Eugenic Sterilization Term Paper

Eugenic Sterilization
A look at the history of eugenics in the United States in parallel with the history of Germany eugenics.
# 148056 | 3,531 words | 19 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Aug 30, 2011 in History (European - 20th Century) , Biology (General) , Ethics (General)

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This paper discusses how eugenics, as an acknowledged science, started in the late 19th century. Defined as scientifically improving humanity through better breeding, involuntary sterilization was a way to rid society of genetically defective people. It was believed that mental disorders were genetic, and the best way to be rid of the disorders was to keep the mentally deficient from procreating and passing on the disorder. The paper presents the history of eugenics in the United States, parallels American history with Germany eugenics, and attempts to show that involuntary sterilization of the mentally retarded was, and still is, medically unethical.

My Analysis

From the Paper:

"In 2002, a women (Marie) labeled with "moderate mental retardation" was told sterilization was a necessity. She and her mother fought for her right to chose and she won her case; but not without mental duress. Marie's psychologist used her knowledge of Marie's fears to cope, the housing director used Marie's and her mother's fears of loosing their housing, and the gynecologist used Marie's perceived ignorance to coerce them to sign the consent form. Fortunately, Marie had a good friend and advocate whom she turned to and who helped her understand what was being asked of her. When they appeared in court, Marie had all the proper documents and backing of a prominent medical person showing why she did not need the procedure and why it was not in her best interest. Marie showed how her psychologist had broken her patient/doctor confidentiality, how the housing director used misinformation, and how the gynecologist had tried to get around the law, all in the name of getting her to sign the consent form to allow her to be sterilized. This was a great case showing the misuse of confidentiality, truth telling, and informed consent. Because Marie was able to prove wrongdoing by all those involved in trying to get her sterilized, she presented a wonderful case proving sterilization is wrong."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Allen, Garland. "Is a new eugenics afoot?" Science 294.5540, (2001): 59. 19 Nov. 2008 Academic Search Premier, Accession#540758.
  • American Association on Mental Retardation. "Sterilization of Persons Who Are Mentally Retarded. Mar 1974. Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions at IIT. 30 Sep. 2008
  • Aunos, J. & Feldman, M.A. "Attitudes Towards Sexuality, Sterilization and Parenting Rights of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities." Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities 15.4 (2002): 285-296. 23 Oct. 2008 Academic Search Premier, Accession #8743255.
  • "Buck v. Bell" 130 S.E. 516. 12 Nov. 1925. Westlaw Campus Research. West. Southeast Missouri State University Library, Cape Girardeau. 23 Oct. 2008 <>.
  • "Buck v. Bell, No. 292" 47 S.Ct.584. 2 May 1927. Westlaw Campus Research. West. Southeast Missouri State University Library, Cape Girardeau. 23 Oct. 2008 <>.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Eugenic Sterilization (2011, August 30) Retrieved May 24, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Eugenic Sterilization" 30 August 2011. Web. 24 May. 2022. <>