Authorities to probe illegal sterilization of female inmates

Authorities to probe illegal sterilization of female inmates

Dozens of female inmates in California prisons were sterilized without their consent and safeguards designed to limit such occurrences failed, an investigation of the state’s prison system revealed.

The Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that more than 100 female inmates received tubal ligations without proper consent between 2006 and 2010. The investigation revealed 144 cases, of which 39 sterilizations were reportedly performed without the women inmate’s consent.

In another 27 cases, the physician who performed sterilizations didn’t sign the form to confirm two vital components of permission - the patient was mentally fit and knew the lasting effects of sterilization, and that the necessary waiting period had been satisfied.

The investigation report added that they could be one hundred more possible unwanted sterilization cases dating back to the 1990s.

Margarita Fernández, the chief auditor of public affairs, said, “Some of the inmates were sterilized unlawfully, and there were certain safeguards that were designed to limit those occurrences, and those failed.”

California’s law requires a time period of at least 30 days and no more than 180 days between signing over of consent form by an inmate and the procedure.

The Medical Board of California has been asked to launch an investigation into the 39 cases in which the consent of inmates was not obtained prior to the procedure. The auditor has also asked the California Department of Health to probe physician and hospital practices.

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