May 2, 1931


JAMA. 1931;96(18):1522-1523. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720440070022

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Sterilization of Defectives  Professor Dr. Höpler, the attorney general of Austria, recently delivered an address before an audience of physicians and members of the legal profession on sterilization of persons whose offspring would constitute a menace to human society. Dr. Höpler approved the principle of compulsory sterilization on eugenic grounds and goes further than the new penal code in Austria and in Germany has proposed. He called attention to the principles held in the United States, the application of which more especially to the inmates of prisons and of many institutions for psychopathic patients has made possible compulsory sterilization. In Europe, the idea of "prevention of undesirable progeny" has been thoroughly discussed by many well known authors; in which connection the possibility of sterilization of women who have repeatedly given birth to children by unknown fathers was considered. The question has been raised as to whether the existing penal code

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