Vasectomy and reproductive negligence: Tony’s story

Male sterilisation: Vasectomy

Vasectomy is a surgical procedure for male sterilisation or permanent contraception in which the vas deferens are cut and tied or sealed so as to prevent sperm entering into the urethra and thereby preventing fertilisation through sexual intercourse. The procedure is not fool proof. Whilst most failures happen in the first few months after the procedure when live sperm may still be in the man’s semen, vasectomy can fail for example if the doctor misses the vas deferens during the procedure or where the cutting and closure of the tubes is not effective and the vas grows back (re-canalization). It is extremely important that there are repeat sperm assays over an extended period to ensure that there is no sperm in the semen. Doctors should advise of the necessity of repeat sperm assays.

Reproductive Negligence Case Study: Failed Vasectomy – Tony’s Story

Tony was divorced after many years of marriage. He hadn’t need to worry about contraception because his wife had a hysterectomy after complications with their fourth child. Tony was still sexually active and planned to have casual relationships after his separation, not ever wanting more children. Tony saw his doctor who referred him to a urologist. A vasectomy was conducted in day surgery and Tony’s care was referred back to his G.P. Tony was not advised to have follow-up sperm assays.

Tony entered a casual sexual relationship with a woman and told her that he had had a vasectomy. The woman, who was in her late 30’s, fell pregnant and ultimately gave birth to a child with down syndrome. Later paternity tests showed that the baby was Tony’s and subsequent tests revealed that the vas had re-canalized soon after the procedure because of the procedural shortcomings. Tony sued the urologist and his G.P. in negligence for their failure to advise of the necessity to have repeat sperm assays and the risk of re-canalization.

The Law Office of Conrad Curry is passionate in ensuring that individuals receive appropriate treatment during all aspects of sterilisation treatment.

If you have been a victim or suffered loss as a result of medical negligence, call us today to speak to our friendly team.


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