Category Archive: genetic counseling

Foster Kennedy: Euthanasia for “Nature’s Mistakes” up to the age of 5

Kennedy’s address at the 97th annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in 1941 encapsulates well how the acceptance of evolution and utilitarian thinking are tied into arguments for eugenics (and euthanasia), which is ironic, of course, since many advocates for euthanasia deny such connections and modern proponents of evolution become apoplectic at the insinuation …

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Julian Huxley: Population Control, Eugenics, and Birth Control all part of the same Program

Contemporary advocates for birth control exhibit no awareness whatsoever that birth control was always conceived in the context of ‘eliminating the unfit,’ ie., eugenics.  Eugenics, in turn, was considered a straight-forward logical extension of Darwinism.  Eugenics was seen as human control of human evolution, and was always tied into discussions on ‘population control.’  These are …

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Defective Genes are Like Pathogenic bacteria and viruses the Law Must Control

As quoted in The New Diagnostics by Dorothy Nelkin and Laurence Tancredi, 1989 (pg 13-14) Although the old eugenic generalizations have been cast off, the logic behind them persists, refueled from diagnostic tests and justified in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and cost.  Thus some geneticists suggest the social importance of improving the “gene pool.”  For …

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A resurgence of eugenics: From Chance to Choice

In a book that seeks to re-assert the importance of the government in charting humanity’s genetic course without avoiding the abuses that are associated with eugenics, there are nonetheless some contentions made that are consistent with the goal of this website.  From pages 9-10: The Shadow of Eugenics Even the brightest aspirations of the new …

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Bentley Glass: “No parent will have the right to burden society with a defective child”

Excerpt from Dangerous Diagnostics by Dorothy Nelkin and Laurence R. Tancredi (pg 12, 1994) [Source] And in the same year [1970], Bentley Glass, in his retirement address as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, called for “the use of the new biology to assure the quality of all new babies.  … …

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On the Elimination of Defectives: Hitler, in Mein Kampf

Note the utilitarian appeal to the reduction of suffering, the appeal to the ‘common good’, and the basic belief that all he is doing is applying biological principles. Hitler, in Mein Kampf.  [Source] In this field the People’s State will have to repair the damage that arises from the fact that the problem is at …

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The Duty of the State in the Treatment of the Deformed: R. Z. Mason, Appleton WI, 1879

R.Z. Mason, mayor of Appleton, WI, “The Duty of the State in its Treatment of the Deaf and Dumb, the Blind, the Idiotic, the Crippled and Deformed, and the Insane.” [Source / Italics added, bold text added] In the progress of modern civilization, the state has come slowly to a recognition of certain duties and …

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Frederick Osborn, Galton and Mid-Century Eugenics, 1956 Eugenics Review published lecture and “Voluntary Unconscious Selection”

Frederick Osborn, president of the Population Council and steadfast advocate for eugenics, in a 1956 speech recorded in the Eugenics Review.  [SOURCE] […] Galton never envisaged any system of arbitrary controls, except for the more serious mental and physical handicaps, which should be treated like a form of communicable disease.  But he did propose that …

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Gordon Rattray Taylor: “The Biological Time Bomb” — the remaking of society via eugenics, family planning, and education

Gordon Rattray Taylor’s 1968 book, The Biological Time Bomb, was referenced in the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling as providing insight on future developments in America.  Taylor’s book was released at a time when the term ‘eugenics’ had not yet fallen out of favor.  Though he does not explicitly endorse many of the things …

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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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