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S/O...Forced sterilization


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When is it okay?

Having a cognitively impaired son, this is a sad issue we are faced with.  We have many friends that have to evaluate this option as well.  Our children are just turning 18 and guardianship is being established.  It's a topic we've discussed in theory over the years but now is all to real and I admit I don't even know the rules and laws of it yet.  I got the impression in the Britney thread that some are just flat out against it.  I am curious if that is true?  What should be done instead?  When is it okay?  Is it ever?

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I keep coming back to thinking we shouldn’t be allowed to do things to free people who have not committed a crime that we can’t do to serious convicted criminals. I thinks that a really low bar but reasonable starter rule. The closest I can come to thinking a person might deserve that forced on them is some convicted repeat sex offenders.

To me if someone is so cognitively impaired that something so drastic is even being considered, it seems to me that person should not be allowed to have sex bc they cannot actually consent to the risk of reproducing?   How is such a person managing to live their day to day life on their own without assistance and supervision?

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Posted (edited)

Some people are at a high risk of sexual abuse.  
 

Sexual abuse can still happen to someone who is receiving assistance and supervision.  
 

Edit:  I mean, people who may not be able to give consent can still be abused.  
 

Edited by Lecka
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Posted (edited)

I think it also can free up the opportunity for some people to have consensual sex who may not be up to managing birth control.  

Edit:  do I think this is possible?  Yes, yes I do.  

 

Edited by Lecka
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Posted (edited)

Sex is pleasurable. I would not want to take that from my child (by requiring abstinence) because he didn't have the capability to handle the responsibility of a child. 

Edited by lewelma
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Posted (edited)

Just for me personally — making the bar “able

to care for a child” I think is not a bar I am comfortable with.

I am more comfortable  with a bar where it would be hard to understand birth control, or where it would be very hard on someone to be pregnant.  

Edit: and if a man is likely to be in a relationship with a woman who would be in that situation — I think that is a reason for a man.  

 

Edited by Lecka
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I am thinking of some pretty specific situations and I have never thought of other situations — if that makes sense.

I am basically thinking of people who do have cognitive disability and do live in a supervised setting, but who wanted to date etc.

And I am NOT saying no one in that situation would be unable to make their own choices.

I just think — there are times I think it is an ethical choice for a guardian to make.  

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Hugs to you.   I have been watching that thread, but have commented.  I do think there are times when forced sterilization is appropriate.   If your DS was a DD, you could put her on BCP.  I personally know of at least 2 situations where someone in full time care (very low IQ, ward of the state, unable to live alone or care for themself)  decided to become sexually active and had a baby who was immediately taken as a ward of the state as well.  The father was so in the same mental state, so it wasn't someone taking advantage.  Two people with such cognitive condition can still be attracted to each other and want to have sex, but they should not have a baby if one can be prevented.   Its a serious concern,  and it shouldn't be made lightly, but I do think it should be made in some situations. 

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Posted (edited)

Murphy — basically the issue is, do you want to prevent people from having sex, and say they can’t consent? 
 

Well — basically it seems often people CAN consent to sex, who are just in a situation where they really may not be able to understand some things about pregnancy and birth control.  Sex and dating can be easier to understand, than pregnancy and birth control.

 

So basically — it is thinking someone IS able to consent to sex, is maybe a nicer thing than to think they just can’t be allowed to have sex.  
 

That really is my understanding.

 

 

Edited by Lecka
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If I was cognitively impaired to a level where I would not be able to care for a child, I would hope that the people who cared for me would care enough to prevent me from becoming pregnant. 

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Posted (edited)

There was some discussion on this in Australia a few years ago. Basically the  conclusion was that a person's right to have sex trumped. 

People with severe cognativly impaired daughters are unable to have their daughters sterilised as it is unethical. However they can be put on birth control to help with minimising periods. I am talking the extreme level of cognative impairment. Where the person cannot manage even basic things like changing a pad. 

Edited by Melissa in Australia
Phone changed word
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1 hour ago, Lecka said:

Some people are at a high risk of sexual abuse.  
 

