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Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I had an appointment scheduled to get a Vasectamey.. The Urologist

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I had an appointment scheduled to get a Vasectamey.. The Urologist group is under a large network group called GHS Partners in Health.. They called me today and asked me if I was paying cash if so they would give me a 30% discount...I guess health care is like selling used cars..

My question is that I feel I have been discriminated against as a man..They told me that I would have to have my wife sign a consent form for ME to have a Vasectamey...I thought the lady was joking..But again she said that the hospital rules are that MEN must have a consent signed by the wife..I asked if the man needed to give consent for a abortion..They said that wasn't relevant but it is..

OUTRAGED I am....
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question. You present a very interesting scenario.

In regard to the 30% discount for cash, this is unfortunately the state of our health care system today due to years of large insurance company entanglement with the medical system.

I find it very interesting that the hospital requires a release from your wife to perform a vasectomy. This is certainly not required by law. I would imagine that it is the result of the hospital having been sued before by the wife of someone who got a vasectomy without informing her.

In regard to whether this could be classified as discrimination, I have never seen a case that would support such a claim. Generally, a medical provider can insist that a patient sign a release or have their spouses sign releases before services will be provided. So, you might have a hard time establishing that the hospital discriminated against you on this basis.

Your point regarding abortion is somewhat misplaced. The law regarding abortion is that the state cannot have a law which requires parental consent in most cases. A hospital providing abortions can still require parental consent before they provide the service.

In the end, it is the doctor's choice as to whether or not they want to perform a certain procedure. They can also set the circumstances they require before the will perform the procedure.

However, there is something that doesn't seem right about them requiring you to get a release from another person to manager your reproductive health. It smacks of discrimination. You could attempt to file such a case and claim discrimination based on gender and marital status (I'm sure they don't require a 3rd party release from a non-married man). It would likely be a difficult claim. Further, the problem will be in establishing your damages.

Often in discrimination lawsuits, the tangible effect of the discrimination was a monetary loss. If there is no monetary loss, people will then look for an order from the court for the defendant to cease the discrimination. In your case, it does not appear on the face of it to involve any monetary loss. You could obtain an injunction and an attorney fee award to have the hospital cease the practice. But in the long run, you could more easily go to a different medical provider that does not require a release.

Lawsuits are often much more involved and difficult than are first thought by the plaintiff. In your case, you would likely have a hard time finding an attorney to represent you on a contingency basis as there are no large monetary damages at issue. If you choose to pursue a lawsuit, you will likely have to pay out of pocket fees and risk the chance of not being successful.

Please let me know if you have further questions on this subject.

Best Regards,
ZDN
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3986
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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