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Article |

Vasectomy—A Note of Concern

Harold Lear, MD
JAMA. 1972;219(9):1206-1207. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190350042013.
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An editorial published in The Journal in 19681 suggested that physicians utilize vasectomy as a means of family control and gave reassurance about the legality and respectability of the procedure. The editorial acknowledged that many physicians were reluctant to perform voluntary vasectomy for sterilization "even though it seems to offer the ideal contraceptive for a husband when his family has become as large as he and his wife want or can afford." And it also raised the question: "Why do these men... have so much difficulty obtaining a sterilization operation?," particulary since "voluntary sterilization is safe, effective and legal." Contraindications listed were religious belief, lack of children, sex-oriented psychiatric stigmata, and marital disagreement.

In the three years since that editorial appeared, dramatic changes have occurred. An ecologic consciousness has arisen, and overpopulation and "people pollution" have become major sources of concern. In this national atmosphere, vasectomy for sterilization has


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