Copyright
Various.

Abstracts of Papers Read at the First International Eugenics Congress online

. (page 4 of 15)
Online LibraryVariousAbstracts of Papers Read at the First International Eugenics Congress → online text (page 4 of 15)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


this increases with the increase in age. The age of the mother at the
time of marriage exercises a decisive influence upon the vitality
of the offspring: the greater the age of the mother at the time of
marriage the less will be the vitality of the children.

The age of the father at the birth of his child has some influence on
the number of stillbirths among his children. This influence - at any
rate above a given age - increases with the increase in the father's
age. It can neither be disproved nor affirmed that the age of the
father at the time of marriage has an influence upon the vitality of
the children; it is certain, however, that if any influence of that
kind exists it is much less intense than that exercised by the age of
the mother.

There has also been an enquiry as to the effect upon the characters of
the offspring exerted by (1) order of birth; (2) difference in age of
the parents; and (3) the age of the woman at the first menstruation.

C. Persons who die at a more advanced age have children in greater
number and endowed with greater length of life. For some classes of the
unfit (mad, consumptives, suicides) it can be proved beyond question
that the number of children born is less and their mortality greater
than among married people generally. Those who die of heart disease or
of cancer show a number of children slightly higher than the general
average of married persons; but that can be attributed to the fact that
their age at death is greater than the average age at death of married
people.




MATERNITY STATISTICS OF THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND, STATE CENSUS OF 1905.

(Abstract.)

By Frederick L. Hoffman, LL.D., F.S.S.,

_Statistician of the Prudential Insurance Company of America._


As a contribution to the practical study of eugenics the decennial
maternity statistics of Rhode Island are of exceptional interest and
importance.

In 1905, of 36,766 native-born married women 26,329 (71.6%) were
mothers, and 10,477 (28.4%) childless. Of 32,960 foreign-born married
women 27,207 (82.5%) were mothers, and 5,753 (17.5%) childless.
Contrasting these percentages, the fact requires only to be stated to
emphasize its profound and far-reaching social as well as political
significance.

Considered with reference to religious belief, 72.7% of Protestant and
80.3% of Roman Catholic married women were mothers. Of married women of
Jewish faith 88.0% were mothers.

At ages 25-34, the proportion of native-born mothers having only one
child was 35.1%, against 22.6% for the foreign-born; the proportion of
mothers having from six to ten children was 6.8% for the native-born,
against 12.9% for the foreign-born. At all ages a similar disproportion
is apparent.

Vastly more important than the multitude of general social and economic
facts are these statistics of what, for want of a better term, may be
called _human production_, and which disclose what must be considered
the most alarming tendency in American life. Granting that excessively
large families are not desirable, at least from an economic point of
view, it cannot be questioned that the diminution in the average size
of the family, and the increase in the proportion of childless families
among the native-born stock is evidence of physical deterioration,
and must have a lasting and injurious effect on national life and
character.




Section IV.

Medicine and Eugenics.




THE PROPHYLAXIS OF HEREDITARY SYPHILIS AND ITS EUGENIC EFFECT.

(Abstract.)

By Dr. H. Hallopeau.


Syphilis is strongly _dysgenic_; it causes the production of profoundly
damaged children; in preventing it the physician co-operates
effectively with eugenic action. In order to prevent the propagation
of this disease we must have recourse to _administrative prophylaxis_,
_prophylaxis by persuasion_, and _prophylaxis by medical measures_.

_Administrative prophylaxis_ must act especially by multiplying
gratuitous consultations and in securing, as far as possible, hospital
treatment for persons affected by transmissible lesions, especially for
prostitutes.

To the physician belongs the duty of acting by _persuasion_ in pointing
out to syphilitics that they have no right to have children so long as
they are liable to transmit their disease to their offspring.

We must abort syphilis if it is in the stage of primary invasion:
this invasion is not, as was believed until recently, confined to
the chancre and its accompanying swellings; it includes all the
intermediate stage; in order to destroy the tripanosomes we must use
repeated injections of _benzosulfoneparaminophenylarsinate of soda_,
commonly known as _hectine_ (Mouneyrat), the only specific medicament
which is well borne locally.

Results similar to those we have just shown are obtained by making,
in a given region, two or three injections of salvarsan. However, the
comparison between the two medications is altogether in favour of that
by hectine. Indeed, experience proves that the secondary generalization
is noticeably more frequent after injections of salvarsan, and,
besides, these are far from being always painless. We have made known
to the Académie of Medicine a case in which, within 48 hours, they
caused the death of a young man in good health. Several similar cases
have since been notified, particularly by Dr. Gaucher. Confidently
believing in the axiom "Primo non nocere," we explicitly declare
ourselves adversaries of a practice which brings such accidents in its
train.

