Chapter 4 - STANDARDS GOVERNING THE PERFORMANCE OF STERILIZATIONS¶
§ 17-401 Findings and declaration. The council declares that due to the irreversible nature of the sterilization procedure, it is essential that the patient fully comprehends the effects and possible complications of the operation. The patient should have a reasonable time to consider his or her decision and possible alternative methods of contraception before the operation is performed. Since it is within the purview of the public policy of the city to preserve, protect and improve the public health, safety and welfare, it is imperative that the council establish standards governing the performance of sterilizations.
§ 17-402 Definitions. When used in this chapter: 1. "Sterilization" shall mean any procedure or operation, the purpose of which is to render an individual permanently incapable of reproducing. 2. "Patient" shall mean a person, twenty-one years of age or older, who is legally capable of giving his or her consent.
§ 17-403 Application of chapter. This chapter shall apply to every sterilization performed within the city of New York.
§ 17-404 Waiting period. A sterilization may not be performed sooner than thirty days following the initial informed consent given by the patient unless the patient waives the thirty-day waiting period under the following circumstances: 1. A patient who has completed the appropriate forms and informational session, and who has signed the required informed consent form at least thirty days prior to her anticipated delivery date, may be sterilized in less than thirty days, but in no case less than seventy-two hours following the initial informed consent given by such patient if she delivers prior to the anticipated date and the sterilization is performed at the time of delivery. 2. A patient who has completed the appropriate forms and informational session and who signs the required consent form at least thirty days prior to the anticipated sterilization may be sterilized in less than thirty days if that patient is, within the thirty-day period, admitted to a facility for emergency abdominal surgery and the sterilization is concurrent with the abdominal surgery, but in no case shall the sterilization occur less than seventy-two hours after the initial consent. 3. If a patient appears for delivery or emergency abdominal surgery at a facility other than that at which the patient has completed the appropriate forms and informational session, the receiving facility shall contact, by telephone, the facility at which the forms and procedures were completed for verification of same. This must be noted in the record, with the name and title of the person providing the information, the date that the consent form was signed and the anticipated delivery date if under subdivision one of this section or sterilization date if under subdivision two of this section. If it is verified that the consent form was signed at least thirty days prior to the anticipated delivery or sterilization date, the receiving facility may perform the sterilization operation. Telephone verification may not be waived unless the patient presents a duplicate copy of the initial consent, duly signed, witnessed and dated at least thirty days prior to the anticipated delivery or sterilization date.
§ 17-405 Requirements for informed consent. No sterilization shall be performed which does not meet the following conditions: 1. Initial consent may not be elicited from a female patient during admission or hospitalization for childbirth or abortion. 2. An informational session conducted by a counselor, who is not the operating physician, must precede the patient's consent. During the session, information about the irreversibility of sterilization, alternative methods of contraception, and the corresponding risks must be discussed in the preferred language of the patient. 3. Written informed consent for sterilization must be obtained from each patient. A standardized consent form must be used to satisfy this requirement. The form, supplied by the department must be explained orally by the counselor in the presence of a witness. A copy of the signed consent form shall be provided the patient. 4. On admission to the facility where the sterilization will be performed each patient must give written affirmation of his or her informed consent to the sterilization. 5. The patient must be given oral and written assurance that medical services or benefits will not be lost as a result of refusing sterilization. 6. Contraceptive devices will be prescribed for the patient's use during the thirty-day waiting period. 7. Consent for the sterilization may be revoked any time prior to the operation.
§ 17-406 Consent form. The standardized consent form provided by the department must include information about the irreversibility of sterilization, alternative methods of contraception and the corresponding risks.
§ 17-407 Reports. The obstetrics or gynecology department of each hospital where sterilizations are performed, the administrator in charge of each clinic where sterilizations are performed, and physicians in private practice who perform sterilizations must submit monthly reports of the number of sterilizations performed to the department of health and mental hygiene. Forms will be provided by the department.
§ 17-408 Enforcement proceedings. a. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be liable and responsible for a penalty of not more than one thousand dollars to be recovered in a civil action but in the name of the city in any court of record in the city. b. The commissioner may in his or her discretion request the corporation counsel to institute legal proceedings to restrain, correct or enjoin any violation of this chapter; and the corporation counsel shall thereupon institute such action or proceeding as may be necessary and appropriate for such purpose. c. Such actions and proceedings may be entered into by the corporation counsel in any court of civil jurisdiction within the city. In such actions and proceedings the city may apply for restraining orders, preliminary injunctions or other provisional remedies with or without notice. d. In no case shall the department or any officer or employee thereof be liable for costs in any such action or proceeding and officers and employees of the department, acting in good faith, shall be free from liability for acts done in any action or proceeding.