One of the most complicated ethical issues that arises in children's hospitals today is the issue of whether it is ever permissible to perform a procedure for a minor that will result in permanent sterilization. In most cases, the answer is no. The availability of good, safe, long-acting contraception allows surgical options to be postponed when the primary goal of such surgical options is to prevent pregnancy. But what if a minor has congenital urogenital anomalies or other medical conditions for which the best treatment is a hysterectomy? In those cases, the primary goal of therapy is not to prevent pregnancy. Instead, sterility is an unfortunate side effect of a medically indicated treatment. Should that side effect preclude the provision of a therapy that is otherwise medically appropriate? We present a case that raises these issues, and asked experts in law, bioethics, community advocacy, and gynecology to respond. They discuss whether the best option is to proceed with the surgery or to cautiously delay making a decision to give the teenager more time to carefully consider all of the options.
View details for DOI 10.1542/peds.2016-3992
View details for PubMedID 28562274