Letters, Nov. 16, 1931

State Sterilization

Sirs:

In a footnote on p. 36 of your issue of Oct. 5 you state that "in 15 U. S. States sterilization may be ordered for habitual criminals, imbeciles, or insane persons." The fact is that there are 2 7 States which now have sterilization laws applying to the insane or feebleminded or both. Some of these laws, however, provide only for voluntary sterilization. In every State almost all of the sterilization is virtually voluntary since it is done with the consent and frequently at the instigation of the patient's nearest relatives. The...

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