Sterilisation, story-telling and consent

Dr Matthew Brown, Reader in Latin American Studies, School of Modern Languages

Dr Matthew Brown, Reader in Latin American Studies, School of Modern Languages

I consented to being sterilised.

Why was this?

Because I was repeatedly offered the opportunity to consent to being sterilised by the National Health Service. No doubt the British state has its reasons for wanting to sterilise me (I might have too many children for some people’s liking, for example; I live in an area of social deprivation, and my political affiliations are pretty easy to ascertain from the Internet). Nevertheless, a truth remains: I was offered at least three opportunities to consent to be sterilised, and I gave my consent three times, verbally and in writing. I was given time to think it over. I walked to the neighbourhood clinic, had my tubes cut by a friendly surgeon, and hobbled home to bed and a bag of frozen peas.

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