Involuntary Sterilization and the Rights of the Mildly Retarded
In discussing the involuntary-sterilization court cases, some members of our group were particularly concerned with the discrepancies between decisions in different states, noting a lack of a consistent moral or philosophical point of view. The question of whether or not involuntary sterilization ought to be allowed under any circumstances was broached, revealing a number of differences of opinion among the group members as to the possible existence of circumstances in which the retarded might indeed “benefit” from sterilization. A particularly telling debate arose over the difficult matter of judging in advance the ability of a retarded person to function as an adequate parent.
KeywordsMoral Community Rear Child Competent Parent Heterosexual Intercourse Genetic Rationale
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- 1.J. R. Kramer, “The Right Not to be Mentally Retarded,” in M. Kindred, J. Cohen, D. Penrod, and T. Shaffer, eds., The Mentally Retarded Citizen and the Law (New York: Free Press, 1976).Google Scholar