March 1973

Human Sterilization.

Author Affiliations

Brookline, Mass


Edited by Ralph M Richart, MD, and Denis J Prager, PhD. Price $21. Pp 402. Charles C Thomas Publisher, 301 E Lawrence Ave, Springfield, Ill 62703, 1972.

Arch Surg. 1973;106(3):368. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350150102042

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May I respectfully suggest that "human sterilization" is a chilling, offensive term. It sounds antihuman and recalls the Nazi concentration camps. It does not bespeak the objectives of the international conference reproduced in this book. The conference was sponsored in 1969 by Columbia University and by the National Institute of Child Health Care and Development. Specialists from numerous disciplines, medical and non-medical, assembled in the hope of sparking new ideas through exchange of information. The editors state frankly that the papers and discussions presented do "not yield new methods or techniques."

There are 32 chapters divided into six categories. The first section deals with foreign programs, most of them Asian. The sociological material is encouraging and wins sympathy and admiration. Statisticians would doubtlessly question some of the data. Studies of the sequelae of vasectomy were not controlled but are of interest nonetheless.

There are two sections on surgical interference in

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