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Posted on 12th July 2017

Mum Sterilised Without Consent Whilst Giving Birth

Consultants at the Lincoln County Hospital made the irreversible error during an elective C-section.

In May 2016 the mum-to-be and her partner attended the hospital to discuss the up-coming birth of their son. During the appointment a question was raised by the consultant about the couple possibly having a tubal ligation sterilisation.

The mum to be commented “that sounds very final” to which the medic replied “don’t worry you can make your mind up later.” She signed a form confirming she wanted a caesarean section and the consultant wrote “+/- tubal ligation”

Although sterillisation was offered, there was no medical reason for doing so other than future contraception.

When the expectant mum went back to hospital on 9th June 16 for the planned caesarean section she was again questioned whether she required the sterilisation. She advised the anaesthetist “absolutely not, we have decided we don’t want it doing”

During the C-section a male anaesthetist was in attendance instead of the female she had seen previously. It was carried out under epidural and the mum was conscious throughout.

Part way through the operation the male consultant surgeon complained of feeling faint and so was replaced by a female surgeon.

Whilst being operated on, the new mum asked why the operation was taking so long and her midwife advised “they’re just cutting your tubes” to which the new mum replied “I didn’t want that doing” The midwife picked up the mum’s medical records and left the room.

The couple are now considering taking legal action. In a meeting with hospital bosses, they advised the pair that they would fully investigate what happened and apologised many times.

The Lincoln County Hospital are in special measures for a second time after a Care Quality Commission report found that maternity services “requires improvement” and overall the hospital was rated as “inadequate”. The latest inspection found it met the standard “good” in only 1 out of 5 areas.


In this case the consent form clearly had “elective caesarean section + / - ligation of tubes” written in the procedure part. Due to confusion during the operation the new mum was sterilised against her wishes. When a hospital categorises this type of incident, they class it as a “never event” because it should never have happened.

Enquiries relating to birth injuries account for a quarter of all enquiries we receive. If you or your child have suffered birth related complications, contact us on 0330 355 2910 or for a free claim assessment.