TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Mentally disabled in marraige and their children
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Mentally disabled in marraige and their children

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
A while ago I saw a documentary on two young people who were so much in love. They lived in a residential home for what they called mentally retarded people. This couple wanted to get married and the young girl was made to have an hysterectomy before they would marry them so that they would not have any children who would have the same problems as them.

I though nowadays that the pill could be given by injection. What do others think of this??
post #2 of 21
Sorry, but I do not support profoundly mentally disabled people having children.
post #3 of 21
I am with Deb on this one - if they do not have the mental capacity to take care of themselves, then they do not have it to take care of children. Raising a child is a lot of work and I don't know if they can handle this.
post #4 of 21
Going against the flow here because the posts raised a lot of questions for me....

To me it depends on how challenged they are. There are some people who may not be able to fully support themselves and live in group homes, but within those homes are fairly self-sufficient within that structure. But I do agree with Deb and Kellye that profoundly mentally disabled people having children is very concerning because parenting is such a huge responsibility, and there are a lot of issues that I don't think they would be able to handle.

In the particular instance that Cilla is bringing up, I have to ask: Who made the girl have a hysterectome? Her guardians or the state? If it were her guardians, then they do have a legal right to do it. If it is the state, I have a real problem with that...maybe because I just recently watched Conspiracy, but that was one of the options that the Nazis utilized with the mentally disabled, "with great success".
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
It was the state's decision, they both live in residential care. But surely a full hysterectomy at her age is drastic when they could administer the pill by injection. I also believe they should not have children. But shouldn't this be done as humanely as possible.
post #6 of 21
If you do some research, you will realise that governments in the past do sterilize mentally disabled people. And this is not even in Nazi Germany but it occured in Canada. In 1996, the case of Muir v Alberta, the court allowed compensation to be paid to her. I find the involuntaryy sterilization really disturbing and seems to be a violation of one's right and dignity.
post #7 of 21
I am firmly against mentally disabled people having children, especially if they are supported by the government. Then taxpayers will just be supporting more people, and we are supporting too many already. This is in addition to the well made points of previous posters about the responsiblity of caring for children by people that cannot care for themselves.
I am not against sterilization of people that should not reproduce. In SC several years ago, a doctor was discovered to be sterilizing mentlly challenged patients, as well as welfare mothers that had more than 2 children. There was an old law still on the books that allowed it. There was nothing that could be done to the doctor, but unfortunately, they removed the law.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by bumpy
If you do some research, you will realise that governments in the past do sterilize mentally disabled people. And this is not even in Nazi Germany but it occured in Canada. In 1996, the case of Muir v Alberta, the court allowed compensation to be paid to her. I find the involuntaryy sterilization really disturbing and seems to be a violation of one's right and dignity.
Eugenics was a common practice in the U.S., too. Here's one article:
http://www.yale.edu/opa/v28.n21/story10.html If you do a search using "United States AND eugenics", you'll find a wealth of information. This is one of those issues that I'm very ambivalent about. While I agree that people who themselves cannot live independently and support themselves long term shouldn't have children, I'm uncomfortable about the state being allowed to make such a decision, as that opens the door to abuse of power, violation of human/civil rights, etc.. Much like abortion.
I also wonder why the girl in question would be given a hysterectomy, when tying her tubes would have been far less invasive. Perhaps she had other medical problems?
post #9 of 21
When I worked in a clinic, about 20 years ago, we a case wherein a mother petitioned for a court order to have a hysterectomy performed on her profoundly retarded 16-year-old.

The girl was incapable of attending to the most basic personal hygiene, had the mental capacity of a 2-year-old, with the body of a full-grown woman. The mother was concerned about cleanliness, as well as the potential for an unintended pregnancy. After much testimony, by doctors and social workers, the order was granted.

A couple of years ago, a woman, who had been in a vegetative state for several years, gave birth. DNA proved that the father was an employee of the group home, where she lived. The potential for this kind of incident, in a facility for the mentally disabled is very high and does happen, despite the best efforts of the administrators. For someone, with no comprehension of their actions and the consequences, I believe that sterilization is a good idea.
post #10 of 21
My uncle, who is mentally handicapped, lived with our family for years when I was growing up. Having lived first hand with that disability, I have a hard time believing that he would be capable of raising children. We set our Uncle up in an apartment after a while to see how he would do and provided regular supervision (bought him food, cleaned his apartment, etc). He somehow obtained a dog one time and almost killed it before we intervened. He had a tough enough time taking care of himself, never mind taking care of an infant. In a group home setting with continuous supervision, it may be possible to raise a child, but it would be a tremendous burden on their caretakers.

I have no issue with marriage - my uncle was always lonely and would have loved to have someone in his life other than his sister and her kids. He also so desperately wanted to feel that he fit in, and we tried to provide things (like his apartment) to make him feel "normal". But having children was beyond his capabilities.

For mandatory sterilization: just because people are capable of conceiving a child doesn't mean they are capable of raising that child - and mentally handicap folks are not the only ones that fall into that category. I would support it only because there are enough unwanted or uncared for babies in the world, and because of the burden it would place on the caregivers for these folks.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
I agree with what has been said about mentally handicapped people not being able to care for children, I have no problem with that. What I feel should be happening is that some other form of sterlization should be used instead of hysterectomy which can bring many more problems with it in a very young lady. Why can they not use modern ways when there is no other problem. This girl was in residential care and administrating the pill by injection would have been no hassle to anyone. Or why did they not operate on the man who is also mentally handicapped, it would have been a much smaller operation.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cilla
I agree with what has been said about mentally handicapped people not being able to care for children, I have no problem with that. What I feel should be happening is that some other form of sterlization should be used instead of hysterectomy which can bring many more problems with it in a very young lady. Why can they not use modern ways when there is no other problem. This girl was in residential care and administrating the pill by injection would have been no hassle to anyone. Or why did they not operate on the man who is also mentally handicapped, it would have been a much smaller operation.
You have a very strong point about the husband not being sterilized. I also think it would have been better if they used a pill or injection on the woman.
However, I am not very sure about mentally handicapped people being banned from having children. I know of a family whose parents are both mentally retarded and they were able to have 5 children, two are now teachers and living normal lives. The other three though inherited their parents' mental deficiency. So this made me think, who are we to decide what is good for others?
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb25
Sorry, but I do not support profoundly mentally disabled people having children.

