The Women's Legal Centre has instituted legal proceedings on behalf of two KwaZulu-Natal women, who claim they were coerced into being sterilised at state hospitals last year, reports SABC News.
Before a woman is sterilised, her informed consent has to be obtained. "She has to be explained that sterilisation is a permanent form of contraception and as a results, she is unable to bare children in future. And what we found with the women coming forward is that women are signing the consent forms, but they are not being advised to what is the consequence of being sterilised," says attorney at Women's Legal Centre, Jody-Lee Fredericks.
The KwaZulu-Natal Health Department is investigating the claims. The department says health care workers who've transgressed will be dealt with harshly. "We need to find ways of checking if the patient understands because we do get consents. I don't want to say they are coerced because usually there is no doctor who wants to do hysterectomy for no reason," says KZN's Health HOD, Sifiso Mtshali.Full SABC News report