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  #1  
Old Nov 12, '07, 3:15 pm
MommyZ MommyZ is offline
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Default Is having your tubes tied or a vasectomy ever morally right?

I have a friend who had major health issues with the birth of her daughter. She wants to have another child, but the Drs have agreed that having another child could be detrimental to her health. So she's deathly afraid to get pregnant. She has 2 children under 6. What is the Church's teaching on getting her tubes tied or her husband getting a vasectomy? I've been feeling compelled to say something to her, but I wasn't sure if the Church allows sterilization if pregnancy could become an issue of life or death for her or the child. If she gets pregnant again, there is a high chance that she's going to become bedridden for life from complications. So pregnancy would cause her to not be able to serve as a wife and mom as normal.
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  #2  
Old Nov 12, '07, 3:48 pm
KCT KCT is offline
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Default Re: Is having your tubes tied or a vasectomy ever morally right?

She should get a second opinion. Some doctors are too quick to suggestion sterilization. ---KCT
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  #3  
Old Nov 12, '07, 4:11 pm
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Is having your tubes tied or a vasectomy ever morally right?

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Originally Posted by MommyZ View Post
I What is the Church's teaching on getting her tubes tied or her husband getting a vasectomy?
Sterilization is intrinsically disodered, gravely immoral, a violation of the sixth commandment, and never a moral option.

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Originally Posted by MommyZ View Post
I've been feeling compelled to say something to her, but I wasn't sure if the Church allows sterilization if pregnancy could become an issue of life or death for her or the child. If she gets pregnant again, there is a high chance that she's going to become bedridden for life from complications. So pregnancy would cause her to not be able to serve as a wife and mom as normal.

No, sterilization is intrinsically disodered. That means there is NO circumstance in which it can be done.

A couple in this situation is called to abstinence, periodic or complete. Periodic abstinence uses fertility observation (NFP). Complete abstinence is self-explanatory.
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  #4  
Old Nov 12, '07, 5:41 pm
pyropam pyropam is offline
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Default Re: Is having your tubes tied or a vasectomy ever morally right?

Sterilization is not necessarily a mortal sin.

Hysterectomies may be necessary to remove cancer or to control other disorders like uncontrolled bleeding. This is definately not a mortal sin.

Having your ovaries removed due to cancer or other disorders is not a mortal sin.

Tubal pregnancy can lead to tubal ligation which is not a mortal sin when done to prevent the death of the mother.

Life and death of a woman is extremely important. There are reasons to have these types of proceedures done.
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  #5  
Old Nov 12, '07, 5:51 pm
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Is having your tubes tied or a vasectomy ever morally right?

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Originally Posted by pyropam View Post
Sterilization is not necessarily a mortal sin.
Yes, it is. Well, actually, it's an objectively grave act. Mortal sin requires full knowledge and free will.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pyropam View Post
Hysterectomies may be necessary to remove cancer or to control other disorders like uncontrolled bleeding. This is definately not a mortal sin.

Having your ovaries removed due to cancer or other disorders is not a mortal sin.
None of your examples are examples of sterilization. Sterilization is the purposeful mutiliation of the generative organs to prevent pregnancy.

All of your examples are legitimate medical procedures to treat a specific medical condition-- not a procedure to prevent pregnancy. These medical procedures result in sterility as a side effect of treatment.


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Originally Posted by pyropam View Post
Tubal pregnancy can lead to tubal ligation which is not a mortal sin when done to prevent the death of the mother.
Tubal pregnancy does not lead to tubal ligation. Tubal pregnancy may result in a damaged fallopian tube, or the removal of the tissue that is diseased. That is NOT a tubal ligation.

A tubal ligation is the cutting, burning, removing, or otherwise destroying the fallopian tube to prevent pregnancy.
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  #6  
Old Nov 12, '07, 6:00 pm
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Is having your tubes tied or a vasectomy ever morally right?

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Originally Posted by pyropam View Post
Sterilization is not necessarily a mortal sin.
From the Catechism:

2377 ... "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil

2399 The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).

Humanae Vitae, paragraph 14:

Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary.
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  #7  
Old Nov 12, '07, 6:04 pm
THurifer2 THurifer2 is offline
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Default Re: Is having your tubes tied or a vasectomy ever morally right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pyropam View Post
Hysterectomies may be necessary to remove cancer or to control other disorders like uncontrolled bleeding. This is definately not a mortal sin.

Having your ovaries removed due to cancer or other disorders is not a mortal sin.

Tubal pregnancy can lead to tubal ligation which is not a mortal sin when done to prevent the death of the mother.

