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ID 15210

Misdiagnosis of Carrie Buck, Paul Lombardo

Interviewee: Paul Lombardo. Emma and Carrie Buck lived long lives and it is doubtful that either was mentally ill. (DNAi Location: Chronicle > Trial of Carrie Buck > Players > Emma Buck > Were they feebleminded? )
Carrie was examined by doctors who claimed that she was feebleminded, but that term didn't have too much meaning in 1924. Emma also went through certain tests and was considered somehow "defective," to use the language of the day. But it's unlikely that either of them had any serious mental illnesses or other problems. More than their mental state, their moral state is at issue here. They were considered people who had sex too often, with the wrong people. They were considered loose women. It turns out that Carrie was actually assaulted, and that was the reason she got pregnant. We know less about Emma, but we know in both cases that they lived relatively long lives, with no real indication that they were mentally ill or retarded.
carrie buck,charlottesville virginia,mental illnesses,virginia paul,dnai,moral state,loose women,misdiagnosis,interviewee,lombardo,sterilization,emma,doctors
Creative Commons License This work by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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