March 1976

A Considered Approach to Sterilization of Mentally Retarded Youth

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pediatrics (Comprehensive Care Program [Dr Perrin, Ms Sands, and Ms Dominguez]), psychiatry (Ms Tinker), and obstetrics and gynecology (Drs Dingle and Thomas), Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(3):288-290. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120040066011

• A protocol of response to families requesting sterilization for retarded youths was developed, utilizing the multidisciplinary approach already structured in a project of sex education and family planning for handicapped juveniles. We operated on 20 patients over a 3½-year period. Specific criteria for sterilization eligibility were applied, based on medical diagnosis and psychometric and psychosocial maturity evaluation. Long-term follow-up indicates parental satisfaction, improved school attendance for patients after hysterectomy who were previously unable to cope with menstrual hygiene, and no postoperative depression or increase of sexual activity or sexual exploitation.

(Am J Dis Child 130:288-290, 1976)