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Article
April 15, 1905

THE PREVENTION OF IDIOCY AND IMBECILITY BY CASTRATION.

JAMA. 1905;XLIV(15):1202. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02500420046010

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Abstract

The governor of the state of Pennsylvania in his wisdom has seen fit to veto a bill passed by the Pennsylvania legislature and directed toward the prevention, by means of castration, of procreation on the part of idiots and imbeciles in public institutions, and he has chosen to administer what he appears to consider a rebuke to too enterprising anatomists and surgeons. The governor, who by the way holds the opinion that his kinsman, the late Senator Quay, was as great a man as Webster or Clay, bases his objection to the bill on the fact that the nature of the intended operation is not sufficiently described, its only qualification being that it shall be the "safest and most effective" in the minds of a neurologist, a surgeon and a physician. By a process of subtle reasoning, the governor reaches the conclusion that the "safest and most effective" method of

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