Is a right to sterilization validly denied to a person who is incompetent?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from Conservatorship of N., 152 Cal.App.3d 224, 199 Cal.Rptr. 478 (Cal. App. 1984):

Appellants treat the constitutional right of privacy as synonymous with "a constitutional right to sterilization." The courts of this state have recognized that a competent adult may be sterilized voluntarily (see Jessin v. County of Shasta (1969) 274 Cal.App.2d 737, 745-749, 79 Cal.Rptr. 359), but appellants have cited no California authority--and we know of none--supporting their contention that they may in effect compel respondent to be sterilized. The question presented may therefore be stated as whether the right to sterilization, which is held by a competent person, may validly be denied to one who is incompetent.

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