Life and death of a woman is extremely important. There are reasons to have these types of proceedures done.
Hysterectomies are not sterilzation. Sterilization is altering your body for the reason of preventing pregnancy. Having your ovaries removed are not sterilization...

Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure that intentionally cuts the fallopian tube...it is sterilization. A tubal pregnancy is NOT a surgical procedure..it is an implantation of a fertilized egg in the wrong place... The treatment for a tubal pregnancy is not a tubal ligation. HOWEVER having a tubal ligation can lead to an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.

Having a vasectomy DRAMATICALLY increases a mans chances of getting Epididymitis. Which can cause a hospitalization.
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  #8  
Old Nov 12, '07, 6:16 pm
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rayne89 rayne89 is offline
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Default Re: Is having your tubes tied or a vasectomy ever morally right?

The short answer is no it is never morally right. As some one who will die if I become pregnant again I understand your friends anxiety. I have used NFP for 11 years without pregnancy. Sterlization is not an option.
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  #9  
Old Nov 12, '07, 6:21 pm
itsjustdave1988 itsjustdave1988 is offline
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Default Re: Is having your tubes tied or a vasectomy ever morally right?

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Originally Posted by pyropam View Post
Sterilization is not necessarily a mortal sin.
It is when contraception is intended.
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  #10  
Old Nov 12, '07, 6:58 pm
pyropam pyropam is offline
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Default Re: Is having your tubes tied or a vasectomy ever morally right?

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Originally Posted by THurifer2 View Post
Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure that intentionally cuts the fallopian tube...it is sterilization. A tubal pregnancy is NOT a surgical procedure..it is an implantation of a fertilized egg in the wrong place... The treatment for a tubal pregnancy is not a tubal ligation. HOWEVER having a tubal ligation can lead to an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.
Tubal ligation can be a surgical procedure to remove a tubal pregnancy. Turst me, I'm an RN. Ectopic pregnancies can cause
a complete rupture of the falopian tube, thus creating an emergency situation where tubal ligation is necessary.

I'm not trying to argue with anyone here as to whether or not sterilization should be used as birth control. It shouldn't.

However, sterilization is not always done simply for that reason. I know, I've had a hysterectomy due to complications that could have been life threatening. So, after having three children of my own, next time, I simply adopted.
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  #11  
Old Nov 12, '07, 7:02 pm
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Is having your tubes tied or a vasectomy ever morally right?

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Originally Posted by pyropam View Post
Tubal ligation can be a surgical procedure to remove a tubal pregnancy. Turst me, I'm an RN. Ectopic pregnancies can cause a complete rupture of the falopian tube, thus creating an emergency situation where tubal ligation is necessary.
In this scenario what is the purpose of what you are calling a "tubal ligation"?

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Originally Posted by pyropam View Post
However, sterilization is not always done simply for that reason. I know, I've had a hysterectomy due to complications that could have been life threatening. So, after having three children of my own, next time, I simply adopted.
You are not describing a sterilization procedure. Sterilization is for the purpose of preventing pregnancy.

The removal of your uterus for the express reason of not getting pregnant is sterilization and is wrong.

The removal of your uterus because it's diseased (for example, ruptured, cancerous, etc) is NOT sterilization because the purpose for removing the uterus is not to prevent pregnancy.
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  #12  
Old Nov 12, '07, 11:19 pm
larry85704 larry85704 is offline
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Default Re: Is having your tubes tied or a vasectomy ever morally right?

Morally right? You need to examine the basic, fundamental meaning of morality. Morality is something that is life giving. Something that takes away life is immoral. Marriage is moral, in part, because it gives life to a new human being. It is expected that the parents are able to care for that new life; caring for the child is part of the same thing as giving it life. Anything that detracts from the parents ability to care for the child is immoral. In the same manner that serialization is immoral so would be not feeding it. Not rocket science.

So the dilemma. What immoral act do you do? If you have more kids you could die (always true) or be incapacitated. But giving life is good, denying it is immoral. Or, we can trust God. Could be your friend will never get pregnant again because it is God's will. Or another child will be healthy and so will she. Sadly, most people do not talk to their priest about such matters. Priests often give good advice. Doctors are trained, and pretty much legally required, to warn people about the risks they may have if those risks are exceptional. What a sorry state that leaves people in. They fear.

I will tell you that the "official" Church says you have to have kids. You have to be open to life every time you have sex. I will also tell you that Catholics in the USA don't average 12 kids anymore. Well, assuming married couples are having sex, likely, then something doesn't add up. Any couple that doesn't have a bunch of kids is probably sinning. Well, maybe not, but this site is not one that gets the individual choice part of Catholic teaching so all you will hear in this corner of the internet is that sterilization and the birth control that most Catholics are using is a mortal sin.

