asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what statutory provisions relate to a husband's consent being given before a woman is sterilised.
None. Health authorities have been advised that although it is not a legal requirement the consent of the partner as well as the prospective patient for sterilisation should be obtained. The Medical Defence Union has advised that sterilisation performed solely for birth control purposes should not be carried out without the written consent of the patient and his or her spouse if they are living together. Legal considerations apart, such consent can help ensure that both partners fully share the decision on the method of family planning preferred in their case and thus reduce the risk of subsequent regrets by either partner.