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to think that a man shouldn't need to get his wife's/dp's permission to get a vasectomy?

(124 Posts)
DaisymooSteiner Mon 14-Sep-09 16:32:17

Have been meaning to post this for ages, and it's come up on another thread so thought I'd start one.

I recently asked my GP how my dh would go about getting a vasectomy. She said he needed to make an appt with a particular doctor and that normally we would both need to be present to make sure that I consented, but as she'd spoken to me they would make a note and he could go alone.

On another thread someone has mentioned that she needed to give written consent as a condition of her dh being given the op.

I think it is absolutely disgraceful and deeply unethical that a mentally competant adult should need another person's permission to have an operation of any kind, let alone something like a vasectomy.


randomtask Mon 14-Sep-09 16:34:02

You're totally NBU.

If DH had a vasectomy without me knowing I'd be very upset/angry however it's still his body in the way that a woman doesn't need her partners permission to abort his child.


expatinscotland Mon 14-Sep-09 16:34:17


DH is going for one next month.

No consent from me needed!

He saw his GP who referred him on.

What next? A woman needing her partner's or husband's permission for contraception?

HecatesTwopenceworth Mon 14-Sep-09 16:35:20

oh dear.

YABU. things like that should be a joint decision really. Like having a child.

And getting a mortgage, moving home, buying a new car....

When you are married/in long term relationship, then important stuff must be discussed and (hopefully) agreed on.

and again. oh dear. Bad idea to start this thread, there's no way it will be seen as anything but a go at the op of the other one.

And there was me just saying how nice and harmonious it has been on here recently. grin

shootfromthehip Mon 14-Sep-09 16:36:03

I'd do my nut too if DH just went and got a one but equally think it is ridiculous that he has to have permission from me as though I'm his Mum.

Total nonsense.

posieparker Mon 14-Sep-09 16:37:02

I think it's probably to prevent hostilities in a marriage/relationship.

DH went and made his own appointment and was just asked if I was happy about it. I'm sure an abortion on the NHS would, at some point, ask if a long term partner knew or was happy about it.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Mon 14-Sep-09 16:37:48

It's not a go at the OP at all - she never said she thought that was a good idea.

YANBU at all - I can't believe in this day and age that is considered appropriate or acceptable.

5inthebed Mon 14-Sep-09 16:40:39

When I was arranging to have my tubes tied, I was asked if my DH was aware of it and if he consented. Not entirely sure they would have declined me if I'd said he was against it.

Can't decide if you are being unreasonable or not.

HecatesTwopenceworth Mon 14-Sep-09 16:41:04

[blulsh] yes, reading properly I see that it is the medical profession you are on about, not in the marriage iyswim.

still BU. what do they call it? holistic approach? It's not just about the op. There's the emotional side to consider too and good to make sure that it's not going to cause problems.

DaisymooSteiner Mon 14-Sep-09 16:41:31

Well yes, it should be a joint decision, but it is absolutely not the place of a doctor to get actual consent IMHO. Would they refuse a woman contraception if she was being bullied into an unwanted pregnancy by her partner?

I don't think it's at all unreasonable to ask if a partner is happy as part of the counselling process, but written or verbal consent? Do people really think that is reasonable to require?!! I have a friend who is single but wanted to shag around have a sex life with no possibility of being pregnant. Should a GP withold sterilisation from her?

BTW, this is totally my own question, the fact that this has come up in another thread merely reminded me that I've been wanting to post it for a while. No criticism of the OP from the other thread intended.

PrincessToadstool Mon 14-Sep-09 16:44:43

It's not about permission, it's about making a decision together. It is so final that I think a woman has every right to be pissed off if she was unaware.

This is identifying should a family member see this, but my father remarried and he and his new wife were trying for a baby for YEARS until a mate of his let slip that he had in fact had a vasectomy before they'd met. What a shit!

No woman has the right to tell a man he cannot have a vasectomy, I don't see how that means no woman is allowed to be upset, or angry, or hurt by it either.

I would be fucking FURIOUS if DP did it without consulting me and it WOULD be a dealbreaker. We have one DC and are undecided on the future. That is a decision to make together. If he made that decision alone, he would fucking well BE alone!