Sexual abuse can still happen to someone who is receiving assistance and supervision.  
 

Edit:  I mean, people who may not be able to give consent can still be abused.  
 

I agree and understand that. But seems to me that their high risk of abuse shouldn’t mean the *possible* victim is the one who has to have other things forcibly done to them that they don’t understand and can’t consent to. That just seems like 2 wrongs to me.  But I do agree that that worry is real for some guardians. 

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1 hour ago, TABmom said:

If I was cognitively impaired to a level where I would not be able to care for a child, I would hope that the people who cared for me would care enough to prevent me from becoming pregnant. 

See now. I agree with that. Which is why I would be preventing them from having sex if at all possible. 

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Posted (edited)

For a sexually active male, sterilization is only a partial solution. Yes, he will be unlikely to impregnate a girl or woman, but he will still be exposed to risk of STDs if he is not capable of using a condom during each encounter. 

In the sadly possible event of abuse by another, he does not carry the additional risk of pregnancy; sterilization is not protective here. 

I think that it a very hard situation, one I'm glad I don't face. How you manage it, OP, will very much depend on your son's individual circumstances. 

Just keep in mind sterilization doesn't remove all his  vulnerabilities re sex. 

 

 

Edited by Melissa Louise
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2 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

I keep coming back to thinking we shouldn’t be allowed to do things to free people who have not committed a crime that we can’t do to serious convicted criminals. I thinks that a really low bar but reasonable starter rule. The closest I can come to thinking a person might deserve that forced on them is some convicted repeat sex offenders.

To me if someone is so cognitively impaired that something so drastic is even being considered, it seems to me that person should not be allowed to have sex bc they cannot actually consent to the risk of reproducing?   How is such a person managing to live their day to day life on their own without assistance and supervision?

I don't know how you don't allow sex.  Just because one is CI doesn't mean they don't or shouldn't have relationships.  I feel like maybe you aren't familiar with an IQ range of 55-75?  I am speaking specifically to that, because it is where my son and his circle falls and what I know.  

There is a whole CI range that a person can go to school, work, take transportation, be involved in groups and sports, and have a whole fulfilling life.  While assistance, training, planning and supervision is needed at times, that doesn't mean it is 24/7 under the eye.   All of this takes years of work I can write a book on, but the goal is as much independence as possible, even with not being able to live on their own, drive, and so on. 

My son is 18 and in his last year of high school.  He will get a certificate of completion.  He has an IQ of 60.  He cannot drive.  He reads at a 2-3rd grade level.  He could not fill out a form, make an appt, goto an appt by himself, etc..We have guardianship, to clarify on his level of need.  He cannot take care of his own needs, never will be able too.  I live in fear of us dying and what happens to him.  

That said, he is in a work training program this summer and will have a simple ob this fall.  After job coaching he will be on his own there like any other employee.  He will take special needs transportation.  He is on his xc and track team and went to states. He can left alone for a day (not overnight).  He can cook with us home.  

He can do many many thing, but have a child is not one.  So again I ask, what do I do?

I realize it's a tough subject.  I'm not incredibly touchy over it.  Just trying to offer a different perspective.   It doesn't sit great with me and my friends who have to make a decision like this either.  There's just not awesome alternatives either. 

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Preventing them from having sex at all would mean not allowing the to go school, work or have a social life.  Being cognitively impaired doesn't mean you don't have a life.  

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8 minutes ago, DeainUSA said:

Preventing them from having sex at all would mean not allowing the to go school, work or have a social life.  Being cognitively impaired doesn't mean you don't have a life.  

Has he had cognitively appropriate but extensive sex ed?  

That would be my first step. 

There are so many issues, to do with his own health and safety as well as that of others, that exist regardless of sterilization status. 

I do think the issue is slightly different with males in that the procedure is far less invasive, and males don't come from a class where reproductive control has historically  been used to punish and manipulate. 

 

 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

To your general question, when is it OK?

Rarely. As a last resort. Particularly if permanent. 

I would argue that this is the exact time to do it. Personally, I would have zero qualms with sterilizing my son in this situation  From my point of view, there are no negatives at all. 

