The New York Academy of Medicine's Section on Historical Medicine announces another lecture in its 2002-2003 season.
"BETTER FOR ALL THE WORLD": EUGENICS, THE SUPREME COURT AND BUCK V. BELL
PAUL LOMBARDO, PH.D., J.D.
THE ANNUAL LILLIANA SAUTER LECTURE TUESDAY, MAY 6, 2003, 6:00 PM
(Reception at 5:30)
At the New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Ave.
Few incidents highlight more clearly the perilous interactions of medicine, law, and society than the case of Carrie Buck, the Virginia woman who in 1924 became the first person to undergo involuntary sterilization under that state's new eugenics law. Buck's appeal, mounted disingenuously by proponents of the law, went nearly directly to the Supreme Court, which upheld it in 1927. American society, it seems, agreed with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes's now-notorious declaration: "It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind." In the 50 years after Buck v. Bell, approximately 60,000 Americans underwent involuntary sterilization-men, women and children deemed by officials of the state as "manifestly unfit." This lecture will examine this case and its significance in the history of medical ethics.
Paul A. Lombardo, PhD, JD, is Associate Professor and Director of the Program in Law and Medicine at the Center for Biomedical Ethics at the University of Virginia. His faculty responsibilities in the Schools of Medicine and Law include courses in Health Law, Genetics and the Law, Legal and Ethical Regulation of Research, and the History of Bioethics. He sits on a variety of national panels, including the Institute of Medicine Committee to Study the Need for Clinical Trials of Testosterone Replacement Therapy. As an historian, he has served on the National Library of Medicine Special Emphasis Panel to review historical manuscripts for publication, and currently is a member of the Editorial Advisory Panel of the Digital Image Archive of the American Eugenics Movement, a National Institute of Health funded project of the DNA Learning Center of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. He is completing a book with the working title: Unsexed : Eugenics, the Supreme Court and Buck v. Bell.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information about NYAM programs in the history of medicine, write firstname.lastname@example.org or call Christian Warren.
Christian Warren, Ph.D.
New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10029
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