PrincessToadstool Mon 14-Sep-09 16:45:58

And from a GP's perspective, might it be better to find out that all parties are happy with the decision, than have the man come back in six months asking for a reversal because his wife/partner is unhappy and this is the only way to keep her? Just hypothetical of course but not out of the realm of possibility. And £££££!

hatwoman Mon 14-Sep-09 16:47:01

I strongly suspect that men don't "need" their wife's/dp's consent. doctors might suggest it/put in place policies that actively encourage it or, even, make it hard to do without it. but I can't believe that a man actually "needs" it. (but if docs do the latter of those 3 things I think they are overstepping the mark)

OrmIrian Mon 14-Sep-09 16:47:07

No he shouldn't. Bloody hell! Whose bollocks are they any way.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Mon 14-Sep-09 16:48:04

Like I said on the other thread - whether a person should discuss decisions like this and whether they should get permission are two totally different things.

A person should discuss important decisions that affect their partner. But no competant adult should need another adult's permission for a medical procedure.

Would it be ok if the question was whether women should get permission from the 'father' to have a termination?

LuluMaman Mon 14-Sep-09 16:48:53

I think whether a man or woman is being sterlisied their long term partner should be involved and xonsent to it

it's not like just getting other forms of contraception

it is supposed to be permanent and extrememly hard to reverse

deciding that you do not want more children should be a joint decision

i think making sure there is consent is something that would ultimately save hassle and upset in the long run

i think it would be more unethical that a man would seek to hide from his wife or partner, the fact he wishes to be unable to father any more children with her .

i think doctors leave themselves open to all sorts of problems if they agreed to it without the wife/partner knowing

DaisymooSteiner Mon 14-Sep-09 16:49:47

"No woman has the right to tell a man he cannot have a vasectomy,"

so why should a GP be allowed to ask for written or verbal consent, because if they refuse to do the op without, then the woman is telling the man he cannot have a vasectomy.

Of course it's good practice to check with the man that his wife is OK with it. But even if she isn't, surely that man has the right to decide for himself that he doesn't want any more children. If he is badgered into having another baby changes his mind then he should have to go private to have it reversed.

Scorps Mon 14-Sep-09 16:51:07


OrmIrian Mon 14-Sep-09 16:51:40

Consultation and discussion are not the same thing as permission. And regardless of whether the former has gone on or not, the latter shouldn't be needed.

DaisymooSteiner Mon 14-Sep-09 16:51:50

So all those who think I'm BU, presumably a woman should need consent from her dh/dp too then? What if she's experiencing domestic abuse, unbeknown to the doctor?

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Mon 14-Sep-09 16:51:52

BitOfFun just posted this on the other thread -

This from a British doctors' site:

"It is not a legal requirement to involve both partners in the decision-making and consent process. There is a widespread misconception that a wife must consent to her husband undergoing vasectomy. If, against a man's wishes, his wife is informed of and asked to consent to her husband's vasectomy, this can be regarded as a breach of medical confidentiality and an infringement of an individual's right to self-determination (i.e. autonomy).
Nevertheless, it is good practice to involve both partners if the male agrees."

So any doc that refuses to do it without consent is acting way over their remit.

curiositykilled Mon 14-Sep-09 16:56:56

I think, since there are other ways of preventing pregnancy, it would probably be wiser to take this line where if a man is married he needs the wife's consent. The decision to prevent children from being created within a marriage is a joint one.

After all a wife can't force the husband to impregnate her - if the husband doesn't want to create a pregnancy he should wear a condom or refrain from sex, whether the woman is or says she is taking her own precautions or not.

I don't think it is the same as the abortion issue someone raised above however. If a baby has been concieved it may be against the woman's wishes and the pregnancy will have to be carried to term which will involve a labour and birth. If a wife will not agree to a vasectomy then nothing further will happen to the man. The status quo will be maintained, this is not true with pregnancy and abortion.

PacificDogwood Mon 14-Sep-09 16:58:06

His body, his decision.
Much like his permission is not required for her to have a termination, thank goodness for that!
Yes, obviously you'd hope that in any halfway functional relationship this would be discussed first (both szenarios). And the fall-out of not discussing it may well be disatrous to the relationship, but permission should not and is not required. There is no legal requirement anyway. Whether individual GPs see the need to get the wife's/partner's/GF's permission first I do not know hmm...

OrmIrian Mon 14-Sep-09 16:59:31

Or get a vasectomy curiosity. Surely if it's his responsibility to ensure that he doesn't impregnate his wife it is up to him to chose how to do it.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Mon 14-Sep-09 17:00:08

It's totally the same as the abortion question. It's about bodily autonomy. Every person has the right to make decisions about their own person. Competant adults should never need another adult's permission for a medical procedure of any kind.

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