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1 minute ago, lewelma said:

I would argue that this is the exact time to do it. Personally, I would have zero qualms with sterilizing my son in this situation  From my point of view, there are no negatives at all. 

The negative would be interfering with his bodily autonomy before trying to get his consent. 

I agree there is no downside pragmatically. 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

The negative would be interfering with his bodily autonomy before trying to get his consent. 

I agree there is no downside pragmatically. 

Consent? It is a medical matter, and he is and will always be a child. No consent is necessary, and the only outcome is him having a child he cannot take care of.

OP, I feel kind of icky talking about your son this way. Please let me know if I'm being too direct. This is just hard. Hugs to you. 

Edited by lewelma
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1 minute ago, lewelma said:

Consent? It is a medical matter, and he is and will always be a child. No consent is necessary, and the only outcome is him having a child he cannot take care of.

OP, I feel kind of icky talking about your son this way. Please let me know if I'm being too direct. This is just hard. Hugs to you. 

I disagree. 

There should always be an attempt to gain informed consent for medical or surgical procedures. 

It may be that informed consent cannot possibly be obtained; I'm comfortable with the attempt. 

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Has he had cognitively appropriate but extensive sex ed?  

That would be my first step. 

There are so many issues, to do with his own health and safety as well as that of others, that exist regardless of sterilization status. 

I do think the issue is slightly different with males in that the procedure is far less invasive, and males don't come from a class where reproductive control has historically  been used to punish and manipulate. 


 

 

 

 

 

We talk about it a lot.  He forgets a lot.  Rinse and repeat.  We are very proactive.  

I don't assume he won't have a s/o one day.  We have made our lower half of the house into a living area for him.  We have family who have a special needs child that married another special needs person and they live with their parents and rotate. 

Edited by DeainUSA
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6 minutes ago, lewelma said:

Consent? It is a medical matter, and he is and will always be a child. No consent is necessary, and the only outcome is h having a child he cannot take care of.

OP, I feel kind of icky talking about your son this way. Please let me know if Im being too direct. This is just hard. Hugs to you. 

It doesn't bother me at all.  Thank you for asking.  I know it's a hard subject.

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2 hours ago, TABmom said:

If I was cognitively impaired to a level where I would not be able to care for a child, I would hope that the people who cared for me would care enough to prevent me from becoming pregnant. 

This is put so well and helped me as a reminder of my ultimate job and goal.

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I think this is a subject where not everyone will ever agree.  
 

Parents in this situation do decide either way.
 

Parents in this situation can also choose to prevent their adult kids from having sex by keeping them at home.

 

I think there are a lot of things that I think are within a range of choices I think are okay for parents to make.  
 

I have known someone who chose to prevent her adult daughter from having sex by limiting her activities and keeping her home, and I thought that was a fine choice for her and her husband to make.  
 

There is not an easy choice either way.  
 

I really think there is not one right way.   

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1 hour ago, DeainUSA said:

I don't know how you don't allow sex.  Just because one is CI doesn't mean they don't or shouldn't have relationships.  I feel like maybe you aren't familiar with an IQ range of 55-75?  I am speaking specifically to that, because it is where my son and his circle falls and what I know.  

There is a whole CI range that a person can go to school, work, take transportation, be involved in groups and sports, and have a whole fulfilling life.  While assistance, training, planning and supervision is needed at times, that doesn't mean it is 24/7 under the eye.   All of this takes years of work I can write a book on, but the goal is as much independence as possible, even with not being able to live on their own, drive, and so on. 

My son is 18 and in his last year of high school.  He will get a certificate of completion.  He has an IQ of 60.  He cannot drive.  He reads at a 2-3rd grade level.  He could not fill out a form, make an appt, goto an appt by himself, etc..We have guardianship, to clarify on his level of need.  He cannot take care of his own needs, never will be able too.  I live in fear of us dying and what happens to him.  

