Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Leon Vandecreek (Committee Chair), Julie Williams (Committee Member), Betty Yung (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Individuals with disabilities have been the subject of invasive medical procedures throughout history, violating their bodily rights and integrity. Because of a history of abuse, medical procedures performed on individuals with disabilities, especially those who cannot consent, require close scrutiny and analysis. This paper explores three controversial medical procedures performed on individuals with disabilities, which include sterilization, cochlear implants, and growth attenuation. Embedded in each medical procedure mentioned above are social, legal, ethical, and psychological variables that influenced the emergence of each procedure and the receptiveness of society. This project explores each of these variables in detail as it relates to growth attenuation, sterilization, and cochlear implants, with a focus on similar themes surrounding each medical procedure. These themes will then be applied to growth attenuation, a more recent procedure, to search for parallels and to anticipate future directions of the debate and use of the procedure.

Page Count


Department or Program

School of Professional Psychology

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Psychology Commons