"The Progress of Eugenical Sterilization," by Paul Popenoe, Journal of Heredity (vol. 25:1), including journal cover and contents page (8)

'"""The Progress of Eugenic Sterilization,"" The Journal of Heredity, American Genetic Association, page 19"'

2293. Popenoe: Eugenic Sterilization 25 tries has the discussion of sterilization been so active as in Germany and Great Britain, and the literature on the subject, in the first named country in particular, is now voluminous. The history of the whole movement has been reviewed in detail by Dr. Joseph Mayer, a Roman Catholic theologian and social worker whose bibliography alone (confined almost wholly to works in the German language appearing prior to 1927) covers 31 pages. Dr. Mayer also went fully into the ethical and theological aspects of the question, which at that time had never been the subject of any authoritative pronouncement by the Roman Catholic Church. His tentative conclusion was that selective sterilization for eugenic purposes, properly administered, was entirely in accord with the traditions and principles of the Roman Catholic religion. This conclusion was superseded by the Papal encyclical, [italics]Casti connubii,[end italics] of December 31, 1930 which held sterilization for any except therapeutic reasons, not permissible for Roman Catholics. Sterilization is only one of many important measures for dealing with the problems of mental deficiency and mental diseases. But as a practical preventive measure, it seems likely to take a place in the humanitarian program of every civilized country in the near future. Some careful observers believe that the Soviet Union and Japan are likely to make wider use of it than other countries because of their individual problems. Meanwhile, the use of sterilization in private surgical practice is spreading widely, steadily, and rapidly. Naturally there are no means of getting information about the exact extent of this private practice, but all indications are that it is much larger than is generally supposed. [graphic] Supreme Court's Opinion in the Buck Case [italics]The decision of the U. S. Supreme Court in the case of [end italics] Buck vs. Bell [italics] is perhaps the most important legal document in the history of sterilization. It is therefore being reprinted in full. - [end italics] Editor. Mr. Justice Holmes delivered the opinion of the Court: This is a writ of error to review a judgment of the Circuit Court of Amherst County, by which the defendant in error, the superintendent of the State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble Minded, was ordered to perform the operation of salpingectomy upon Carrie Buck, the plaintiff in the error, fr the purpose of making her sterile. [italics]134 Va. 310.[end italics] The case comes here upon the contention that the statute authorizing the judgment is void under the Fourteenth Amendment as denying to the plaintiff in error due process of law and the equal protection of the laws. Carrie Buck is a feeble minded white woman who was committed to the State Colony above mentioned in due form. She is the daughter of a feeble minded mother in the same institution, and the mother of an illegitimate feeble minded child. She was eighteen years old at the time of the trial of her case in the Circuit Court, in the latter part of 1924. An Act of Virginia, approved March 20, 1924, recites that the health of the patient and the welfare of society may be promoted in certain cases by sterilization of mental defectives, under careful safeguard, &c.; that the sterilization may be effected in males by vasectomy and in females by salpingectomy, without serious pain or substantial danger to life; that the Commonwealth is supporting in various institution many defective persons who if now discharged would become a menace but if incapable of procreating might be discharged with safety and become self-supporting with benefit to themselves and to society; and that experience has shown that heredity plays an important part in the transmission of insanity, imbecility, &c. The statute then enacts that whenever the superintendent of certain institutions including the above named State colony shall be of opinion that it is for the best interests of the patients and of society that an inmate under his care should be sexually sterilized, he may have the operation performed upon any patient afflicted with hereditary [end]

  • ID: 12193
  • Source: DNALC.EA