The topic of eugenics is broad in nature and can mean anything …show more content…
Galton was interested in improving the human race by carefully choosing the parents. For the first time in history people felt the power to eradicate inherited defects and to eliminate undesirable characteristics in humans.
In the early twentieth century the common mindset was that criminality, vagrancy, alcoholism and sexual promiscuity were inherited traits that needed, to be eradicated.
After the Civil war, the U.S. economy was unstable and an influx of new immigrants from Europe further complicated the situation. As the economy fluctuated, so did social disparities. The idea of social Darwinism became popular and was used to explain these inequalities. According to Quigley, “Eugenicists argued that the United States was in immediate danger of committing racial suicide as a result of the rapid reproduction of the unfit, coupled with the precipitous decline in the birthrate of the better classes” (Quigley, 1995).
The American eugenics movement was created by Charles Benedict Davenport, a biologist with a Ph.D. from Harvard University. While at Harvard as an instructor in the 1890s, Davenport established the Eugenics Records Office (ERO) to collect data about “inherited” human …show more content…
How does a nurse do this when faced with compulsory sterilization and abiding by their patient’s autonomy? In some instances, nurses do as “they’re told” to avoid losing their job. In the case of forced sterilization against a patients will, the nurse will struggle for ethical dilemmas. There have been times in history where nurses went along with “Dr orders” for many reasons. Some of them participated in fear of retaliation, or doing what they were trained to do. Nurses should make decisions for their patients based in ethics, not on political ideals.
The patient or victim of forced sterilization is certainly a key player in this dilemma as their autonomy and civil liberties have been violated. The problem with forcibly sterilizing mentally disabled or incarcerated individuals for eugenic purposes is that it constitutes an unjustified infringement on their reproductive rights. Under the principle of respect for autonomy, patients have the right to seek, accept, and ultimately refuse care.
The physician that performs the procedure against the patient’s will and without informed consent is also a key player. Respecting the patient's autonomy means that the physician cannot impose treatments. At a public policy level, medical professionals have an opportunity to be a voice of reason by pointing out when legislative and regulatory measures intended to be safeguards, interfere