I’m studying for my Law class and need an explanation.
Step 1: Post your response to the following:
In 1924, Virginia adopted a statute authorizing the compulsory sterilization (i.e., a procedure that renders persons unable to have children) of persons with intellectual disabilities for the purpose of eugenics. Carrie Buck, an 18-year-old, was described by the superintendent of the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded as “feebleminded” (an archaic term used to label individuals who had intellectual disabilities or who had certain cognitive impairments) and a genetic threat to society. Carrie was housed at the same institution as her mother, who was also labeled as feebleminded. In addition, Carrie was the mother of a child born outside of marriage who was classified as feebleminded.
The superintendent requested that Carrie be sexually sterilized so she would be unable to have additional children, arguing that it was for the betterment of society. The Supreme Court agreed. In an 8 to 1 decision, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes stated:
It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind…Three generations of imbeciles are enough. (274 U.S. 200, P. 208).
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