ID# 2309:
"The German Sterilization Law," by Paul Popenoe, Journal of Heredity (vol. 25)
Pages: (1|2|3|4)
Cold Spring Harbor, , ''
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&quote;The German Sterilization Law,&quote; by Paul Popenoe, <i>Journal of Heredity</i> (vol. 25)

from any of the following diseases: 1. Congenital feeble-mindedness. 2. Schizophrenia (dementia praecox). 3. Manic-depressive insanity. 4. Inherited epilepsy. 5. Huntington's chorea. 6. Hereditary blindness. 7. Hereditary deafness. 8. Severe hereditary malformation. (3) Also, anyone with severe alcoholism may be sterilized. Section 2 (1) Anyone in need of sterilization may voluntarily ask for such operation. If the subject is incompetent or mentally weak, or if he has not yet completed the 18th year, his legal representative must intervene and obtain the approbation of the Court of Wards (Vormundschaftsgericht, minor's court). In other cases of limited competence the assent of the legal representative is necessary. In the case of an adult for whom a guardian has been appointed, the consent of the latter must be obtained. (2) To the application, the certificate of a physician licensed to practice in Germany is to be apprehended, stating that the person to be sterilized has had the purpose and consequences of sterilization explained to him. (3) The application can be withdrawn. Section 3 Sterilization can also be proposed by: 1. The official physician. 2. For inmates of a hospital, sanatorium, or nursing home or prison, the director. Section 4 The proposal is to be presented to the office of the Eugenics Court (Erbgesundheitgericht) in writing, or dictated to its clerk. The facts on which the proposal is based are to be certified by medical report, or verified in some other manner. The Clerk of the Court has to notify the official physician of the proposal. Section 5 The Eugenics Court of the district in which the person to be sterilized has his legal residence, will have legal jurisdiction in the case. Section 6 (1) The Eugenics Court is to be attached to a Magistrate's Court. It shall consist of a Magistrate as chairman, an official physician, and another physician licensed to practice in Germany, who is especially conversant with the principles of eugenics. Every member must have an alternate. (2) As chairman, no one can officiate who has approved a proposal according to Section 2, No. 1. If an official physician has made the proposal he can not take part in the decision. Section 7 (1) The procedure before the Eugenics Court is not public. (2) The Eugenics Court has to institute the necessary investigation; it can examine witnesses and experts, can order the personal appearance and medical examination of the person to be sterilized, and can have the latter brought in case of unexcused absence. For the examination and administering of oaths to witnesses and experts, and for the exclusion and excusing of the Court personnel, the rules of civil procedure are to be followed. Physicians called as witnesses or experts are obliged to testify without regard to professional secrecy. Officials of the Court and of other departments of the government, and also hospitals, have to give information to the Eugenics Court on request. Section 8 The Court is to make an unbiased decision on the basis of all the facts and testimony. The decision is to be formulated after oral discussion, and by a majority vote. It is to be in writing, and signed by those members of the Court who approved it. It must give the reasons for which sterilization is ordered or denied. The decision shall be communicated to the proposer, to the official physician, and to the person to be sterilized, or in case the latter is not legally competent, to his legal representative. Section 9 Within one month after the judgment, any of the persons indicated in the foregoing section can appeal in writing, or dictation at the office of the Eugenics Court. Such appeal effects a postponement. The Eugenics Superior Court decides on the appeal. If no appeal is entered, the case returns to its previous status in accordance with the rules of civil procedure. Section 10 (1) The Eugenics Superior Court is attached to a district Superior Court, the two jurisdictions being co-extensive. It consists of a member of the Superior Court of the district, an official physician, and another physician licensed to practice in Germany and especially familiar with eugenics. Every member is to have an alternate. Section 6, No. 2 applies. (2) Sections 7 and 8 apply to the procedure of the Eugenics Superior Court. (3) The decisions of the Eugenics Superior Court are final. Section 11 (1) The surgical operation necessary for sterilization can be performed only in a hospital, by a physician licensed to practice in Germany. The physician can undertake the operation only after the legal [end]

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