KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Audit Questions Female Inmate Sterilizations In California

At least 39 female inmates in California prisons underwent sterilizations in which the women's informed consent was in question, according to a state audit released Thursday.

Los Angeles Times: Audit Questions Whether 39 Female Inmates Consented To Sterilization
At least 39 female inmates at California prisons underwent sterilizations in which the women's informed consent was in question, according to a state audit released Thursday. The inquiry by the California state auditor found no evidence that doctors documented that the women had consented to the procedure in 27 cases. In 18 cases there were "potential violations" of the required waiting period between consent and the sterilization procedure, the report stated. Both violations may have occurred in some of the cases (Willon, 6/19). 

The Associated Press: Audit Seeks Investigation Of Inmate Sterilizations
State auditors found 39 cases where female state prison inmates may not have understood they were submitting to medical procedures that would leave them sterile, according to a report released Thursday that recommended authorities investigate the doctors and hospitals involved. State law prohibits inmates from elective sterilizations as methods of birth control. However, prison officials allow sterilizations in cases deemed medically necessary (Thompson, 6/19).

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