Category Archive: euthanasia

Virginia Woolf: Defective idiots and imbeciles “should certainly be killed.” (1915)

Author Virginia Woolf, in a 1915 diary entry describing some people she saw while on a walk: we met & had to pass a long line of imbeciles.  the first was a very tall young man, just queer enough to look at twice, but no more; the second shuffled, & looked aside; and then one …

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Ernest William Barnes: Too many people, sterilize the unfit, euthanize defective infants, and family planning

From the “Daily Express”, Tuesday, November 29th, 1949 Too Many People, Says Dr. Barnes Two hundred business men and one solitary woman yesterday heard a bishop argue scientifically that the unfit must be prevented from having children if Britain is not to collapse. Dr. Ernest William Barnes, Bishop of Birmingham, mathematician and theologian, gave a …

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“Right to Die” defeated in England, 1936

This article needs to be transcribed. If you are willing, you may send the transcription to director@policyintersections.org

Death Urged for Idiots, 1934, Richard Berry

 The Daily Express Thursday, July 12 1934 Death Urged For Idiots  Doctors call it “Kindness” ‘Why keep human monstrosities?’ Two doctors advocated painless death for hopeless cases of mental defectives at the Royal Sanitary Health Congress in Bristol yesterday. Professor R. J. A Berry, director of medical services at Stoke Patt Colony, Bristol, said that …

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Leon Cole on the Social Body and Our Duty to Future Generations

From The Relation of Philanthropy and Medicine to Race Betterment by Leon J. Cole, University of Wisconsin, at the First Conference for Race Betterment (1914) Among those who have in their treatment of this subject emphasized the importance of the natural selection viewpoint may be mentioned especially Herbert Spencer, Francis Galton, and Karl Pearson, the …

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Helen Keller: Physicians Juries for Defective Babies, Article in the New Republic, 1915

Due to the successful sanitization of the past in regards to eugenics, it is largely unknown how pervasive eugenics attitudes were, and how expansive eugenicists believed their program to be.  Here we have Helen Keller, writing in a prominent liberal magazine, advocating explicitly for infanticide–in the name of the race.  For more information and the …

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George Bernard Shaw and Murder by the State, Marriage, and Eugenics

The following article was found in the March 4th edition of The Daily Express in 1910.  Reproduced under Fair Use Provisions. If anyone has any corrections they would like to post to the text (which was hard to read) please pass them along.  Images of the most readable text are at the end of this …

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George William Hunter’s “Civic Biology” — the Eugenics Textbook at the Heart of the ‘Scopes Monkey Trial’

The so-called ‘Scopes Monkey Trial’ was a media sensation at the time, but how it actually went down was shamelessly skewed afterwards to make it seem that the evolutionists were humble seekers of truth and those who stood against them ignorant, religious bigots.  This viewpoint was perpetuated effectively through movies on the trial such as …

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Elaine Freeman in “The ‘God’ Committee”: infanticide and euthanasia logically flow from arguments for aborting children with birth defects

Elaine Freeman, The ‘God’ Committee, published May 21, 1972, in the New York Times [excerpt] [Opening vignette by Freeman] The baby is a mongoloid born with duodenal atresia, an intestinal obstruction.  The parents, professional people in Maryland, refuse permission for the surgery that will enable the infant to survive, deciding that it would be unfair …

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The Eugenic Roots of Genetic Counseling

Charity requires us to believe that most contemporary genetic counselors are not at all motivated by considerations that we would term ‘eugenic.’  However, the founders of the field left no doubt about their motivations, stating them plainly and explicitly, and characterizing them as definitely constituting eugenics.  The following material raises more than reasonable doubt that …

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