That said, he is in a work training program this summer and will have a simple ob this fall.  After job coaching he will be on his own there like any other employee.  He will take special needs transportation.  He is on his xc and track team and went to states. He can left alone for a day (not overnight).  He can cook with us home.  

He can do many many thing, but have a child is not one.  So again I ask, what do I do?

I realize it's a tough subject.  I'm not incredibly touchy over it.  Just trying to offer a different perspective.   It doesn't sit great with me and my friends who have to make a decision like this either.  There's just not awesome alternatives either. 

My daughter and I are conservative Catholics. we do not believe in or use artificial birth control.  My daughter is a special ed teacher who works with high school students with ID (students with an IQ of 50-75) in the past she taught in a post-secondary (college) program for these students. The program had a sex ed class for the kids and they were definitely having sex.

She would like to adopt a child with Down Syndrome one day and this is a hard topic for her. She is of the opinion that she would be willing to risk the sin on this one and provide her child with birth control that they do not have to be in charge of (so semi-permanent/permanent).  

In order to provide the richness of life that these adults deserve they cannot be supervised every second. Beyond what they will choose to do on their own, the risk of abuse is just too high.  (she had a student with an IQ of about 75 who was dating a neurotypical student)

I feel for the choice that you must make and know that many people cannot understand that position that you are in. You are trying to decide on what is best for your child in all ways and this is a really gray/hard area.

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I think I'd handle it the way I would other medical procedures for a child-discuss with medical personnel, decide on a path, and then explain it to him as appropriate for his developmental age. Because, the fact is, being unable to father a child will allow him a more normal life than being kept from possibly having a significant other in the future and restricted to the point that he would not have the opportunity to have sex. 

 

I'm reminded of the health director at the women's college telling parents that no, going to a women's college will NOT keep kids from having sex, so they absolutely talk to the students about birth control and STD protection, and will prescribe the pill, etc. Because, ultimately, young adults are wired to have sex, you can't prevent it if they choose to do so,  so we want to reduce the consequences (preventing pregnancy and STD's) if at all possible, and that includes both education and birth control. 

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Posted (edited)

I wanted to say, the parents I knew who did keep their adult daughter home and out of many activities…..

 

The daughter specifically was in the lower range even among other people she would be grouped with.  She was extremely sweet and she would go along with anything.  
 

Her parents thought she was at particularly high risk of being taken advantage of, even more than others in the same general situation.  
 

And then it’s not that it was the only reason!  It was part of a bigger picture.

 

Edit:  they also didn’t think it was a permanent solution, because — it’s not really a permanent solution to have someone stay home or go to work with parents forever.  
 

Edited by Lecka
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31 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

I think I'd handle it the way I would other medical procedures for a child-discuss with medical personnel, decide on a path, and then explain it to him as appropriate for his developmental age.

Absolutely. You need to find out if it's even legal in your state. I've taught many teens of 60 IQ, they can have a full life, and you may well be able to explain and get assent from him at least, rather than legal consent, to the procedure. 

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26 minutes ago, lewelma said:

Consent? It is a medical matter, and he is and will always be a child. No consent is necessary, and the only outcome is him having a child he cannot take care of.

OP, I feel kind of icky talking about your son this way. Please let me know if I'm being too direct. This is just hard. Hugs to you. 

And that’s the kicker for me. If they are for all legal and social intent to be categorized as a child and your own perception of them is like that of a child needing a primary daily caregiver - young children of such limited development in our society are not going to have sexual relations condoned and it’s usually illegal.  So yes, for me, I’d probably restrict their activities to those with less risk of sexual abuse and I would never encourage them in thinking they should marry or date either.  And yes, building a community of like-minded people who will step up when the parents cannot and a society that offers support would be extremely helpful and is sadly lacking for most people.  I hope that changes.

I have nephews and a niece of low IQ (62-75) plus some other Issues who have had children.  All their children have been removed from their care by the state shortly after the birth or arranged at the birth. (5 total)

Do I like that? Nope.  Do I wish they could take care of their children? Yes. But despite their low IQ they are capable of basic decision making and living in their own for the most part.   And their children are well cared and loved by their new families.  Most eventually decided on long term birth control solutions on their own.  They did not have to be forced to it.

