Vasectomy consent form

This thread http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=111973

Got me to thinking. When I had my snip job 2 years ago, the doctor made me sign a consent form. The form indicated that the procedure was permanant and not considered reversable, and would leave me completely sterile. Fine. Good. That’s what I wanted. I signed.

But the form also had a space for my wife to sign, and the doctor mandated that she sign it, in his presence, before he would perform the operation. My question is, why did I need her permission for this, when she would not need my permission for an abortion? Is this consent form a legal document? Is the doctor required to get the wifes signature?

I hope it was just the doc’s policy, and not some kind of law. A marriage ceritificate shouldn’t sign over half-ownership of your vas defrens.

If it is a law, it almost certainly wouldn’t survive Constitutional challenge. (I’m studying for my Con Law exam right now, in fact. I’m thinking of the case where widowers had more burden of proof to collect survivor’s benefits, but since I can’t remember the name of that case, I’m going to get off the SDMB and get back to work.)

From what Mighty Maximino says, it sounds like the doc was just covering his own tuchus. I could see a scenario where a guy goes in, undergoes the ribbon cutting ceremony, then his wife, who wants the option of more children, sues the doctor because she never consented, her husband went behind her back, and the doctor participated. I don’t know if it would stand up in court (no ten inpunded), but the doctor would still have to spend the money and time to defend himself, and it looks bad. Better he should take the precaution of having the wife sign in his presence prior to breaking out the weed wacker.

As it happens, I’m going to be inquiring about the above procedure this summer. I’ll be interested in seeing if the doctor requires Mrs. Dave-Guy’s written consent.

Out of interest, how old were you guys (and any others) when you had your snips? Have you found any wierd side effects? I know I need to do more than ask a few dopers before I get it done, but it’s a good place to start.

I had mine at the age of 32 a couple of years back; I had a very bad time of it throughout, but I’d still recommend it to anyone who is sure they want a permanent solution.

I had to jump through quite a few hoops to get mine done on the NHS; the doctor wouldn’t refer me to the consultant until we (my wife and I) had both talked to her, the consultant asked me quite a few pointed questions to make sure I had thought it through properly. Personally, I found all of that quite reassuring. I could have had it done privately with no (or not many) questions asked, but I didn’t.

This is probably right. But there’s a couple of reasons that I think it wouldn’t stand up in court. First, as has been mentioned earlier, it’s established that women do not have to get their husband’s consent in order to have an abortion. With parallelism, a man shouldn’t have to get his wife’s permission for a snip job. Secondly, a single man could get a vasectomy with no one’s approval (are they gonna make his mother sign it? if he’s 30?), so a married man should be able to do the same thing, especially since we’ve gotten rid of that “married couple are one person” fiction and allow each spouse their own sphere of privacy.

The doctor might personally not want to deal with a possible lawsuit, but I don’t think it would make for a good lawsuit, and I’d be very surprised indeed if it were a legal requirement. One of the board’s resident lawyers may now eviscerate me :slight_smile:

Regardless of whether or not the doctor will win the lawsuit easily, there’s more than just the hassle issue to be concerned about. I work in a medical center and have seen many applications for privileges, for being able to take certain insurance types, and so on. Just about all of them ask if you’ve ever been the subject of a lawsuit. Not if you lost, mind you. And you have to then fill out an extra form explaining exactly what happened, what the outcome was, etc.

My husbands Dr required me to attend a session in his office where the staff explained the procedure and detailed the chances of reversal should we have a change of heart. Then I signed off on the consent.

I had many miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy before we made the decision, together, for AdoptaDad to have a vasectomy. Twas a much easier procedure for DH (outpatient - in Dr.'s office) to insure we wouldn’t get pregnant again. I was 31, DH was 39.

FWIW, I watched the surgery, up close and personally - from a distance of a couple of feet. Normally, I’m very squeamish, but I wanted to make SURE I’d never get pregnant again, and in light of my pregnancy history, my DH’s Dr. understood and asked if I wanted to watch. AdoptaDad had no problems with me being present. I must share that it was the coolest procedure I’ve ever seen done. The Dr. cut, tied, cauterized and clipped - explaining the procedure step by step. This was painless for DH as he had valium flowing through his veins and he was cracking jokes the entire time.

DH had no complications, no problems recovering, and this procedure freed us to play without the worry that the next pregnancy would be another life threatening adventure for me.

I was 40 when I had my “ribbon cutting ceramony” (I like that term, Dave:p). The operation itself is, well, a pain in the nuts. But I recovered in less than 1 day.

I had a major side effect after my 3rd and final test came by negative: my libido went through the roof (as if I wasn’t already horny as a goat;)) No kidding. Once you’re certain that you cannot impregnant your s.o., something inside kicks in and tells you to “go to town” double time. It’s wierd, but wonderful.