British court OKs vasectomy for man with low IQ
By The Associated Press
Published: Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, 9:33 p.m.
LONDON — A man who lacks the capacity to give informed consent can be given a vasectomy since he made repeated requests not to have more children, a British court ruled Friday.
The 36-year-old man, known only by his initials DE, has an IQ of 40, lives with his parents and has a long-term girlfriend who has severe learning disabilities.
In 2009, DE's girlfriend became pregnant and had a child. According to the court ruling, DE insisted he did not want any more children. People with his IQ level have a mental age of between 6 and 9, according to an independent psychiatrist cited in the ruling.
His doctors and parents then applied to the court for the vasectomy, because DE doesn't have the mental capacity to understand the procedure's implications. The judge ruled that it is “overwhelmingly in DE's best interests” to have a vasectomy.
Experts said DE was able to consent to a sexual relationship and that a vasectomy would give him a measure of independence. Attempts to teach DE how to use condoms failed.
Britain's Court of Protection regularly makes decisions for people lacking mental capacity. It previously authorized the sterilization of some intellectually challenged women, but this is the first time a vasectomy has been authorized on the grounds that it is in the man's “best interests.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Empty, $36M facility justified, general finds
- Police: Toronto mayor tried to buy crack tape
- Hezbollah commander shot down
- ‘Dangerous’ radioactive material found in Mexico
- U.S. can’t get China to yield on contentious air zone
- Egyptian satirist says show’s suspension wasn’t ‘nice’
- Robert Gumbita retains Mt. Pleasant School Board president seat
- Syrian troops capture key town
- American held in North Korea offers apology
- Egyptian panel likely to include women, Christians
- VA chief pledges to end backlog