Category Archive: infanticide

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 …

Continue reading »

Sterilization May Lead to Sexual Promiscuity, Frank C. Richmond, 1934

Frank C. Richmond, Sterilization in Wisconsin, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 25, Issue 4 (November-December), Winter, 1934.  Page: 593. Human surgical sterilization may lead to sexual promiscuity and incidentally to spread of venereal disease. Voluntary sterilization tends to promote social evils in this way and answers why sterilization should be practiced only on …

Continue reading »

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 …

Continue reading »

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 …

Continue reading »

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 …

Continue reading »

Mass Extermination and ‘Lethal Chambers’ Widely Considered by Eugenicists in America, England, and Germay

Long before the Nazis implemented the ‘Final Solution,’ American and English eugenicists had talked often of the use of ‘lethal chambers’ to deal with the pressing problem of the ‘unfit.’  You can imagine Hitler’s surprise, when, after acting on precisely what elites in America and England had long been advocating for, he was perceived as …

Continue reading »

Abortion As Eugenics Tool: Harrison Brown and “The Challenge of Man’s Future”

Today, abortion is nearly always described in terms of a woman’s reproductive right in relation to family planning, but it is not understood that abortion was widely seen by eugenicists as a means of reducing the human population, and especially certain sub-populations (eg, black people, handicapped people, etc).  Part of this is intentional–if it was …

Continue reading »

The Obstacle of Sentiment and Sentimentalists to Pure Scientific Application

One of the common themes that surfaces in eugenic writings is their annoyance that others do not act on the logical implications of Science.  Note that, in the main, they are not taking issue with people who do not agree with their conclusions, but rather those who do agree–but will not act on them.  This …

Continue reading »