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Committee Opinion Number 695, April 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 371, July 2007)

ABSTRACT: Sterilization is the most common method of contraception among married couples, with nearly twice as many couples choosing female partner sterilization over male sterilization. Although sterilization is among the most straightforward surgical procedures an obstetrician–gynecologist performs, it is enormously complex when considered from a historical, sociological, or ethical perspective. Sterilization practices have embodied a problematic tension, in which some women who desired fertility were sterilized without their knowledge or consent, and other women who wanted sterilization to...


Committee Opinion Number 385, November 2007

Reaffirmed 2016

ABSTRACT: Health care providers occasionally may find that providing indicated, even standard, care would present for them a personal moral problem—a conflict of conscience—particularly in the field of reproductive medicine. Although respect for conscience is important, conscientious refusals should be limited if they constitute an imposition of religious or moral beliefs on patients, negatively affect a patient's health, are based on scientific misinformation, or create or reinforce racial or socioeconomic inequalities. Conscientious refusals that conflict with patient well-being should be a...


Committee Opinion Number 371, July 2007

Reaffirmed 2016

ABSTRACT: Sterilization, like any other surgical procedure, must be carried out under the general ethical principles of respect for autonomy, beneficence, and justice. Women requesting sterilization should be encouraged to discuss their decision and associated issues with their husbands or other appropriate intimate partners. The physician who objects to a patient's request for sterilization solely as a matter of conscience has the obligation to inform the patient that sterilization services may be available elsewhere and should refer the patient to another caregiver. The presence of a mental...


American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
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