Sterilization

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Related to hysteroscopic sterilization: Tubal sterilization

Sterilization

A medical procedure where the reproductive organs are removed or rendered ineffective.

Legally mandated sterilization of criminals, or other members of society deemed "socially undesirable," has for some time been considered a stain on the history of U.S. law. The practice, also known as eugenics, originated early in the twentieth century. In 1914, a Model Eugenical Sterilization Law was published by Harry Laughlin at the Eugenics Records Office. Laughlin proposed the sterilization of "socially inadequate" persons, which translated as anyone "maintained wholly or in part by public expense." This would include the "feebleminded, insane, blind, deaf, orphans, and the homeless." At the time the model law was published, 12 states had enacted sterilization laws. Such laws were seen to benefit society since they presumably reduced the burden on taxpayers of maintaining state-run facilities. Eventually, these laws were challenged in court.

In Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927), oliver wendell holmes jr. wrote the infamous opinion that upheld the constitutionality of a Virginia sterilization law, fueling subsequent legislative efforts to enact additional sterilization laws. By 1930, 30 states and Puerto Rico had passed laws mandating sterilization for many criminal or moral offenses. Nearly all of the states with such laws imposed mandatory sterilization of mentally defective citizens. Nineteen states required sterilization for parents of children likely to experience various disorders. Six states encouraged sterilization for individuals whose children might be "socially inadequate."

Finally, the Supreme Court struck down an Oklahoma law mandating involuntary sterilization for repeat criminals in Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 62 S. Ct. 1110, 86 L. Ed. 1655 (1942). Justice william o. douglas's opinion broadly defined the right to privacy to include the right to procreate, and concluded that the government's power to sterilize interfered with an individual's basic liberties.

By mid-century, legal attitudes had changed, and many state sterilization laws were held to be unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment prohibiting Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

Further readings

Carlson, Elof Axel. 2001. The Unfit: A History of a Bad Idea. Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Kevles, Daniel J. 1985. In the Name of Eugenics. New York: Knopf.

Smith, J. David, and K. Ray Nelson. 1999. The Sterilization of Carrie Buck. Far Hills, N.J.: New Horizon Press.

References in periodicals archive ?
Glazerman concluded that concern about noncompliance with HSG "should not deter physicians from offering hysteroscopic sterilization.
Hysteroscopic sterilization is an attractive option as the only form of sterilization now available that does not require general anesthesia or incisional surgery.
Essure and other hysteroscopic sterilization methodologies are quickly becoming a standard option for patients seeking permanent sterilization and probably will become the norm, by my prediction, in 2 or 3 years," Dr.
was invited by Boston Scientific Corporation to participate in a symposium addressing successful strategies of integrating two rapidly growing procedures, endometrial ablation and hysteroscopic sterilization, without I.
Hysteroscopic sterilization and global endometrial ablation are both safe and effective for the general ob.
Hysteroscopic sterilization may not be as effective as we thought
If she opts for hysteroscopic sterilization prior to endometrial ablation, the sterilization procedure must be performed at least 3 months prior to ablation (according to FDA labeling) so that tubal occlusion can be demonstrated by hysterosalpingography (HSG) before the uterine cavity is scarred.
Nasdaq:CPTS), developer of the Essure(R) non-incisional permanent birth control system, today reports that a study being presented at the 54th Annual Clinical Meeting of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests tissue will gradually encapsulate the coils of the Essure micro-insert that trail into the uterine cavity following hysteroscopic sterilization.
Reliability of laparoscopic compared with hysteroscopic sterilization at 1 year: a decision analysis.
CHICAGO -- Data indicate that most pregnancies in women who undergo the Essure hysteroscopic sterilization procedure could be avoided, Dr.
of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York and author of "Office hysteroscopic sterilization compared with laparoscopic sterilization: A critical cost analysis" (Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology, 2005).
The major advantage of hysteroscopic sterilization is the avoidance of entry into the peritoneal cavity, which has its inherent risks and morbidity.