Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC


  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 60. )

CHAPTER 6.5. Hysterectomies [1690 - 1691]
  ( Chapter 6.5 added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1387, Sec. 1. )


(a)  Prior to the performance of a hysterectomy, physicians and surgeons shall obtain verbal and written informed consent. The informed consent procedure shall ensure that at least all of the following information is given to the patient verbally and in writing:

(1)  Advice that the individual is free to withhold or withdraw consent to the procedure at any time before the hysterectomy without affecting the right to future care or treatment and without loss or withdrawal of any state or federally funded program benefits to which the individual might be otherwise entitled.

(2)  A description of the type or types of surgery and other procedures involved in the proposed hysterectomy, and a description of any known available and appropriate alternatives to the hysterectomy itself.

(3)  Advice that the hysterectomy procedure is considered to be irreversible, and that infertility will result; except as provided in subdivision (b).

(4)  A description of the discomforts and risks that may accompany or follow the performing of the procedure, including an explanation of the type and possible effects of any anesthetic to be used.

(5)  A description of the benefits or advantages that may be expected as a result of the hysterectomy.

(6)  Approximate length of hospital stay.

(7)  Approximate length of time for recovery.

(8)  Financial cost to the patient of the physician and surgeon’s fees.

(b)  A woman shall sign a written statement prior to the performance of the hysterectomy procedure, indicating she has read and understood the written information provided pursuant to subdivision (a), and that this information has been discussed with her by her physician and surgeon, or his or her designee. The statement shall indicate that the patient has been advised by her physician or designee that the hysterectomy will render her permanently sterile and incapable of having children and shall accompany the claim, unless the patient has previously been sterile or is postmenopausal.

(c)  The informed consent procedure shall not pertain when the hysterectomy is performed in a life-threatening emergency situation in which the physician determines prior written informed consent is not possible. In this case, a statement, handwritten and signed by the physician, certifying the nature of the emergency, shall accompany the claim.

(d)  The State Department of Health Services may develop regulations establishing verbal and written informed consent procedures that shall be obtained prior to performance of a hysterectomy, that indicate the medically accepted justifications for performance of a hysterectomy, pursuant to this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1387, Sec. 1.)


The failure of a physician and surgeon to inform a patient by means of written consent, in layman’s language and in a language understood by the patient of alternative efficacious methods of treatment which may be medically viable, when a hysterectomy is to be performed, constitutes unprofessional conduct within the meaning of Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 2000) of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code.

(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1387, Sec. 1.)

HSCHealth and Safety Code - HSC