Realistically, your friend should be in a place where she thanks God for the children she has. And her marriage. She should seek out additional opinions about her health before she get pregnant or has a sterilization. But she should not be terrified of getting pregnant. Getting pregnant is supposed to be a joyous thing. Sex is supposed to be a joyful thing. Whatever she and her husband decide can be painful for them, you need to understand that. Whatever they do is a choice between them and God. It would be in very poor taste to criticize them no matter what they do. Maybe they really want more kids and the prospect of not having any more is very painful.

Having first hand experience in this matter I would say to pray and ask God what to do. I lean toward protecting the life that exists, and the love that exists, so I would not get pregnant. I would use a good form of birth control, something that works for my marriage, for awhile and have my medical condition re-evaluated in a year. Think of it this way, if God wants the couple to have more kids in that year her body will heal itself. If, in a year, the body has not healed then God is saying no more kids. At that time I think sterilization would be acceptable.

A family member's uterus was hanging out of her after her second child was born. She had a hysterectomy. No more kids. Hysterectomies make childbirth impossible just like sterilization. I don't think she committed a sin. But she could have waited and prayed for God to heal her, or had some sort of surgery to repair her uterus. It took them 5 years to get pregnant, so maybe she could of waited, done nothing for awhile.

What is really important is that your friend feels that she is doing the right thing with God. She should seek the advice of a priest to help her. Saying that, I talked to two priests about this subject and got two different answers. Some help. I am pretty sure a Bishop, or priest, would tell them not to get pregnant if it meant endangering somebody's health. The difficult part is with sterilization, birth control or not having sex and the teaching of the Church to make sure that a baby in not conceived. My feeling is that once the decision has been made not to have more kids for moral reasons, there would be no sin in sterilization. Some reasonable senior, knowledgeable priests would agree with me, and do. Some priests don't. But remember, this is between the couple and God, not you. We all need to be supportive.

Again, they need to praise God for what they have and be thankful.
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Old Nov 12, '07, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: Is having your tubes tied or a vasectomy ever morally right?

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Originally Posted by larry85704 View Post



What is really important is that your friend feels that she is doing the right thing with God. She should seek the advice of a priest to help her. Saying that, I talked to two priests about this subject and got two different answers. Some help. I am pretty sure a Bishop, or priest, would tell them not to get pregnant if it meant endangering somebody's health. The difficult part is with sterilization, birth control or not having sex and the teaching of the Church to make sure that a baby in not conceived. My feeling is that once the decision has been made not to have more kids for moral reasons, there would be no sin in sterilization. Some reasonable senior, knowledgeable priests would agree with me, and do. Some priests don't. But remember, this is between the couple and God, not you. We all need to be supportive.
Larry, your "feeling" on this matter is in direct opposition to Church teaching. Not only is there sin in sterlization, the church refers to it as intrinsically evil. Whether a priest agrees with you or not is not the point. We have the Church as our guide, and we have the Catechism that instructs in church teaching. The language is not vague or open to interpretation, there are no mitigating circumstances.
Quote:
2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.158 These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil:159
Catechism of the Catholic Church
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Old Nov 13, '07, 6:09 am
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Is having your tubes tied or a vasectomy ever morally right?

Larry,

Please refrain from giving your "opinion" when it suggests that people commit a gravely wrong act. Church teaching is clear that sterilization is always wrong.

The OP asked for Church Teaching not people's opinions.
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Old Nov 14, '07, 9:30 pm
seekerz seekerz is offline
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Default Re: Is having your tubes tied or a vasectomy ever morally right?

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Originally Posted by pyropam View Post
Tubal ligation can be a surgical procedure to remove a tubal pregnancy. Turst me, I'm an RN. Ectopic pregnancies can cause
a complete rupture of the falopian tube, thus creating an emergency situation where tubal ligation is necessary.

I'm not trying to argue with anyone here as to whether or not sterilization should be used as birth control. It shouldn't.

However, sterilization is not always done simply for that reason. I know, I've had a hysterectomy due to complications that could have been life threatening. So, after having three children of my own, next time, I simply adopted.
You're right, any of the procedures you mentioned above can technically be classified as sterilization. Whether the procedure is done to prevent further pregnancies or for some other reason, any surgery that removes the ability to bear children is, in effect, sterilization. Tubal ligations are often performed for tubal pregnancies, although they commonly aren't referred to as tubal ligations in such cases. Male sterilization may be perfomed to treat certain cancers of the male organs.

Whether or not a mortal sin is committed depends on the reason for doing the procedure. We need to be careful with correct terminology vs common usage because some of these issues can cause unnecessary remorse and anxiety in those who read our posts.
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