Buck v. Bell

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  • Arbitrate Morality: Buck V. Bell

    Bell. In order to understand the court’s ruling, a brief overview of this case is necessary. “Buck is the 1927 decision that upheld involuntary sterilization of the hereditarily ‘feebleminded’” (Lain 1021). Just after the birth of her daughter, Vivian, Carrie Buck almost eighteen years of age with an estimated mental age of nine was sent to the Virginia Colony for the Epileptic and Feebleminded. Carrie’s mother, Emma, had been admitted four years earlier having an estimated mental age of eight. Carrie’s daughter, Vivian, had also shown signs of mental issues (Lain 1033-1034). As a result of this family, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in speaking for the entire court penned these appalling words: “Three generations of imbeciles are enough” (qtd. in Lain 1032). Consequently, Justice Holmes stated that life only has value when humans are not “imbeciles”. Again, the Supreme Court handed down a nefarious decision ruling on morality. One might ask how it is even possible for a ruling like this to be handed down, the absurdity of nine men having the power to decide what is right and wrong. Justice Butler was the lone dissenter in Buck v. Bell. However, Butler did not write why he dissented. The reason may never be known, but this lone dissent will go down in history. Buck v. Bell led to “thousands upon thousands” (Lain 1032) of forced sterilizations. This case was also cited in the Nuremberg trials in defense of the Nazi sterilization experiments. Furthermore, Buck v. Bell has never…

    Words: 1918 - Pages: 8
  • Buck V. Bell And The Eugenics Movement

    In 1927, in the case of Buck V. Bell, legitimized forced sterilization of patients at a home in Virginia for the intellectually disabled or persons that were deemed “feeble minded.”(Wolfe) In Buck V. Bell the opinion of the court had stated that they thought sterilization would help society as these patients would be unable to continue “their kind”. They did not want the mentally disabled to be able to reproduce and adding to the population with their genetics. Buck V. Bell reflects the eugenics…

    Words: 1645 - Pages: 7
  • The Evolution Of Eugenics

    evolution of mankind. With the focus of discontinuing of mentally ill people in order to better humanity. The case regarding Buck V. Bell began the controversy with eugenics. Buck V. Bell was the case that determined it best to sterilize Ms. Buck and her family for the sole purpose of them becoming unable to bore any children due to them being diagnosed as feeble minded individuals. Following the sterilization of the Buck family, thousands of other people were forced to undergo the same…

    Words: 719 - Pages: 3
  • Eugenics Argumentative Essay

    popular option became sterilizing, and soon over 30 states had sterilization programs online (Introduction to Eugenics). The sterilization programs targeted the mentally disabled in the beginning, and then targeted substance abusers, convicts, people in poverty, people that were deaf and/or blind, and people with low IQs (Introduction to Eugenics). Some woman that fit the criteria of being “unfit” for the gene pool often had sterilization procedures performed on them when they went in to…

    Words: 936 - Pages: 4
  • Eugenics Movement Analysis

    Mary Wollstonecraft argued that women’s lack of education harmed their children as children often learned early skills and morality from their mother. Eugenists however feared that education would make women both too independent and unfeminine stating instead, such as Dr. J Richey Horner, “As long as man is attracted by beauty and women by strength, eugenics will in a great measure take care of itself.” Instead of birth control, eugenicists favored forced sterilization. In America alone,…

    Words: 766 - Pages: 4
  • Buck V. Bell Case Study

    Noted in supreme court cases, Relf v. Weinberger and Buck v. Bell, re-examining compulsory sterilization is pivotal in dismantling discrimination against women. Particularly affecting women of color, the multi-form occurrence is slowly moving into public consciousness along with the effects of settler colonialism. Depopulating foreign land through strategic movements, settler colonialists have been and continue to be clever as far as their tactics to establish political systems. Purposed to…

    Words: 1338 - Pages: 6
  • Eugenics And Social Darwinism

    Herbert Spencer was thought to be the father of social Darwinism. He initially came up with the term survival of the fittest. Eugenics and social Darwinism were both similar since eugenics originated from social Darwinism of the late nineteenth century. "Eugenics" was thought of in 1883 by the English researcher Francis Galton, who was the cousin of Charles Darwin. Galton characterized the expression "eugenics” as the theory of hereditary improvement of the human race by selective breeding. The…

    Words: 318 - Pages: 2
  • Buck V. Jail Case Analysis

    The Buck v. Bail court case during 1920's, is concreted to be one of the worst rulings of the Supreme Court in the history of American law. During the 1920’s court case in Virginia, the Supreme Court supported sterilization of so-called mental defectives or imbeciles American’s. The First person who was reported to undergo sterilization was a young poor woman by the name of Carrie Buck. According to the Buck v. Bail video Carrie Buck was confined in the Virginia State colony for the epileptics…

    Words: 1015 - Pages: 5
  • Change And Symbolism In Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard

    In Anton Chekhov's 1904 play The Cherry Orchard, a Russian family who is used to a life of riches begin to experience the hardships of poverty. Due to an extreme amount of carelessness and selfishness, the mother of the estate Lyubov Andreevna Ranvskaya loses the funds that have been allowing her to keep her family in a comfortable position financially. Throughout the play, Chekhov uses many items to represent symbolism, such as the cherry orchard itself to represent the golden age of…

    Words: 1616 - Pages: 7
  • The Death Of Beauty In Louise Bogan's Medusa

    with “Everything moved.” You break out of the surreal moment when the author creates the setting and admiring the area then all of a sudden you break out of your reverie when the poem continues with the words “Everything moved.” The natural order of plants moving and flowing to the wind. The feeling of things being normal with everything moving and no sooner does everything start, there is stillness again as the poem continues with “a bell hung ready to strike.” It is as though the bell is…

    Words: 1570 - Pages: 7
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