Psych Case study retarded family? Sterilization Laws?

Hey so I need some help. I learned about this case study in my psych class at the university, but I cannot recall or find anything bout it online. Unfortunately I looked through my notes and I didn't write it down. From what I remember the case study went something like this. A family somewhere in the US (don't remember were) were on their 3rd or 4th generation of retarded kids. So everyone in the family was retarded. And one of the women from the most recent generation was also pregnant. So it became a case where the government said that it was ridiculous that they had to pay in order to take care of this family that continued to have mentally retarded kids. So in order to prevent more mentally retarded children from being born a law was passed that made it legal for the government to castrate or sterilize you if you are mentally retarded. Now I'm not 100% sure on all the details and that is why I'm asking. Please provide me with a link or the family name or the law so I can look it up. Sorry, it's a lil bit much to read, but I'm really frustrated I can't figure it out. Thanks in advance for all the help.

3 Answers

  • trai
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Buck v. Bell (1927) was a Supreme Court ruling (a precedent, not a law) that led to the sterilization of some 65,000 people by 1979. The ruling (which pertains especially to people with an intellectual disability) has never been officially overruled, and was cited in a case as recently as 2001, Vaughn v. Ruoff, in which a social worker made sterilization a requirement for the return of children in state custody. (That case made it to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.)

    A lot of good info on the subject here:

    Source(s): As a family court-appointed special advocate, I sometimes work with the disabled. My home state, Indiana, passed the first eugenics laws in the US. (I know, right!? :(
  • cantcu
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    There was a case in the 1920's which Oliver Wendall Holmes wrote an opinion for the US Supreme Court that it was OK to sterilize people. (Buck v. Bell (1927))

    However, the second Supreme Court case generated by the eugenics movement tested a 1935 Oklahoma law that prescribed involuntary sexual sterilization for repeat criminals was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1942 . Jack Skinner was chosen to test the law’s constitutionality.

    I do not believe there are any laws that allow for involuntary sterilization

  • 4 years ago

    American Association on Mental Retardation - March 1974 Sterilization of Persons Who Are Mentally Retarded. Introduction ... in dealing with the medical, legal, social, and ethical issues involved in sterilization; ...

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