Journal of Student Nursing Research


Sterilization of mentally handicapped individuals occurs today despite little consensus in the medical community as to when sterilization is appropriate (Zurawin & Paransky, 2003). In addition, each state has different laws regarding sterilization of the mentally handicapped. Thus, nurses and nurse practitioners must navigate the complex social issues and legal uncertainties related to sterilization of the mentally handicapped. The purpose of this paper is to answer the following question: What is the current social climate associated with sterilization of mentally handicapped individuals?