Saturday, November 15, 2003

New play based on the trial of Carrie Buck.

According to an article in the Sioux City Journal, Northwestern College's Jeff Barker, a professor of theater and speech, has written a play, "Kin," based on the trial of Carrie Buck, the central figure in the famouse Supreme Court case of Buck v. Bell. This was the case in which the Court, in an opinion written by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., upheld the Commonwealth of Virginia's decision to sterilize Carrie Buck. As the opinion states: "Carrie Buck is a feeble minded white woman who was committed to the State Colony above mentioned in due form. She is the daughter of a feeble minded mother in the same institution, and the mother of an illegitimate feeble minded child." The court's rationale was simple enough: "[t]hree generations of imbeciles are enough." Research in the late 20th century discovered the extent of Virginia's eugenics program: 8,300 persons sterilized, 4,000 at the Lynchburg facility where Carrie and her sister were sterilized. The research was summarized in an essay by Stephen Jay Gould ("Carrie Buck's Daughter") in The Flamingo's Smile. An excerpt appears here.
posted by tommayo, 10:38 AM

Health care law (including public health law, medical ethics, and life sciences), with digressions into constitutional law, poetry, and other things that matter