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March 1935

A CRITIQUE OF PROPOSED "IDEAL" STERILIZATION LEGISLATION

Arch NeurPsych. 1935;33(3):453-466. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1935.02250150003001
Abstract

This paper does not concern itself with sterilization as a rational, well thought out measure, applicable to individual cases of feeblemindedness and mental disease. Personal researches concerning the hereditary factor in mental diseases and mental defects have led to the logical conclusion that from the biologic standpoint there are persons who should be sterilized in order that their particular type of mental disease or defect shall not be transmitted to succeeding generations. Whatever may be the theological or legal attitudes toward such psychiatric situations, the psychiatrist, as one whose point of view is biologic, must agree that a limited program of sterilization is eugenically sound. Whether such a program would be practical, or whether it would override legal rights, which are to a certain extent as important as biologic rights, is not a matter for consideration in this study.

In thirty states of the Union, from the date of the

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