Can a doctor perform a sterilization without my consent?

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Can a doctor perform a sterilization without my consent?

I gave birth and underwent a
c- section..after surgery,
the doctor informed me that
he tied my tubes. There was
no medical emergency or
reason for doing this and i
did not give my
permission.this happened
about 10 years ago in
california, but i was just
recently informed that it
may be illegal

Asked on June 1, 2018 under Malpractice Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, in a non-emergency situation, a doctor may not perform any medical procedure on you without your consent unelss you were legally incompetent to manage your own affairs (e.g. you were a minor; you were mentally incompetenent due to mental illness or drug addiction), in which case your legal guardian could consent for you.
After 10 years, it may be too late to take any legal action; while your state does allow an action (e.g. a malpractice case) to be brought 1 year after discovery of the cause of action, "discovery" generally means discovering the injury or harm--not discovering that the legalities were not what you though they were. It would be worth it for you to consult with a medical malpractice attorney to see if you could still take legal action (and if you want to check with an attorney and explore this, do so *now*, before more time goes by), but you need to be prepared that too much time may have passed and you might not be allowed to bring any case.


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