Skinner V. Oklahoma

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Skinner V. Oklahoma by Mind Map: Skinner V. Oklahoma

1. Application

1.1. In analyzing this case, there are many questions that need to be answered

1.1.1. Did the Sterilization Act brought forth by the state of Oklahoma violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment? The defendant may argue that the Act violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and under the Fifth Amendment, all persons have the right to life, liberty and property The Act does not give fair representation for individuals accused of violating this act. For example, white collar crimes such as embezzlement was excluded. No equal representation The Act violates a person's liberty to procreate It is not scientifically proven that such criminal behavior could be passed on to an offspring. No genetic markers to indicate this, unlike mental illness The Plaintiff may argue that Skinner's criminal behavior endangers society and this may be passed on to his offspring In Buck v. Bell, the court deemed that compulsory sterilization did not violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, therefore the case sets precedence. The state may interfere with personal liberty

2. Why Would We Care As Health Professionals?

2.1. As health care professionals, we care if fundamental rights are being violated especially in cases like these where there are no clear justifications or proof that criminal behavior can directly be passed on through genetic means. Ethically I would not feel comfortable participating in this procedure if I know there is no scientific justification to conducting it

2.2. Second, a lot of hospitals are already saturated with patients, especially in the recent years. An influx of "patients" accused of under this Act would occupy bed space that others may need.

3. Facts

3.1. Jack Skinner (Defendant) and State of Oklahoma (Plaintiff)

3.1.1. Habitual Criminal Strerilization Act is an Oklahoma statute that allows for the forced sterilization of habitual criminals. A habitual criminal is defined as an individual that has two or criminal convictions for crimes with severities equal to felonies involving moral turpitude Skinner's Convictions 1926: stealing chickens and was imprisoned in Oklahoma 1929: robbery with firearm and sentenced to prison 1934: robber with firearm and was imprisoned again in Oklahoma While in prison in 1935, the Sterilization Act was passed and a year later, the Attorney General for the state of Oklahoma filed a case against him Skinner challenged this motion based on the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause

4. Impact of Decision: Cases Influenced By

4.1. Roe v. Wade (1973)

4.1.1. Texas statute that prohibited abortion except when a pregnant woman's life is at stake. There were questions whether a woman's fundamental right to terminate her pregnancy or not was at stake. Strict scrutiny test applied because there was a fundamental right was involved. Ruling was abortion during the first trimester is hard to justify under these standards

4.2. Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)

4.2.1. Pennsylvania law required the wife to make her spouse aware of her intent to abort prior to treatment. Strict scrutiny test was applied because fundamental rights were in question. Law is in violation under the Fourteenth Amendment because it creates an undue burden to the pregnant woman

5. Conclusion

5.1. U.S. Supreme Court concluded that the act violated the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause because other white collar crimes were excluded from the Act's jurisdiction. However, there were arguments made that Due Process was violated as well

6. Issues

6.1. Did the Sterilization Act violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?

6.2. Is there a fundamental right to procreate?

6.3. Can criminal tendencies be transmitted to their offsprings like mental illness (Buck v. Bell)

7. Rule of Law

7.1. Due Process and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

7.1.1. The states are required to follow the same obligations put on the federal government by the Fifth Amendment Significance? The Fifth Amendment dictates that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of the law, which entails the state of Oklahoma to operate within the law and provide fair process for individuals accused of a crime

7.1.2. States cannot unequally apply laws or deny protection of laws for an individual or a group

7.2. Strict Scrutiny Test

7.2.1. Which bears more weight? An individual's constitutional right or government interest and in this case, the state of Oklahoma

8. 2 Health Care Practices That Could Be Influenced By the Holding

8.1. If sterilization was to be deemed constitutional due to criminal tendencies, there would be an influx of "patients" to be seen by health professionals. Funding through tax payer money would have to be provided to health care clinics and or hospitals to provide care for these patients. In addition, this unfound movement for this form of eugenics can bring forth protests and split opinions in the health care arena such as abortion did (and still does). For example, some nurses at my job will refuse to participate in electroconvulsive therapy at my facility. The same principles can be applied in this case. There will be further divide whether to participate in sterilization under these conditions due to both fundamental rights and religious reasons. Personally, I could see the funds that were to be used for this procedure to be appropriated to other health programs