IT COULD (AND HAS) HAPPENED HERE.
Choosing life based on genetics. Ordering death or sterilization for those whose physical/mental appearance or abilities do not meet the standards of the State.
Does Obama’s health plan call for death squads? Of course not. Is there constitutional authority for such squads? You tell me.
Between 1924 and 1972 in the US some 65,000 American men and women were involuntarily sterilized by state governments, 8,200 by the State of Virginia:
A Virginia statute (Acts 1924, chap. 394, p. 569) provided that:
Whereas, both the health of the individual patient and the welfare of society may be promoted in certain cases by the sterilization of mental defectives . . . Whereas, human experience has demonstrated that heredity plays an important part in the transmission of insanity, idiocy, imbecility, epilepsy and crime; now, therefore . . .
Be it enacted . . . That whenever the [State of Virginia] . . . shall be of opinion that it is for the best interests of the patients and of society . . . the operation of sterilization on any such patient confined in such institution afflicted with hereditary forms of insanity that are recurrent, idiocy, imbecility, feeble-mindedness or epilepsy. . . . (Emphasis added.)
Don’t be poor and stupid (or have epilepsy) in Virginia in the first part of the 20th Century because the State owned you, and the state could sacrifice you as the State deemed fit.
Carrie Buck was “a feeble-minded white woman who was committed to the State ... She was the daughter of a feeble-minded mother in the same institution, and the mother of an illegitimate feeble-minded child.” (Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200, 205 (1927).
Carrie Buck was ordered sterilized, Virginia having found that she was the “ probably potential parent of socially inadequate offspring, likewise afflicted, that she may be sexually sterilized without detriment to her general health and that her welfare and that of society will be promoted by her sterilization.” (Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200, 207.)
Yes, you read that correctly. Virginia was forcibly sterilizing women who the State believed would "probably" produce "socially inadequate offspring." Anyone feel like defining for me "socially inadequate offspring"? By the way: anyone suffering from epilepsy reading this blog? Because if you had epilepsy in Virginia in the 1900's they were after you as well.
The Virginia Supreme Court upheld the statute, stating that the law was meant to “promote the welfare of society by mitigating race degeneracy and raising the average standard of intelligence of the people of the state.” (Buck v. Bell, 130 S.E. 516, 519. Emphasis added.)
Forced sterilization can’t happen in the US you say? Have you read Buck v. Bell, 274 US 200 (1927)? The Supreme Court (Oliver Wendell Homles for the majority) up held 8-1 the right of the State to sterilize it’s”idiots”.
Does the State own you? Here’s what Holmes said:
We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizen for their lives [i.e., the draft]. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, ...[if] society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes . . . .
(And then Holmes wrote the sentence that will live in infamy among those of us who don’t believe the State owns you:)
Three generations of imbeciles are enough. (Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. at 205. Emphasis added.)
So you tell me, can it happen here?
Post script: The State sterilized all of the Buck siblings; a brother and two sisters including Doris, who had gotten married and was by all accounts not mentally retarded.
According to The New York Times:
For years... she (Doris Buck) and her husband . . . could not understand why she could not bear children. “I broke down and cried,” [she] told the [newspaper]. “My husband and me wanted children desperate—we were crazy about them. I never knew what they done to me.”
As far as I know, Buck v. Bell is good law, and the philosophy behind it- the State owns your life and can sacrifice it, your body, or parts of your body- for the good of society- still rings true today.
See You In Court, fighting the State.