Would you condone involuntary sterilization of mental patients?

United States
March 26, 2007 3:46am CST
Many have debated the good and bad of sterilizing mentally incompetent patients so they cannot produce offspring. Would you agree with sterilizing the extreme cases, mental retardation, severe instability from say bi-polar, multi personality disorders, etc. so children are not born into these situations?
3 people like this
8 responses
@crazynurse (7489)
• United States
27 Mar 07
Sad and cruel as it sounds, yes I would be in favor. Too often these people are taken advantage of (even when being 'watched' and children are born. These children become wards of the state and end up being shifted from foster home to foster home or institutionalized themselves.
2 people like this
• United States
27 Mar 07
That's actually how I feel. It's not cruel to sterilize a person who does not have the capability to care for even themselves let alone another human being. And as you said, in many cases they are simply taken advantage of because they have adult bodies without adult minds.
1 person likes this
@kbkbooks (7028)
• Canada
26 Mar 07
I wouldn't be in favor of this. I would say it is probably cheaper and overall easier to keep an eye on people who should be under care. As I am a longtime victimi of bipolar disorder and a mother of two beautiful sons, I think this kind of rule is really selfish and random. I don't think very severe cases would be in much danger anyway of reproducing.
2 people like this
• United States
26 Mar 07
I understand your reasoning and agree to a point also. That's what tears me, there are cases of bi-polar where the person remains a wonderful attribute to society and leads a fairly normal life but I have seen first hand a mother who had bipolar and was literally putting her children through hell and back over and over again, simply because she would "get better" in her mind and stop medications. I guess there is not cut and dry answer but I don't see it as a "wrong" option for severe cases of mental instability, especially mental retardation.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Mar 07
I think that this would be rather unfair. Most of these people will never have a life on their own anyway. If the handicap is bad enough, they will probably be institutionalized. If they have children while in a hospital oir something because of their condition then that would be their caretakers fault and a crime anyway. I think that if they are on the outside of an institution that they are well enough to possibly make their own decision on this and most won't want children. Some may even be sterile already due to their handicap.
• United States
26 Mar 07
I see issues though where there are rapes and these women are left unknowing and completely lost in the system. A child is born and often not "right" or given to the system to raise and hope that someone adopts. Also, many who are out of institutions are well enough to take basic care of themselves but not well enough to take care of a child. A perfect example of this are the many people that suffer from bi-polar disorder who THINK they are better, stop medications and truly make life for those around them a living hell until they get back on meds. It's often a constant turmoil. Those are the kind of things that make me wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea. Yet a part of me says it's a bit harsh and inhumane. I really have to say this issue tears me both ways.
1 person likes this
• Canada
26 Mar 07
I suppose it would depend on the situation but it is really contraversal!I'm not sure that I have an opinion but I do know that if the parents couldn't take care of the baby, then who would? In a lot of cases, these people live in overflowing group homes or lack important care due to their families financial limitations. How would a baby help that?But at the same time, it would be really scary to say that everyone under the mental health or illness has to get a steralization. I'm sure there are just regular messed up people out there that are perfectly healthly on paper where sterlization would be more appropriate!
• United States
26 Mar 07
I agree.. it's very debateable indeed. In some ways I can understand it, while in others I see the wrongness in it.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Mar 07
It would have to be an extremely bad case and the candidate would have to have been examined by more than one doctor who could testify how it would be beneficial to the patient.
2 people like this
@deebomb (15319)
• United States
30 Mar 07
I worked in a 1/2 way house for mentallt ill people. Most of them were wonderful people as long as they kept on their medication. Some time the medication needed modified and if they were not kept track of no one would know it. I had about 20 people iunder my supervision and I would not like to see any one of them having babies. They have long periods of time whrn they are lucid and can care for them selves but when they start slipping they don't know it and you can't help them until they are a danger to them selves or others. So I believethat there are cases that the persons should be sterilized.
@deebomb (15319)
• United States
4 Apr 07
Tanks for hte best response
@cripfemme (7714)
• United States
12 Aug 07
No, a lot of people with mental disorders can be good parents as long as they have proper supports and someone to keep an eye on them, all of which are lacking.
@design (848)
• Ireland
18 Jun 07
wow that's a hard one, to a certain extent I don't, but on the other-hand I do, When people (with any of the disorders you mentioned above) have children, especially in a community I'm sure there is alot of help there for them,(saying that I know there isn't in lots of places). I do think men who rape should.