Medical World Must Apologize for Eugenics Procedures: Panel

Society Lifestyle Politics

Tokyo, June 25 (Jiji Press)--Japan's medical community must apologize for its involvement in forced sterilizations under the now-defunct eugenic protection law, the Japanese Medical Science Federation said Thursday.

A federation panel for reviewing the issue said in a report that a heartfelt apology is needed as medical professionals were involved in the drawing up and execution of the law, which forced mainly people with disabilities to undergo surgeries for sterilization.

The panel also urged caution in areas of medicine that may be closely linked to eugenics. It proposed the establishment of a body including many medical societies to review ethical issues regarding prenatal diagnoses, genome editing and other areas.

"It's our responsibility to make sure there is no recurrence, and that something similar does not happen," Morito Monden, chairman of the federation, said after receiving the report.

The report found that medical professionals were involved in forced sterilizations out of a false sense of mission, as many mistakenly believed that such procedures were necessary for the public interest due to the existence of the eugenic protection law. It added that, while some in the medical field questioned the forced sterilizations, "their voices were not strong enough toward the whole society."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press