The California state auditor today blasted federal and state oversight of sterilization surgeries for female prison inmates, finding numerous illegal surgeries and violations of the state’s informed-consent law.
Of the 144 tubal ligations performed on inmates from fiscal years 2005-06 to 2012-13, auditors found, more than a quarter – 39 – were done without lawful consent, according to the report by State Auditor Elaine Howle. The “true number” of illegal procedures might be higher, the audit said, because auditors found seven cases at one hospital for which health records were lost in a routine purging.
The findings “made me sick to my stomach,” said state Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Redondo Beach, who was the first to call for the Medical Board of California to investigate the surgeries after The Center for Investigative Reporting broke the story nearly a year ago. That probe has not been completed.