



After all, what do you call the guy who graduates last in his class in medical school?



Doctor.

Caitlin - posted on 08/18/2011

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OOo.. i'm jumping in here cause i need suggestions for a boy's name too (due oct. 15). My hubby and I can't agree on anything so far it's driving me mad!

If I end up having a c-section with this one, i'm making it clear that I want my tubes tied at the same time. I'm 26, having my third kid. I can adopt later if I want another, I have NO objections with adoption. I don't like the fact that doctors refuse based on age. I'm still not sure if my doc would allow me to have it, he's kind of skirting around the issue, but i've been asking him about it since I was like 10 weeks along, so I think he gets that this is a made decision (I hope..).

Dana - posted on 08/18/2011

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It's a boy, Laura. And thanks!

It shouldn't take too much longer. It should be a quick procedure done after the uterus is sewn back up but, before I'm fully closed. At that point my husband will be holding the baby anyhow, provided all goes well.

Jane - posted on 08/18/2011

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"if you have your tubes tied after a csection does that make it take longer before you can hold/ feed your baby? "

Why would it take longer? Tubal ligation is a simple task, especially if the abdomen is already opened for a c-section. It doesn't change any hormones you make. It just means your eggs and his sperm can't get together any longer.

Merry - posted on 08/18/2011

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Congrats on the baby Dana! I hope your surgery goes smoothly :)
And congrats to you too Jessica!
Btw, if you have your tubes tied after a csection does that make it take longer before you can hold/ feed your baby?

Katherine - posted on 08/18/2011

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It sounds like you have everything in order Dana, good for you.

Dana - posted on 08/18/2011

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Jessica, it went really well. I just scheduled my C-section for Sept. 30th and she'll do a tubal ligation at the same time. I had no hassle what so ever. Of course she knows my history and add the fact that I'm 35. :)

If you do get a C-section, my number one advice to moms is, get some dresses. They're the most comfortable thing to wear for those next two weeks afterwards.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/18/2011

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My mom's younger sister had to get an emergancy hysterectomy because when she went back to work after having my cousin everything started coming out- almost literaly. She was a mail carrier and 35 at the time, so the doctors did it.

Katherine - posted on 08/18/2011

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Has she had babies since? Was she young? That is REALLY sad. I can see not getting one just because, but if you've had 4-6 kids or had an extreme circumstance then they SHOULD tie you.

[deleted account]

A family friend had a very bad bleed after her son was born.She nearly died.The doctors told her"We would NOT advise you to get pregnant again".
She went through hell.The let her home as her family said they would do all the work.She was so weak from all the blood loss, she sat crying in bed or in the sitting room at her family feeding her son etc.As she felt so helpless.:-(
She asked to have her tubes tied..They refused.Its a complete JOKE.:-(

Katherine - posted on 08/18/2011

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Then why BE in that kind of practice? If they are going to refuse tubal ligations and vasectomy's?
I don't think they have any right to tell anyone one what they can and can't do and it angers me also.
If you have a religious belief you should be forthcoming off the bat. Whether it be abortion, vasectomies etc.......
That way the person has a right to choose a different doctor.
It's like me being a vegetarian and telling them I'm not serving them meat.
I respect certain decisions, don't get me wrong. But there should be a clause when you first see the doctor.

Ez - posted on 08/18/2011

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Anything, or anyone, infringing on women's reproductive rights pisses me off. Like Krista, I loathe the idea of some snot of a doctor assuming they know my body and my wishes better than I do.



But, and this is a big but, I also believe in a doctor's right to refuse treatment in non-emergent situations. They are not superheroes.. they have their own set of thoughts, morals and fears.



So as much as I will scream 'my body, my choice!', what if that body and that choice belongs to an 18yo, or 21yo? If she passes through the counselling, should she be approved for the surgery? I just can't wrap my head around that. Ideologically, I say yes. But common sense says a girl of that age is not mature enough to make that sort of decision, and the doctor has a duty of care to recognise that.

Jessica - posted on 08/17/2011

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Dana, you will have to let me know how it goes! I have used a midwife for this entire pregnancy and it has been wonderful and I was planning a water birth. I find out this week if they think a c-section is needed and then I plan on asking about having my tubes tied..if I don't go into labor first! Luckily, even if I have to have the c-section, apart from the actual surgery, my midwife will still be mine and babes main care giver (provided there is no extra health issues) so that eases my mind to.

[deleted account]

My SIL had hers tied at age 21. She was a single mom of an only child at the time. Now she is married and they desperately want to have a child together. I do not think the doctor made a good decision in her case.

On the other hand...I was pleased with how easy it was for my husband to get a vasectomy. But the difference between him and my SIL is he's 36 and in a stable relationship and we have two children.

It should be a case by case basis. I would say based on common sense, but we all know that is uncommon. Guidelines would be helpful. Ex. 21 year old female - counsel her, 36 year old male with two children - okay.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/17/2011

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I believe thatthe person makingthe descision should do a lot of research into the procedure prior to getting 'fixed'. For example if a vasectomy is done incorrectly it can result in a lot of other issues that can make it impossible to have sex. Of course that could also be why the doctor wouldn't want to do it in the first place.

But I agree with Jodi that a couple should be conselled before a discision like this is made because it's not one to be made lightly.

A tubal ligation (I believe i have the term correct) can be reversed incase the woman decides later on that she does want kids again.

[deleted account]

I think you hit the nail on the head. People can make dumb decisions and docs don't want to be sued. On the other hand, it is annoying having a doctor decide your fertility for you.

