Problem

Compulsory sterilization

Other Names:
Involuntary sterilization
Nature:
Without the right to procreation the human race is unable to continue. The power to sterilize in the hands of evil or even misguided people, can cause racial, religious, or other groups inimical to the dominant group in society to disappear.
Incidence:
Sterilization was used in Nazi Germany against Jews and other racial minorities to purify the race, and laws permitting sterilization on grounds of mental health or behaviour were in place in Switzerland Sweden, Denmark and Norway in the first half of the 20th century.

Criminals, particularly sex offenders, in the USA and other countries have been sterilized as part of their punishment. In India the poor and poorly educated have been given hysterectomies or vasectomies, without knowing what they were, in order to lower birth rates. In none of these cases did the individual concerned have an informed right to say no.

Swedish social democratic governments sterilized 62,000 people, overwhelmingly women, between 1935 and 1976, purportedly to rid society of inferior racial types. Doctors and school authorities selected adults and children and pressured them to consent to sterilization. Many of the 60,000 women candidates were misdiagnosed as being mentally ill.

Counter Claim:
For biological reasons or for reason of the happiness of the individual involved all alternatives must be taken into account because an individual sterilized against his will is deprived of a basic human right. That right must be weighed against the other rights of the individual and of the society as a whole.
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Subject(s):
Birth control
Date of last update
19.05.1999 – 00:00 CEST