In the secondary stage, we must have recourse simultaneously to various
specific agents.

Procreation may be permitted when six months after the abortive
treatment Wasserman's reaction, after several trials, has given
uniformly negative results.

The physician thus accomplishes a profoundly eugenic work in favouring
and accelerating the production of unspoilt children.




THE EFFECT OF ALCOHOL ON THE GERM-PLASM.

(The New Alcohol Legislation in Norway.)

(Abstract.)

By Dr. Alfred Mjoën.


The injurious effect of alcohol depends not only upon the amount
taken, but also upon other factors, as, _e.g._, upon its dilution,
and upon the kind of nourishment taken with it. There can be no doubt
that alcohol under a certain percentage neither injures nor can injure
either the somatic cells, or what is more important for race-hygiene,
the germ cells. And, on the other hand, it must be regarded as proved
that alcohol over a certain percentage is injurious to the quality of
the offspring, not alone where the mother drinks (influence upon the
embryo), but also where the father alone is a drinker (destruction
of the germ). The latest investigations in this field confirm this
assumption.

There is, it is true, a middle class of beverages whose influence
upon the germ-plasm (posterity) has not been established, or can be
established at all. As a general rule, one may lay down the rule: _The
injurious effect of an alcoholic beverage upon individuals or race
increases from a certain percentage progressively with its increasing
contents of alcohol._

Therefore, I propose to divide alcoholic liquors into classes, and to
deal with them according to the amount of their contents of alcohol,
_i.e._, according to their injuriousness.

All casks, bottles, etc., coming into the market are to be furnished
with the class-mark (_e.g._, I., II., III., branded upon the cord).

For example, in the case of beer, the first class (under 2-1/4%), shall
be obtainable everywhere. For this class there will be claimed, besides
a reduction of duty, also a facility for sale and some concessions.
Class I. (up to 2-1/4%) will be charged with 2 ore; Class II.
(2-1/4 - 3-3/4%) with 8 ore; and Class III. (3-3/4 - 5%) with 15-16 ore
per litre. Beer over 5% or 5-1/2% will be prohibited([3]).

[Footnote 3: This proposal was favourably received by the Norwegian
minister Knudsen, and brought before the Storthing as a Government
measure. The proposal has been accepted as part of the election
programme of the Radicals, the Socialist Democrats, and all total
abstinence organisations.]

The class system permits of a simple, cheap, and practicable control,
and, indeed, a control which is not confined to the brewery or to
any single stage of preparation, but which follows the article over
the whole country from its origin to its consumption. When alcoholic
drinks are marked with their class and placed under State control, the
consumers will themselves easily exercise the control. And the public
will gradually become accustomed to form an opinion upon the influence
of the various articles upon the working capacity and the health, not
only of the individual, but also of the family and the race. State and
country authorities will, with State-controlled classes, more easily
see justice done on all sides. This last advantage will, naturally,
only avail in those lands where the permission to sell alcoholic
liquors is vested in the local authorities. The progressive class
system will also give the State, the municipalities, and also private
labour organisations an opportunity to support those restaurants
and inns which supply nothing but pure and harmless liquors, and
consumption will undergo a slow and gradual change to the lightest
drinks.

At the present time the lightest kinds of beer are too heavily taxed
in comparison with the heaviest kinds, and the latter in turn are too
heavily taxed in comparison with brandy. From the point of view of
race-hygiene, the fight must be directed especially against the fourth
and most dangerous class, namely, all kinds of brandy (prohibition or
Ivan Bratt's system), as well as against the mixed wines, which are so
often adulterated and injurious.




ALCOHOLISM AND DEGENERACY.

Statistics from the Central Bureau for the Management of the Insane of
Paris and the Department of the Seine from 1867 to 1912.

(Abstract.)

By M. Magnan,

_Chief Physician to the Central Bureau, Member of the Academy of
Medicine_,

And Dr. Fillassier.


From 1869 to 1912 the number of sick persons received at the Central
Bureau of the St. Anne Asylum has gone on steadily increasing:
occasionally signs of a falling off are noticed, quickly compensated by
the number of entries for the following years.

Among these patients a great number are driven to the asylum by the
abuse of alcoholic drinks. Some of these are simple alcoholics, _i.e._,
those who owe their insanity entirely to excessive drinking; the others
make up the numerous group of degenerates, who are for the most part
descendants of alcoholics, and on whom fall all the forms of physical,
intellectual, and moral degradation.

For these last, alcohol has been but the touch of the trigger which has
put in action their disposition towards insanity; the attack of mania,
when past, leaves revealed psychic troubles, which, but for the turning
of the balance by alcohol, would have remained in the latent condition,
but which, once developed, remain often for a much longer time; so
we see the increase in the number of these patients - occasional
drunkards - keeping pace with that of chronic alcoholics.

