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July 5, 1941

Eugenic Sterilization in the United States: A Comparative Summary of Statutes and Review of Court Decisions

JAMA. 1941;117(1):75. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820270075032

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This pamphlet renders a striking service in the manner in which it presents in its first division a concise summary of the pertinent statutes of the thirty states that now authorize the performance of asexualization operations on socially inadequate persons. The summary is made easily comprehensible by the use of a series of tables, each table confined to one particular general aspect of the laws. Table 1, for instance, indicates the socially inadequate conditions (such as feeblemindedness, insanity, epilepsy, habitual criminality, moral degeneracy or sexual perversion) which under each state law may be the basis of the asexualization procedure. There are similar tables indicating (1) whether the procedure can be applied only to inmates of state institutions or whether it can be applied to any affected person in the state, (2) the operations authorized, (3) initiating and adjudicating procedure, and (4) various other more technical, legal details, such as the

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