Dana - posted on 08/17/2011

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Jessica, I have to have a C-section for my baby due, Oct. 11th. I may deliver early as I did with my first son and while I'm at my appointment tomorrow I'm going to tell my doctor that I want my tubes tied too. I'm actually a little worried becasue I know she's refused a friend of mine before. But, my friend is also in her mid 20's and I'm 35, AND have high risk pregnancies so...she'd better do it. lol

Jodi - posted on 08/17/2011

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Personally, I think counselling should be compulsory before making such a large decision, and the counsellor can then assess the situation on a case-by-case basis. Because it really IS something that should be refused or agreed on a case by case basis.



But I also believe couples should have counselling before making the decision to divorce, so counselling before making the decision to NEVER have children again (or at all) and also removing it as an option in the future, I think, is a good idea.

Jessica - posted on 08/17/2011

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I am 25, will be 26 in November. I just found out I may have to have a c-section for babe no.2 due in the next few weeks. I had planned on doing a water birth, but there are saftey concerns with my health. My husband was originally going to go in and get snipped so that I wouldn't have to go through the whole procedure. Now with the c-section, I am thinking I will have the doc do it before the stitch me up. I will be pissed if they say no, lol.

Merry - posted on 08/17/2011

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I know a woman who asked 5 drs to tie her tubes, she was 23. Not one would do it. So her husband who was also 23 went to get a vasectomy and the third dr he tried agreed.
I think that's ridiculous, they obviously didn't want kids but it took forever to get a dr to do a sterilization surgery.

Jane - posted on 08/17/2011

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I don't think the answer to your questions make any difference. In the end, if a person wants this done, they should be allowed. I've never heard anyone say their doctor "REFUSED". I have heard doctors want patients to be sure they are SURE about it...like if a woman in her 20's wants her tubes tied, he might suggest that she use some other form of birth control until she is in her 30's because reversing these things are still difficult. I don't think it has anything to do with being sued.

Stifler's - posted on 08/17/2011

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They won't though. They will go through reversal surgery and hormone treatments for their wife. People change a lot from ratbag 20 year old going out every weekend to 30 year old person with a real job who wants kids. Not many people even consider adopting they will go through years of IVF to have *their own child* rather than adopting.

Merry - posted on 08/17/2011

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I'd say let them do it! The world isn't hurting for more babies and if they get it done and regret it there's only themselves to blame. I don't see the problem with promiscuous flighty men being sterile. If they don't want to be monogamous then why not avoid child support to a random one night stand baby mama?
Idk, I understand they might grow up one day and want to settle down and have kids but if they made that choice then they will just have to adopt some of the million kids without patents.............

Rosie - posted on 08/17/2011

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i'm torn on this one as well, i'm sure there are many many people who had the procedure done only to change their minds later.

and i know a couple people who were refused vasectomies and ended up terminating unwanted (and yes they were diligently taking their pill) or were simply careless and ended up with 5 different kids from 4 different mamas before they were 23. the last one obviously could've been prevented if he would've wrapped his shit, but it also could've been if he had gotten his wish of a vasectomy as well.

i think a doctor should do what the patient wants regarding his/her own health. they shouldn't be making decisions for us.

Dana - posted on 08/17/2011

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That still isn't grounds to sue though. At least not here in the States.

Stifler's - posted on 08/17/2011

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Not refusing to do it because you were too young and immature to make the decision. I know people who are 23 and want their tubes tied. If I was a doctor I'd tell them to come back in 10 years too.

Dana - posted on 08/17/2011

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Eh, I can see both sides of this.
I've heard the new trend for young men is to get a vasectomy so they don't have to worry about getting a girl pregnant. I think it's foolish and in these cases, Dr's should have the right to stand up and refuse to do it. Same with women, there are some who are acting foolishly and some who are mature and have thought it out.
I think it should all be dealt with case by case and if your doctor refuses to do it, you can always go to another.

I also don't think it has anything to do with being sued. What exactly are you going to sue the doctor for??

Elfrieda - posted on 08/17/2011

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I have anecdotes, one for and one against these rules!

One of my ESL students has endometriosis and has to undergo surgeries to laser out things. She already has 2 kids, she knows her body can't handle being pregnant again, but the policy is that under 30, a hysterectomy is not allowed. So she has to suffer for 6 more years. It's terrible. I don't know if it's that she's an immigrant and so she's not being treated fairly, or if she misunderstood the doctors, or if I misunderstood her because she's still learning English. But in any case, I think that there shouldn't be a hard and fast rule about things like this.

A friend from church had a colicky child. It was awful, but she and her husband said, 'well, at least odds are we'll have an easier time of it next baby". Well, they didn't. When their second daughter was 3 months old, the husband went and got snipped. After the fog cleared, they realized that they really wanted more children. They were sorry to have done it, and started fostering to adopt. They got one beautiful little girl, and many more heartbreaks as kids came and went out of their home. When you think of it, though, all those kids they foster that end up being returned to their parents have benefited from my friends' rash decision, so it's not all bad.

Stifler's - posted on 08/17/2011

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I think that is exactly why. Because people are dumb as dog shit and will sue for anything even if it's their fault. They probably won't win but who wants to deal with that? I wouldn't.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/17/2011

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I can totally understand a doctor refusing these procedures for anyone under the age of 25, but older than that, go for it. I for one did not want kids later than 25, but everyone was shocked that I changed my mind. Including me.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/17/2011

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Well, I don't really think it has much to do with religion, but more so the age of the person pursuing the procedure, and how many kids they have, or don't have. From what I understand, vasectomies can be reversed, but tubal ligations are much more difficult and have low results. Plus, some insurances with cover sterilization, but will not cover the reversal. It is expensive, and not 100%.

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