South Africa 23.7.2015 04:45 pm

Hospital denies refusing to sterilise woman

Charmaine Van der Merwe accused Steve Biko Academic Hospital of refusing her a sterilisation because she has a learning disability. Pic: Rekord Moot

Charmaine Van der Merwe accused Steve Biko Academic Hospital of refusing her a sterilisation because she has a learning disability. Pic: Rekord Moot

A woman with a learning disability was denied a sterilisation after giving birth on Wednesday, as she did not follow the right procedure.

This according to Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, who have been accused of unethical conduct by a woman who claims she was refused a sterilisation after giving birth.

The deputy CEO of the hospital, Mathabo Mathebula, said Charmaine van der Merwe, 25, should have followed a number of prescribed steps and that a patient with mental disability had to obtain written consent from a spouse, guardian or parent to be sterilised. The approval of the head of the health facility concerned was also required, Rekord Moot reported.

Van der Merwe said she had asked for the sterilisation months before the birth of her second child.

“The head of the health facility would convene a panel consisting of a psychiatrist, a clinical psychologist and a nurse to assess the need for sterilisation. Such a panel would make a recommendation to the head of the facility, who would use it in deciding whether to approve or not approve,” said Mathebula.

Van der Merwe said the female doctor told her she had to consult a psychologist before she could be sterilised.

“I refused and told her she must go to a psychologist. She then told me that she could go study further, but I do not have the ability to do so. She insinuated that I am too dumb to make my own decisions,” added Van der Merwe.

Mathebula said Van der Merwe was booked for a repeat caesarean section.

“During the antenatal period, she indicated preference for reversible contraception, but only when she was on the operating table did she indicate and screame that she wanted a sterilisation,” he said.

Mathebula reportedly declined to comment on the doctor’s alleged behaviour. Van der Merwe could not remember the doctor’s name.

“Because the doctor’s name is not given, the allegations could not be verified,” said Mathebula.

– Caxton News Service

 

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