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know some people who take action so a girl can avoid having to deal with menstruation etc when there’s significant cognitive impairment that will make that really traumatic.  It’s probably a harder decision with boys.

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10 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

To your general question, when is it OK?

Rarely. As a last resort. Particularly if permanent. 

Yes.  
I don’t think there’s any sort of clear, definitive line showing where it’s okay and where it isn’t, making it a very difficult decision in some cases.

I was friends with a family where a teen was put on bc to make periods more predictable. This teen had severe physical and intellectual disabilities, basically non-verbal and needing heavy assistance, including in bathroom tasks. It’s never crossed my mind to question that decision. She would never be able to consent to sex or care for a child any more than a 5yo could. (Guestimating. I’m not aware of an official cognitive age for her.) I’d even understand permanency there, given the circumstances would never change.

Anyway, it was far from scenarios given in the other thread.

I feel for anyone who faces these decisions in (what I see as) that gray area.

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This is a tough topic in the special needs world.

I have 3 that fit in this category.  Two are from a birth mother that was also mildly  cognitively impaired....and had 8 children, all removed from her care over the years.

I think marriage is a good to great option for some young adults in this range.   One of mine is married to a young man she met at special Olympics.  They live 2 miles from me in a duplex and I check on them by phone at least daily and in person almost daily.

One option for girls is the Nexplanon.  It helps greatly reduce their periods and cramping with the "side effect" of birth control.  It lasts for 3 years and requires no remembering to take/use something daily.

In Michigan it can be extremely hard to get any type of permanent birth control for any person with special needs.   One of my kids friends needed a hysterectomy, that in a neurotypical woman would have been clearly indicated as her cycles were causing severe seizures.  It took a lot to get court permission to have that done.

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this is an interesting topic.   I will be reading along.  I am still formulating thoughts on this and need to get out the door this morning, but I think of those who cannot care for a child, whose children will be taken away if they have one....like the mentally ill.   But where is the line?   that is the big question.

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I'm also trying to formulate my thoughts on this. There are these different levels here... because having the cognitive level of a child and having the body and bodily needs of a child are really different. One of the reasons that sex is inappropriate for children is that they're cognitively children, but another is that they're not sexually mature. The latter isn't true for a cognitively impaired adult. And "at the level" of mentally doesn't mean the same mentally. In the other thread, talking about controlling someone in a mental health crisis seems different to me than talking about someone who is permanently cognitively impaired.

I guess one of the things that occurs to me that applies to both situations is that the goal should be to look for permanent/long term solutions. Someone having a mental health crisis that can eventually be managed through treatment and medication having such a decision made for them long term feels wrong. Someone who is permanently impaired having such a decision made for them seems really different to me.

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13 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

And that’s the kicker for me. If they are for all legal and social intent to be categorized as a child and your own perception of them is like that of a child needing a primary daily caregiver - young children of such limited development in our society are not going to have sexual relations condoned and it’s usually illegal.  So yes, for me, I’d probably restrict their activities to those with less risk of sexual abuse and I would never encourage them in thinking they should marry or date either.  And yes, building a community of like-minded people who will step up when the parents cannot and a society that offers support would be extremely helpful and is sadly lacking for most people.  I hope that changes.

I have nephews and a niece of low IQ (62-75) plus some other Issues who have had children.  All their children have been removed from their care by the state shortly after the birth or arranged at the birth. (5 total)

Do I like that? Nope.  Do I wish they could take care of their children? Yes. But despite their low IQ they are capable of basic decision making and living in their own for the most part.   And their children are well cared and loved by their new families.  Most eventually decided on long term birth control solutions on their own.  They did not have to be forced to it.

I just can't imagine as a guardian and more importantly, parent, putting by child through the inevitable of permanent birth control.  Just the thought of my son and his peers going through the trauma of the above.  It really convinces me of the responsibility I have to make sure that doesn't happen.  

