Chapter 6.5. Hysterectomies of California Health And Safety Code >> Division 2. >> Chapter 6.5.
(a) Prior to the performance of a hysterectomy, physicians
and surgeons shall obtain verbal and written informed consent. The
informed consent procedure shall ensure that at least all of the
following information is given to the patient verbally and in
(1) Advice that the individual is free to withhold or withdraw
consent to the procedure at any time before the hysterectomy without
affecting the right to future care or treatment and without loss or
withdrawal of any state or federally funded program benefits to which
the individual might be otherwise entitled.
(2) A description of the type or types of surgery and other
procedures involved in the proposed hysterectomy, and a description
of any known available and appropriate alternatives to the
(3) Advice that the hysterectomy procedure is considered to be
irreversible, and that infertility will result; except as provided in
(4) A description of the discomforts and risks that may accompany
or follow the performing of the procedure, including an explanation
of the type and possible effects of any anesthetic to be used.
(5) A description of the benefits or advantages that may be
expected as a result of the hysterectomy.
(6) Approximate length of hospital stay.
(7) Approximate length of time for recovery.
(8) Financial cost to the patient of the physician and surgeon's
(b) A woman shall sign a written statement prior to the
performance of the hysterectomy procedure, indicating she has read
and understood the written information provided pursuant to
subdivision (a), and that this information has been discussed with
her by her physician and surgeon, or his or her designee. The
statement shall indicate that the patient has been advised by her
physician or designee that the hysterectomy will render her
permanently sterile and incapable of having children and shall
accompany the claim, unless the patient has previously been sterile
or is postmenopausal.
(c) The informed consent procedure shall not pertain when the
hysterectomy is performed in a life-threatening emergency situation
in which the physician determines prior written informed consent is
not possible. In this case, a statement, handwritten and signed by
the physician, certifying the nature of the emergency, shall
accompany the claim.
(d) The State Department of Health Services may develop
regulations establishing verbal and written informed consent
procedures that shall be obtained prior to performance of a
hysterectomy, that indicate the medically accepted justifications for
performance of a hysterectomy, pursuant to this chapter.
The failure of a physician and surgeon to inform a patient by
means of written consent, in layman's language and in a language
understood by the patient of alternative efficacious methods of
treatment which may be medically viable, when a hysterectomy is to be
performed, constitutes unprofessional conduct within the meaning of
Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 2000) of Division 2 of the
Business and Professions Code.