Saturday, January 11, 2020

Eugenics

This is not a polished post.

It was with surprise that I encountered the following document many years ago. I was using a search engine for something completely different.

I could find no references on the Web to the document or to the society that produced it. There are now.

I copied a few striking quotes quickly.

… Presentation of special problems connected with the elimination of each of the several following classes of the socially unfit: (a) the feeble-minded class, (b) the pauper class, (c) the inebriate class, (d) the criminalistic class, (e) the epileptic class, (f) the insane class, (g) the asthenic or physically weak class, (h) those predisposed to specific diseases or the diathetic class, (i) the physically deformed, (j) those with defective sense organs, or the cac├Žsthetic class.

Racial instinct demands that defectives shall not continue their unworthy traits to menace society.

Hence, because members of the above enumerated classes possess in common a number of traits incompatibile with the best social adjustment, this classification appears to fit well into both the social and the biological scheme and may, therefore, well be used as the practical working basis for the profitable study of the best practical means for cutting off the supply of human defectives.

.6. THE INSANE CLASS …. As with the feeble-minded, a classification based upon etiology and the degree of hereditary factors rather than one based upon social adequacy more nearly approximates the eugenic basis. The following classification is so based:

1. Functional dementia.
   a. Dementia praecox.
   b. Manic depressive insanity.
   c. Involutional melancholia.
   d. Chronic delusional insanity.
   e. Senile dementia.
2. Psychoneuroses.
   a. Neuresthenia.
   b. Hysteria.
   c. Psychasthenia.
3. Psychoses following or accompanying organic disorders.
   A. Nervous disorders leading to dementia.
   a. Epilepsy.
   b. Huntington’s chorea.
   c. Polyneuritis.
   d. Multiple sclerosis.
   B. Arterial disorders leading to dementia.
   a. Apoplexy.
   b. Arteriosclerosis.
4. Toxic Psychoses.
   A. Caused by endogenously produced toxins.
   a. Uremia
   b. Diabetes.
   c. Gastro-intestinal disorders.
   d. Thyroidal malfunction.
   1. Hypo-secretion—Myxoedema and cretinism.
   2. Hyper-secretion—Exophthalmic goitre.
   B. Psychoses caused by infectious diseases.
   a. Paresis.
   b. Pellagra?
   c. Hydrophobia and other acute infectious deliria.
   d. Febrile delirium.
   C. Psychoses caused by exogenously produced toxins.
   a. Chronic alcoholism.
   b. Pharmacomania.
   5. Psychoses of exhaustion—Delirium grave.
   6. Psychoses caused by brain tumor.
   7. Psychoses caused by trauma.

.7. THE ASTHENIC CLASS … they lack constitutional vigor and stamina. … Although not especially predisposed to any specific disease, yet they fall prey to almost any stressful circumstance, and the innate weakness appears to interfere with the full exercise of the normal function of mind and body in either physical or intellectual pursuits.

(c) The consent of the inmate (or his guardians) to the necessary operation can often be secured, thus relieving the State from imposing upon an individual, even though he be defective or insane, who may, because of such operation, bear some resentment against society. When possible such consent should be secured, but if such consent cannot be secured then the operation must proceed, for the protection of society must outweigh the desires or privileges of an anti-social individual.

You will have to refer to the original and surrounding history for more accuracy and better context.

It was signed as follows.

HARRY H. LAUGHLIN, Secretary, Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. [NY, USA] December 1, 1913.

— Original title was "BULLETIN No. 10A: Report of the Committee to Study and to Report on the Best Practical Means of Cutting Off the Defective Germ-Plasm in the American Population".

As of this writing it appears to be available here (pdf): http://dnapatents.georgetown.edu/resources/Bulletin10A.pdf or here: http://digitalarchive.gsu.edu/col_facpub/10/.


Samuel

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