14 hours ago, retiredHSmom said:

My daughter and I are conservative Catholics. we do not believe in or use artificial birth control.  My daughter is a special ed teacher who works with high school students with ID (students with an IQ of 50-75) in the past she taught in a post-secondary (college) program for these students. The program had a sex ed class for the kids and they were definitely having sex.

She would like to adopt a child with Down Syndrome one day and this is a hard topic for her. She is of the opinion that she would be willing to risk the sin on this one and provide her child with birth control that they do not have to be in charge of (so semi-permanent/permanent).  

In order to provide the richness of life that these adults deserve they cannot be supervised every second. Beyond what they will choose to do on their own, the risk of abuse is just too high.  (she had a student with an IQ of about 75 who was dating a neurotypical student)

I feel for the choice that you must make and know that many people cannot understand that position that you are in. You are trying to decide on what is best for your child in all ways and this is a really gray/hard area.

I feel like you really do get this IQ range.  What your daughter does is amazing, that is no easy job!

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I think it would be far traumatic to go through pregnancy and child birth, and have the children taken away than to go through a tubal ligation or vasectomy. Not to mention that while not all people with cognitive disabilities also have additional medical needs, but some do, and for women, pregnancy and childbirth is physically very hard on the body, and has a tendency to make other conditions worse. It seems like a quality of life issue, even if one assumes that the children are immediately able to go into long term adoptive homes. 

 

I think it's harder to make a call when you're talking mental illness, because there is always the possibility, however remote, that the next medication or treatment might stabilize it and keep the person stable. With a cognitive disability,there is no such possibility. 

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15 hours ago, Dmmetler said:

I think I'd handle it the way I would other medical procedures for a child-discuss with medical personnel, decide on a path, and then explain it to him as appropriate for his developmental age. Because, the fact is, being unable to father a child will allow him a more normal life than being kept from possibly having a significant other in the future and restricted to the point that he would not have the opportunity to have sex. 

This. OP, is this something your son would consent to if you explained the advantages? It sounds like he is very high functioning and might be able to/want to consent to the procedure. Especially as it is pretty minor for men.

I really feel for your situation as I have a son who is 23 who has special needs. Our situation is more black-and-white, though, as he functions on a 2-year-old level and will never live independently or ever be unsupervised.

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36 minutes ago, Longtime Lurker said:

This. OP, is this something your son would consent to if you explained the advantages? It sounds like he is very high functioning and might be able to/want to consent to the procedure. Especially as it is pretty minor for men.

I really feel for your situation as I have a son who is 23 who has special needs. Our situation is more black-and-white, though, as he functions on a 2-year-old level and will never live independently or ever be unsupervised.

He would consent.  In full transparency, he'd consent to pretty much anything I suggested.  He can be easily convinced one way or the other.  

He knows he can't have kids.  We talk about it a lot.  He's pretty self aware of his capabilities, luckily.  He has friends who are not.  Friends that talk about having kids, driving, owning a house.  Things they can/will never do.  They don't understand it.  

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8 minutes ago, DeainUSA said:

He would consent.  In full transparency, he'd consent to pretty much anything I suggested.  He can be easily convinced one way or the other.  

He knows he can't have kids.  We talk about it a lot.  He's pretty self aware of his capabilities, luckily.  He has friends who are not.  Friends that talk about having kids, driving, owning a house.  Things they can/will never do.  They don't understand it.  

Then it really isn't a problem and it isn't forced sterilization.  I am a special ed teacher who has taught many such young adults over the years.  Some, like Ottakee's daughter have married another cognitively impaired person and have supervision on daily life, especially finances.  They (as well as the ones who have not married) have all been given good sex education, and have had a doctor as well as their guardian explain why certain medical procedures are in their best interests.  It's not forced and they legally have to consent (at least in my state).  (There may be a cognitive cut-off where consent isn't needed.  I have certainly taken care of disabled people who would be unable to give any consent to such medical procedures but it's also obvious that they couldn't consent to sex as well.) 

