Slovak Republic, Constitutional Court, Decision No. 10/2010-36, 2010

Ms M.V. (the claimant) was sterilized while giving birth to her second child.  She was informed that sterilization would be performed on her shortly before delivery by C-section, to which she did not give her written consent.  The day after giving birth, while inquiring about her own health and that of her child, she was informed that sterilization was performed due to health reasons, as another pregnancy could be dangerous.  She was given a form to sign for the “sake of her health,” which she did without reading or inquiring due to her concerns about the well-being of her newborn child.  The claimant only later found out that sterilization was not a “life-saving” procedure after speaking with a representative from a non-governmental organization.  Her claim was dismissed by the district and regional courts based on hospital records which contained her written consent and the testimonies of the doctors and other staff members.  She filed a claim with the Constitutional Court which held that the decisions of the district and regional courts did not sufficiently address the claimants claims, in breach of the claimants' right to a fair trial. The Constitutional Court awarded the claimant EUR 1,500 damages and ordered the re-examination of the matter by the district court.



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