Author Topic: Forced sterilization of mentally incompetent man legal in Britain  (Read 810 times)

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Offline happyg

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Offline mountaineer

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Re: Forced sterilization of mentally incompetent man legal in Britain
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2013, 08:23:45 AM »
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Offline Oceander

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Re: Forced sterilization of mentally incompetent man legal in Britain
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2013, 11:51:21 PM »
I don't think the underlying facts of the case discussed fit the doctrine discussed.  First, the guy is not just technically incompetent, he is substantively - i.e., well and truly - incompetent, second, he expressed the desire to not have more children but cannot manage non-surgical techniques to avoid it, and third, his parents are very much in loco parentis and are clothed with the general power to make decisions for him; in point of fact, the law usually makes parents responsible for their severely disabled children for that child's entire life and there would be a public outcry if the parents simply walked away and did nothing, leaving this guy and his girlfriend - and their kid - to wallow in abject poverty.

Forced sterilization in the abstract is a wonderful windmill to tilt at, but when brought down to concrete realities, depends entirely on the context.

Offline EC

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Re: Forced sterilization of mentally incompetent man legal in Britain
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2013, 12:28:13 AM »
As always, thank you Oceander for a thought provoking post.

I do think your second point is the key. He expressed the desire not to have more children. While not competent to handle his own affairs, he made his position clear. Even the severest of mentally disabled people are perfectly capable of making their needs and dislikes known, if you pay attention.

Forced sterilization is one thing. It implies (at least) the lack of need for consent. In this case, consent was given. We could debate if it was informed consent til the cows come home, but in this case - as reported - it seems to be fine.
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