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The Problem of Mental DeficiencyEugenics, Democracy, and Social Policy in Britain,
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Mathew Thomson

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206927

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206927.001.0001

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The Sterilization Solution

The Sterilization Solution

(p.180) 5 The Sterilization Solution
The Problem of Mental Deficiency

Mathew Thomson

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the third proposed solution for addressing the mental deficiency problem in Great Britain during the 1930s, which was to sterilize mental defectives. It states that this proposal has received much opposition because of the weakness of eugenic arguments and because of resistance from the Labour movement, the Catholic Church, and the medical community. Sterilization failed to become the best solution because it was never a solution on its own and it had to be combined with segregation and community care.

Keywords:   sterilization, Labour movement, medical community, eugenics, segregation, community care, Catholic Church

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