The ethics of sterilisation

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Mawkish1983
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The ethics of sterilisation

Post by Mawkish1983 » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:10 am

I have one child, she is now 14 months old (ish). My wife and I are happy and we don't want another child for a variety of reasons. From my wife's perspective, the childbirth was physically traumatic and caused lasting damage that persists to this day and interrupts ordinary daily functions. From my perspective, having two children means we are not contributing to a solution to global over-population. Were we to have more than two children, we'd even be contributing to the problem. In my mind, the ethical decision is to have one or fewer children.

In Theravada, human birth is considered very fortunate and desirable. Is it, therefore, unethical to have a vasectomy?

My vasectomy councilling appointment is this afternoon. All being well, I'll have a date for the operation before the day is out.

SarathW
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Re: The ethics of sterilisation

Post by SarathW » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:21 am

Why do you think it is not ethical?
Human birth is fortunate, not for the parent but for the being to be re-born as a human.
If this being has done enough good kamma to be re-born as a human, there are about 3 billion women in this world alone.
Not to mention other human worlds.
:)
So are you suggesting monks should start making human babies?
;)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Ben
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Re: The ethics of sterilisation

Post by Ben » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:48 am

Mawkish1983 wrote:I have one child, she is now 14 months old (ish). My wife and I are happy and we don't want another child for a variety of reasons. From my wife's perspective, the childbirth was physically traumatic and caused lasting damage that persists to this day and interrupts ordinary daily functions. From my perspective, having two children means we are not contributing to a solution to global over-population. Were we to have more than two children, we'd even be contributing to the problem. In my mind, the ethical decision is to have one or fewer children.

In Theravada, human birth is considered very fortunate and desirable. Is it, therefore, unethical to have a vasectomy?

My vasectomy councilling appointment is this afternoon. All being well, I'll have a date for the operation before the day is out.
Hi Keith,
I don't think you have anything to worry about.
Unlike the Hari Krsnas, there is no requirement for devotee couple to engage in sex for purely procreative purposes.
Getting a vasectomy doesn't kill any living being.
Good luck with your counselling session and procedure.
Kind regards,
Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Bundokji
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Re: The ethics of sterilisation

Post by Bundokji » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:24 am

Ben wrote: Hi Keith,
I don't think you have anything to worry about.
Unlike the Hari Krsnas, there is no requirement for devotee couple to engage in sex for purely procreative purposes.
Getting a vasectomy doesn't kill any living being.
Good luck with your counselling session and procedure.
Kind regards,
Ben
:goodpost:
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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seeker242
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Re: The ethics of sterilisation

Post by seeker242 » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:46 am

Have to agree with not unethical as it doesn't harm any beings. If a being is going to be reborn human, that will happen regardless if individual people procreate or not.

:anjali:

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samseva
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Re: The ethics of sterilisation

Post by samseva » Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:06 am

For what it's worth, vasectomy reversal is possible.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasectomy_reversal

Mawkish1983
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Location: Essex, UK

Re: The ethics of sterilisation

Post by Mawkish1983 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:03 am

Thanks for everyone's thoughts. Pretty unanimous. My operation is now scheduled for a 21st August. The thing I'm most concerned about is taking the diazepam. I've never had it before and haven't even drank alcohol for around eight years, but the medical procedure requires it as a muscle relaxant. I know there's nothing opposing medicine use in the Canon, it just seems such a shame to break my haze-free run.

The counselling session consisted of just two questions:

1. Are you sure you want to be sterile?
2. Is your wife in agreement?

After that, the doctor went into the details of the procedure. I'm fortunate enough to be in an area where the no scalpel vasectomy can be performed, which has a lower risk of complications.

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