Doctors have no right to impose their ethics onto other people. After providing all the medically relevant information, the decision for a procedure needs to be left to the patient. This is often violated when it comes to procedures like the sterilization of childfree women.<br></br>

creative commons licensed (BY-NC) flickr photo by Alex E. Proimos: http://flickr.com/photos/proimos/6870109454

Doctors have no right to impose their ethics onto other people. After providing all the medically relevant information, the decision for a procedure needs to be left to the patient. This is often violated when it comes to procedures like the sterilization of childfree women.

creative commons licensed (BY-NC) flickr photo by Alex E. Proimos: http://flickr.com/photos/proimos/6870109454

Sterilize me – No Morals Please!

Anupa and I have decided to not have children. Ever. We’re damn sure even after 8 years of marriage. A while ago, she showed symptoms of endometriosis – a very common problem affecting women in general (thank god I’m not a woman!). One procedure that has a chance to provide a certain amount of relief is sterilization. It’s not a sure shot, and the pain could return but since we had nothing to lose, what the heck…why not? We kill two birds with one stone. No danger of ever getting pregnant again!

Unfortunately, we found that gynecologists are universally reluctant to perform this trivial surgery that millions of woman benefit from every year. Were there medical risks? No! Were they unqualified to do it? No! Were there laws against sterilization? No! So what’s the hangup?

The answer: We don’t have kids.

Digging a bit deeper, we found that their “ethics” prevent them from carrying out the procedure on childfree couples, even when they have no intention of conceiving in the future. The question is – whose ethics? And why are they imposing their ethics on others?

We do not hire them to make moral judgments and to shove their version of ethics down our throat.

Why do we go to a doctor? For medical knowledge and expertise. We visit and pay them for their superior medical training, judgment, and understanding about how the body works. For their skill at surgery and fixing stuff that goes wrong with us. We do not hire them to make moral judgments and to shove their version of ethics down our throat.

The overwhelming concern seems to be “What if you want to have kids later on?” As if this is some revolutionary thought we haven’t had before. As if we’ve just been coasting along one day at a time for 8 years, never once asking ourselves “Do we want to have children in the future?” What arrogance! What hubris!

And just to be clear – if we do wish to have children at a later date, then that is our cross to bear. We made the decision to get ourselves sterlized. And we live with the consequences. Just like if I sign a contract today selling my house and land, I can’t come back 20 years later and say “Oh, I changed my mind. Give it back!”. A decision is a decision. What’s done is done. And as long as we, as adults, make the choice with full information at our fingertips, then the consequences of that choice belong to us and no one else.

What right does a doctor have to interfere in this process? Next, we’ll have shopkeepers refusing to sell condoms to childfree couples because in their view, having children is all important! Countries have laws against such discrimination, and such a refusal will run afoul of them immediately.

And is this not discrimination against childfree couples? Why should we of everyone else, be singled out for not being able to receive the benefits of sterilization? And it actually helps with endometriosis!

I really think we need to re-evaluate how the medial profession works. A doctor’s job is to provide the patient with full information regarding the procedure – the probabilities of complications, risks, and benefits to the best of their knowledge. The decision to go ahead with the procedure should be left to the patient. We don’t visit a doctor for their superior moral judgment. That’s not their forte.

Let doctors use their morals on their own bodies if they want. But they have no right to shove those morals down the throats of others.

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Comments

  1. At my first pre-natal check-up the doctor asked me why we had waited so long to “plan”. You can never please them…
    Hope your wife is doing ok and you were able to find a less ethical doctor…

    Reply

    • In reply to Simbly Bored

      Thanks. Unfortunately, since we’ve come to the US, we won’t be able to get her sterilized any time soon :(

      Reply

      • HelpisOnTheWay says

        In reply to bhagwad

        Go to http://www.reddit.com/r/childfree There is a list of childfree friendly doctors who will sterilize without imposing judgement on their patients. Also, contact Planned Parenthood. They should have some information on doctors who will sterilize.

        Reply

      • In reply to HelpisOnTheWay

        Awesome, thanks!

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        @bhagwad

        If you are able to find an understanding gyn then it should work. I am single, in my early thirties, and no children but I had a very straight forward conversation with my gyn and my sterilization procedure is set for October!! This came about after my VA Dr, when I asked her medical advice about what was the best procedure, said that she doesn’t recommend sterilization for someone who has not completed their family. As if it’s her responsibility to state if a person wants to have what is considered a “traditional ” family.
        I have known since I was a kid that children weren’t for me, I didn’t even like baby dolls lol.
        Goodluck with finding a great practitioner!

        Reply

  2. I certainly hope you get your wish, though honestly ive never heard of sterilization as a treatment for endometriosis, all it does is cut and tie off the tubes, I don’t know how that would treat the problem of endometrial tissue growing outside of the uterus… If your wife is anything like you, you certainly should not have children. In fact you should BOTH be sterilized, just in case you break up. To my knowledge there is no such impediment to men having a vasectomy in America, go for it.

    Reply

    • In reply to Marie

      Lol, ok :) . Though I’ve heard of doctors in the US refusing to doing a vasectomy on men if they don’t have kids either. Or even if they have two!

      Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        Yes, indeed, a doctor wouldn’t perform a vasectomy on my husband because he didn’t have any children, and he was in his 30s and we’d been married over 10 years.

        Reply

    • In reply to Marie

      Actually, a hysterectomy is what the author (must) be referring to. THAT would help the endo and also result in sterilization.

      Reply

  3. Nooo!! They can’t stop selling condoms to child-free couples!!!
    Glad to find like-minded people around here.

    Reply

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