Document Type


Publication Date

January 2009


Laughlin crafted a special pedigree chart showing evidence presented at the Buck trial describing the "Most immediate Blood Kin of Carrie Buck, Showing illegitimacy and hereditary feeblemindedness." Laughlin declared that following Buck, the operation of eugenical sterilization would no longer be considered "a wild or radical proposition" but would be seen by most Americans as "a reasonable and conservative matter." Laughlin emphasized that the endorsement of state authority to perform compulsory operations without regard for the consent of the patient or his family was an "outstanding feature" of the Buck decision. It constituted an application of the scientific method to statecraft, and employed the "modern sciences" of law and eugenics.