Was Carrie Buck? An Institutionalized Patient At The State Colony For Epileptics And Feeble Minded?

768 Words Oct 30th, 2016 4 Pages
Carrie Buck was an institutionalized patient at the State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble Minded. The superintendent of her mental institution was ordered to perform a salpingectomy in her in order to make her sterile. Carrie challenged the local statute that allowed for the sterilization of the feeble minded and filed a suit against her superintendent. Buck argued that her rights as a U.S. citizen were being infringed upon, specifically her Fourteenth Amendment rights. The local statue was upheld in the county court, the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, and the U.S Supreme Court (1). This was one of the first times that eugenics, or the artificial selection for humans, was challenged. This case is controversial today with our present values and experiences relating to the sterilization of the mentally impaired, but in the early 1900s the world had not seen the atrocities associated with eugenics, such as with Nazi Germany, and they truly believed that it was beneficial to society to prevent the feeble minded from passing on their genetic code. Eugenics was a science at the time and was backed up by positive research that produced positive results. At this time, people had been breeding dogs to make new breeds of dogs that only had the physical traits that they desired. Scientists and researchers at the time thought if artificial selection works in dogs why would it not work in humans? Since it would have been hard to control which humans in the general population…

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