I dont either
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazy kat2
I am not against sterilization of people that should not reproduce. .
Maybe taking this quote a little out of context but........
Who chooses? Is it by committee or just a handful of 'well meaning' people.
Did I just read a post about this being Holocaust rememberance week? What is this the final solution made 21st century -
Maybe a little harsh I know but you start little and before you know it its you that cant do something.
I do not say I agree or disagree on the mentally disabled having children - I think each case should be taken on its merit in all things.
Alexis
post #15 of 21
Who decided was written in to the law. It was their doctor, and/or their family.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazy kat2
Who decided was written in to the law. It was their doctor, and/or their family.
What law????????????
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cilla
What I feel should be happening is that some other form of sterlization should be used instead of hysterectomy which can bring many more problems with it in a very young lady. Why can they not use modern ways when there is no other problem. This girl was in residential care and administrating the pill by injection would have been no hassle to anyone. Or why did they not operate on the man who is also mentally handicapped, it would have been a much smaller operation.
Cilla you bring up a very valid point about the young man not being sterilized. I'm still unclear from the earlier posts as to who made the decision for sterilization, but it seems that the family of the young woman was somehow involved. In that case, it may be that the young man's family did not feel as strongly about it. As to the young lady, I believe her family/guardians opted for total hysterectomy so there would be NO CHANCE of her conceiving - even tubal ligation has been known to fail. AND, if she did conceive and were unable to care for the child, that burden would most likely fall to her family, instead of the young man and his family, blood being thicker than water.

I'm still not sure what to think of this. I agree that those with diminished mental capacity should be prevented from having children they would not be able to care for (and by diminished I'm not talking exclusively about the handicapped), but I DO NOT believe that the state has any right to determine this in ANY case. I shall have to ponder this more thoroughly in the coming days.
post #18 of 21
I'm coming to this from a different place I think , I have challenged children , they don't quite fall in the MR category , but I feel this becomes a slippery slope , I understand that profoundly MR people are not able to care for children without assistance if at all , but I cant help but wonder where the line will fall . and who will be drawing that line.

My children need assistance , my son has executive function deficits , but for all his issues I think he would make a better father than most men do .

I know some perfectly "normal " people that should never have had children , I think there is no totally right answer to this and one society will struggle with for a very long time.
post #19 of 21
What I was referring to in my first post was an old, obscure law in SC that allowed mentally challenged people, or welfare recipients that have had too many children, (cases of up to 12) and several other categories of people. I forget exactly what those were. They did not even have to be told they had been sterilized.The law was challenged and removed from the books several years ago. I am not sure removing it completely was the thing to do.
post #20 of 21
If this couple was mentally capable enough to be in love and get married. I feel without having seen the show that they most likely were not profoundly retarded. No woman or man should have their body violated in that way. I have a genetic disease that cause many health problems including infertility there is a small chance that someday I'll carry a baby full term 3 miscarraiges so far. And if I do have a child a daughter has a chance to have a nonactive to her passed on from me disease that her son could then possible have and pass it on to his daughter in active form as my father did to me. my son will most likely from what they have seen not get the disease in any form as I have it and its not recesive in me. passes recesive male to active in female...active in female to resecive in female....ressive in male...active in female.....sometimes it is not passed.

Should I not be allowed get pregnant because chances are my body will not be able to bring the child to birth, and therfor I am unable to properly care for said child...sure its before birth but its still the same basic principle.

My brother Ryan has a mild form of autism, he has major trouble socializing but I want nothing more than love and happyness for him....but maybe because he can't show his love like most he should have kids cause they kids wouldn't understand.

No woman should be denied the right to choose whether or not to have a child expectally if she is mentally capable to make a desision as major as marriage. You aren't talking about a woman who can't think if she can think enough to be in love and want to marry the man she loves she is not unable to make chioces.
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
So many strong arguments I feel both for and against sterilisation in a case like this. Just one of the many problems we are faced with in life. This young girl was obviously capable of looking after herself, I do not feel that she was capable of looking after children. But I strongly object to the hysterectomy in one so young, because of the physical reasons. This girl still has rights, she was by the way very badly effected by it. If they (and it was the authorities who decided this) insisted on the sterilisation in the manner they used and she objected to it so strongly then they should have objected to the marraige and left her body alone (that is only my opinion). There are many other forms of sterilisation they could have used. I have a daughter who is mentally retarded and also mentally ill (which are two entirely different things) she has been married and is now divorced. If anyone had attempted to do this to her I would fought to the death for her. I have always made sure that she can talk to me about anything and she went on the pill and is still taking it now although she has no relationship and has never been in a position to become pregnant for the past 5 years, but it is a form of protection for her just in case. I adopted Vicky when she was a wee baby and if anyone wanted to cut her open just like that I would swing for her. Wynterangel I know a bit of what you are going through, I have a rare blood group and had 6 babies who died. So I adopted two children and fostered many more. What joy it brought to our lives. Woe betide anyone who tries to hurt her.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: IMO: In My Opinion
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Mentally disabled in marraige and their children