IN MEMORY OF MINDEL BAT R' CHAIM - לזכר מינדל בת ר' חיים

Sterilization – Vasectomy

Abstract: Destruction of reproductive organs is prohibited by Jewish law. Therefore, vasectomy is not a permissible form of birth control.

Discussion: There is a distinct commandment, based on Leviticus 22:24, forbidding sterilization of both people and animals. This is considered a biblical commandment for men. Thus, destruction of male reproductive organs, as with a vasectomy, is absolutely prohibited by halacha on a biblical level. This remains true despite the availability of vasectomy reversal surgery [1]. Performance of a vasectomy may even, according to some opinions, lead to a prohibition on remaining married.

Implications for Care: Vasectomy is not an acceptable form of contraception in Jewish law. Other methods of contraception should be used when pregnancy must be avoided.

Medical References

[1] Practice Committee American Society for Reproductive Medicine.Vasectomy Reversal. Fertility and Sterility 2008; 90:S7882.

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