Dr. Tamara Kurek is a fellow in Complex Family Planning at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC). Dr. Kurek’s personal and professional experiences have led to an interest in reproductive rights as they relate to permanent contraception, and subsequently to this project proposal.
The US has a long history of forced sterilization, and the Medicaid Title XIX Sterilization Consent Form was created in response to these events with the goal of protecting patients. In recent years there have been questions regarding whether these forms are instead creating barriers to care for already marginalized populations. Prior studies demonstrated decreased rates of completion of postpartum permanent contraception requests secondary to invalid consent forms and negative attitudes among OBGYNs regarding the forms 1-5. To our knowledge, there are no studies exploring patient perspectives. This will be a mixed methods study in which we distribute surveys to patients seeking permanent contraception at CUIMC and complete in-depth interviews exploring patient experiences consenting for permanent contraception, and what an ideal consenting process might look like. This project will span 15 months from IRB submission through manuscript writing, and it will be completed with the support of the research team within the Division of Family Planning at CUIMC and under the research mentorship of Drs. Erika Levi and Paula Castaño. We plan to share our findings with community organizations and academic journals in hopes of positively impacting the consenting process for permanent sterilization in the US moving forward.