Full text: Problems in eugenics

468AppendixWagenen. Kansas, Idaho, Virginia, and Massachusetts, none of which states has a 
sterilization law, there have been sterilized a considerable number of 
individuals. Up to the present time the only official records of operations 
under legal authority aie those of the 125 or 130 men vasectomized in the 
Jeffersonville (Indiana) Reformatory during the years 1907 and 1908, and 
the 220 persons, both males and females, asexualized in the California 
institutions since November, 1910. 
Indiana was the first (1907) of the several states to pass a law legislating 
Eugenic sterilization. In order to obtain a first hand report of the history 
of the movement and to observe at close range the actual working of the 
law, a sub-committee of the sterilization committee, consisting of the 
Chairman and Secretary, visited the Jeffersonville (Indiana) Reformatory in 
January, 1912, this being the only institution in Indiana attempting to 
enforce the law. Due credit must be given to Dr. H. C. Sharp, Surgeon 
at the Reformatory, during the agitation for and the execution of the 
law, for energetically promoting and courageously trying this important 
Eugenic experiment. The committee was courteously received by Dr. David 
C. Peyton, Superintendent of the Institution, who was one of the chief 
advocates of the law, and every opportunity for thorough investigation was 
given. Three cases of vasectomy were performed on voluntary candidates 
for the instruction of the committee. More than a dozen sterilized men in 
the Reformatory were examined by the committee with the view to 
determining their physical, mental, and moral make-up, with especial 
reference to the effects of vasectomy on the sexually perverted instincts and 
practices; and a trained investigator was left in charge to complete the case 
history records, and to study the family histories of the vasectomized men 
in their home territories. All of these cases of vasectomy were performed 
by Dr. H. C. Sharp, Surgeon of the Jeffersonville Reformatory, who was 
also the chief advocate of the law, and is now a member of the board of 
control of the Jeffersonville Reformatory. His first operation was 
performed in 1899, eight years before the enactment of the law, and during 
this interval the operation was performed by him on 176 men at their own 
request. In 1907 and 1908 about 125 compulsory operations were 
performed, until the inauguration of Governor Marshall in January, 1909. 
Dr. F. W. Hatch, General Superintendent of the California hospitals 
for the insane, under date of June 21st, 19x2, reports the following situation 
in regard to sterilization in California :— 
“ The law of California authorizing asexualization is by no means a 
perfect law, and yet this very imperfection has been the means possibly of 
acquainting a portion of the public of the probabilities and benefits of the 
operation.” “ In putting the law in action in the State Hospitals we have proceeded 
cautiously and avoided in the great majority of cases any arbitrary action in 
compelling patients to submit to the operation. It has been recognized as a

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