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 ?
The investigators compared outcomes of 8,048 patients who underwent hysteroscopic sterilization using the Essure device with 44,278 laparoscopic tubal ligation patients between 2005 and 2013, using a New York state database that captures hospital discharges, outpatient services, ambulatory surgeries, and emergency department records.
Lateral location of the ostia is the most common reason for failure of placement of hysteroscopic sterilization devices.
Nasdaq: CPTS), developer of the Essure procedure, the first proven non-incisional permanent birth control method available, today announced that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the United Kingdom has updated its guidance on hysteroscopic sterilization to support the use of the Essure permanent birth control procedure.
LAS VEGAS--Patient compliance with the recommendation for a hysterosalpingogram after Essure hysteroscopic sterilization can be high in the private practice setting, according to Dr.
9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- New data being presented this week at the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists' (AAGL) annual meeting in Chicago confirms hysteroscopic sterilization can successfully be performed in an office setting with minimal anesthesia using the Essure(R) procedure from Conceptus, Inc.
We know this expertise will benefit Conceptus as we continue to lead the way in making hysteroscopic sterilization the global standard of care.
in fact, will be competent with the basic hysteroscopic technique for diagnosis after just two to five cases, and the skills honed by doing office diagnostic hysteroscopy will often lay the foundation for adding operative procedures for which there is growing demand, such as hysteroscopic sterilization and global endometrial ablation.