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Transcript of Eugenics
The Eugenics Movement:
1925: Adolf Hitler (in Mein Kampf) hailed eugenics as the science that would rebuild the nation.
1925: The Rockefeller Foundation gave $2.5 million to the Psychiatric Institute in Munich, which quickly became Germany’s leading center for eugenics research.
1933: Hitler came to power and Germany passed a comprehensive sterilization bill.
The Eugenics movement was born from Darwin's theory of evolution. His cousin, in fact,
--Francis Galton--was the one responsible for the eugenic idea that you could achieve a better society by manipulating the gene pool. Why not?
1935: The “Blood Protection Law,” criminalized marriage (or sexual relations) between Jews and non-Jewish Germans.
1935: The "Marital Health Law" banned unions between the 'hereditarily healthy' and persons deemed genetically unfit.
March 16, 1915. "Operating Room,
Washington Asylum Hospital."
Utah State Hospital, 1896
In total, 3032 individuals were sterilized in Kansas between 1913 and 1961.
Bennett, R. (2009). The fallacy of the principle of procreative beneficence. Bioethics, 23(5), 265-273. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8519.2008.00655.x
Calamia, J. (2010, June 23). Eugenics today: Do ugly people deserve beautiful children?. Discover, Retrieved from http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/discoblog/2010/06/23/eugenics-today-do-ugly-people-deserve-beautiful-children/
Chung, Y. J. (2011). The postwar return of eugenics and the dialectics of scientific practice in china. The Middle Ground Journal, (3), Retrieved from http://www2.css.edu/app/depts/his/historyjournal/index.cfm?cat=5&art=59
Kaelber, L. (2012). Eugenics: Compulsory sterilization in 50 american states. University of Vermont Social Science History Association. Retrieved from http://www.uvm.edu/~lkaelber/eugenics/
Kunzig, R. (2011, January). Population 7 billion. National geographic, Retrieved from http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/01/seven-billion/kunzig-text
Raz, A. E. (2009). Eugenic utopias/dystopias, reprogenetics, and community genetics. Sociology of Health & Illness, 31(4), 602-616. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2009.01160.x
Savulescu, J. (2001). Procreative beneficence: Why we should select the best children. Bioethics, 15(5-6), 413-426. doi: 10.1111/1467-8519.00251
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (2012a). Science as salvation: Weimar eugenics, 1919–1933. Holocaust Encyclopedia. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (2012b). The Biological State: Nazi Racial Hygiene, 1933–1939. Holocaust Encyclopedia. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007057
U.S. Department of Energy Genome Program (2012). The human genome project information. Retrieved from http://genomics.energy.gov
Walby, K., & Carrier, N. (2010). The rise of biocriminology: Capturing observable bodily economies of ‘criminal man.'. Criminology & Criminal Justice: An International Journal, 10(3), 261-285. doi: 10.1177/1748895810370314
Whitaker, R. (2002). Mad in america: Bad science, bad medicine, and the enduring mistreatment of the mentally ill. (pp. 41-71). Philadelphia, PA: Perseus Publishing
Genetic conditions identified
Early detection of disorders
Aids in therapy and treatment
Potential to ease suffering
Happier & healthier society
The Human Genome Project
Began in 1990
Goals to advance what we know about our DNA
Expand understanding of the function of genes
Responsible for major advances in medicine through gene therapy
Implications on Science & Society
Eugenics as a catalyst
Foundation for current research
The human genome project
The ethics debate
Current DNA Based Gene Tests
Negative aspects to gene therapy:
Genetic disorders are incredibly complicated
Multi-gene disorders more difficult to treat
Gene therapy setbacks
Not FDA approved
Resulting deaths in trials
Basic immune system function
Ethics are in heated debate
Pre-natal genetic diagnosis
A new eugenics movement?
1940: Gas chambers for mentally institutions in Germany (70,000 patients euthanized within 18 months)
1941: Hitler transported gas chambers to concentration camps.
Eugenics in Action
Eugenics is all about where you stand on the issues
Historically has been misused and abused
Controversial because everyone has differing points of view and always will
BeautifulPeople.com - more than just a dating site
One child policy in China
Population control (again) - seven billion people and counting
At state fairs, the AES organized "Fitter Families" contests, in which entrants would submit family histories, and take psychiatric exams and IQ tests in the hopes that they would be considered Grade-A humans.
"It is the acme of stupidity to talk
in such cases of individual liberty, of
the rights of the individual.
Such individuals have no rights.
They have no right in the first
instance to be born, but having been
born, they have no right to propagate
their kind." --William J. Robinson
In the span of two decades, thirty state legislatures approved sterilization bills. Those in need of sterilization were "criminals, rapists, idiots, feeble-minded imbeciles, lunatics, drunkards, drug fiends, epileptics, syphilitics, moral and sexual perverts, and diseased and degenerate persons." Over 60,000 patients were sterilized under these laws.
The Eugenics Movement brought us the ethics which we practice today, and ultimately it has brought us the ability to combat disease, and ultimately to produce happy, healthy families. From its dark beginnings, it has transformed the conversation about genetics.