I know one girl was very taken with wanting a baby, she loved babies.  But we had to explain that children don't stay babies and that there are other considerations.  And we got her a job where she helped to take care of babies in a supervised setting.  When her mom went with her to the doctor for implanted birth control she told me that she had a moment when she thought that her daughter would refuse but fortunately she didn't.  So while the doctor and guardian strongly coaxed her to do it, it was not forced and there was a medical consensus on the need. 

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I would argue that continuing to allow someone incapable of taking care of a baby, to keep getting PG, only to take the baby at birth is unethical.   I have one friend with 2 kids (foster to adopt) from this situation.   I know another lady with 5 kids from the same person.  I don't know what my state laws are regarding this, but I do know it happens and I think courts and legal council should work harder to stop the pregnancies from occurring. 

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23 hours ago, Lecka said:

Some people are at a high risk of sexual abuse.  
 

Sexual abuse can still happen to someone who is receiving assistance and supervision.  
 

Edit:  I mean, people who may not be able to give consent can still be abused.  
 

This is my thought.  Sexual vicimization, sometimes leading to pregnancy, is unfortunately not uncommon for people incapable of giving consent or explaining what has happened to them.  Mom and Dad can't always be present.  Especially as time goes by - the individual may end up institutionalized as caregivers age or pass away.

I think it's great if you can get their consent, but if they are really incapable, then the guardians should have the right to give consent on their behalf.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, BusyMom5 said:

I would argue that continuing to allow someone incapable of taking care of a baby, to keep getting PG, only to take the baby at birth is unethical.   I have one friend with 2 kids (foster to adopt) from this situation.   I know another lady with 5 kids from the same person.  I don't know what my state laws are regarding this, but I do know it happens and I think courts and legal council should work harder to stop the pregnancies from occurring. 

That would be eugenics and  very frowned upon everywhere after the disastrous results of experimenting with it in last century. 

Edited by Melissa in Australia
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, BusyMom5 said:

i would argue that continuing to allow someone incapable of taking care of a baby, to keep getting PG, only to take the baby at birth is unethical.

But that has so little to do with IQ.  If the mere chance of that happening is enough to force someone to be sterilized, there are literally hundreds of thousands of people we could probably legit say that about who do not have terribly low IQs and it’s unlikely their situation will ever change.  The foster system is full of children from those situations.  Any drug rehab is full of them too, some will make it out to better lives but it’s no small number that won’t.  Dead beat parents aren’t new either.  But none of these people do we say should have forced sterilization.

I also think the argument that they are at    high risk of sexual abuse is a horrible precedent to set.   There’s entire neighborhoods that have a statistically much higher rate of rape.  There are other demographics that seem to have a higher rate than the norm of sexual abuse too - such as prisoners. Are we actually suggesting that people who have to live in those areas or ever go to jail should be sterilized against their will to “protect” them from their possible future rapists?  If it’s not okay to do it to them - what makes it okay to do it to the cognitive impaired?

Edited by Murphy101
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Murphy101 said:

I also think the argument that they are at    high risk of sexual abuse is a horrible precedent to set.   There’s entire neighborhoods that have a statistically much higher rate of rape.  There are other demographics that seem to have a higher rate than the norm of sexual abuse too - such as prisoners. Are we actually suggesting that people who have to live in those areas or ever go to jail should be sterilized against their will to “protect” them from their possible future rapists?  If it’s not okay to do it to them - what makes it okay to do it to the cognitive impaired?

Well there is the question of whether fertility is of any use to the type of person so cognitively impaired that they cannot consent or protect themselves and obviously cannot raise children.  If a child is born with an extra body part that is not useful, do we wait until he is capable of informed consent before we feel justified in removing it?  No, especially not if having the extra part comes with risks of physical, social, or emotional difficulties.

In your examples of a dangerous neighborhood or jail/prison, the individuals may still be able and willing to raise children at some point in their lives.

And the risk of being raped is different for people who can't understand the risk before the fact and can't effectively make a report afterwards.

There are various articles on this if you google, but this one says that people with intellectual disabilities are 7x as likely to be victims of sexual assault.  https://www.npr.org/2018/01/08/570224090/the-sexual-assault-epidemic-no-one-talks-about

Edited by SKL
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