The Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) is set to begin a review into cases where women have reported being pressured into having their tubes tied.
The SHR changed its policy around tubal ligation procedures in the fall of 2015.
The move came after the first two of four women came forward saying they had been unduly pressured into signing consent forms shortly after giving birth.
Tubal ligations are a surgical procedure where a woman’s fallopian tubes are either cut and cauterized or clamped. In a release, the health region stated it’s considered a permanent form of birth control.
Under the health region’s new policy, a woman cannot sign off on a tubal ligation after giving birth without having a documented conversation with their doctor before they come to hospital.
Jackie Mann, the SHR’s vice-president of integrated health services, expressed regret for the experiences of the four women who have come forward to date.
“We are so sorry for the experience these women have had while in our care. They had immense courage in coming forward with their concerns. As we have met with them to hear their stories, and have made changes based on those stories, we know more needs to be done to continue to move collectively forward in this healing journey,” she was quoted saying in the SHR release.
In a conference call with media, Mann said the SHR has brought in a pair of Manitoba doctors to conduct a review. While there are only the four cases so far, they are encouraging anyone else with a similar experience to come forward.
Mann said there would be no limit on how far back the review would look.
She said it was still early to discuss what, if any, compensation might go to the affected women, noting that so far no legal action has been filed against the health region.
The review will be done by Dr. Yvonne Boyer, a lawyer and Canada Research Chair in aboriginal health and wellness out of Brandon University and Dr. Judy Bartlett, a former professor with the University of Manitoba’s College of Medicine.
They are expected to deliver their recommendations sometime this spring.