These will specially call forth the interest of the members of the
Eugenic Congress. From the clinical point of view they exhibit
great importance; for showing as they do all the episodic syndromes
of degeneracy, all the mental forms of it may be seen - maniacal,
melancholic, idiotic: insanities polymorphous or systematic, fixed
ideas, monomanias connected with words or numbers, every sort of
phobia, obsession, impulse, and symptomatic manifestation of great
importance. When their objective lies in sexual perversion, theft,
arson, murder, etc., these various states raise the most delicate
questions whether from the point of view of philosophy, psychology,
sociology, or forensic medicine.

This class of society, in the grip of this poison, is unfortunately
not sterile; their miserable descendants come to dock in the asylum;
so much so that if we mass together the various elements, if we add
the unfortunates permanently disabled, such as epileptics, and the
increasing crowd of feeble-minded, idiotic, tuberculous children, the
mind recoils aghast at the gravity of the danger. The necessity of
an implacable war against alcoholism, which crowds our asylums, our
hospitals, and our homes with insane persons, and sends a constant
stream to our prisons and reformatories - such a war must be the
principal aim of the Eugenics Congress.

For long the evil genius of mankind, alcoholism has to-day laid its
clutch on women, and the admission figures now show their numbers on
the increase every year.

Such are the lessons which may be learnt from the report of Magnan and
Fillassier.




EUGENICS AND OBSTETRICS.

(Abstract.)

By Dr. Agnes Bluhm, _Berlin._


1. Among the agencies under social control which impair the racial
qualities of future generations, an important place is taken by the
Science of Medicine, especially by Obstetrics. For the increase of
obstetrics increases the incapacity for bearing children of future
generations.

2. The great difference in the capacity for bearing children between
the primitive and civilized races depends only in part on the lessened
fitness of the latter due to the increase of skilled assistance.

3. Incapacity for bearing children can be acquired; it develops,
however, abundantly on the grounds of a congenital predisposition.

4. In so far as the latter is the case, obstetrics contributes towards
the diffusion of this incapacity.

5. The most serious obstacles to delivery are effected by deformities
of the pelvis, in at least 90% of which heredity plays a part. In this
connection, rickets, the predisposition to which is inherited, takes
the foremost place.

6. German medical statistics make it appear probable that incapacity to
bear children is on the increase.

7. Medical help in childbirth brings, undoubtedly, numerical advantage
to the race, but it endangers the quality of the race in other ways
than through the fostering of unfitness for bearing.

8. The danger of the increase of incapacity for bearing through the
increase of assistance in childbirth can be combatted: -

(_a_) Through the renunciation of descendants by women unfitted to bear
children.

(_b_) Through an energetic campaign against rickets, to which only the
predisposition can be inherited.

(_c_) Through the permeation of obstetrics with the spirit of eugenics,
so that the obstetrician no longer proceeds according to a settled rule
(living mother and living child), but in each separate case takes into
consideration the interests of the race.




HEREDITY AND EUGENICS IN RELATION TO INSANITY.

(Abstract.)

By F. W. Mott, M.D., F.R.S.,

_Physician to Charing Cross Hospital and Pathologist to the London
County Asylums._


What is insanity? Every case of insanity is a biological problem,
the solution of which depends upon a knowledge of what a man was
born with - Nature - and what has happened after birth - Nurture. The
increase of registered insanity in London; the causes of the increase.
(1) The standard of insanity has been raised. (2) The increase of
accommodation for reception of the insane. The diminishing death rate
in asylums causing a progressive accumulation. The diminished number of
recoveries. (3) The large proportion of old people admitted to asylums
formerly in the infirmaries.

_Nurture._ - The correlation of pauperism, insanity and
feeble-mindedness, alcohol, syphilis, and tuberculosis in relation
to insanity and feeble-mindedness. Congenital mental deficiency as
distinguished from hereditary mental deficiency. Chronic poisoning of
the blood by these agencies in relation to a lowered specific vitality
of the germ cells. Environment in relation to mental energy and will
power.

_Nature._ - The study of pedigrees in hospital and asylum patients
showing the importance of heredity in nervous and mental diseases.
The nature of the neuropathic tendency; its transmission in different
forms of nervous and mental disease in successive generations. Its
latency and re-appearance in stocks. Relation of neurasthenia to the
neuropathic taint. Conclusions arrived at in relation to heredity
and insanity from a study by a card system of 3,118 related persons
who are at present, or who have been, in the London County asylums.
Among the 20,000 inmates at present resident, 715 are so closely
related as parents and offspring or brothers and sisters. Nature is
always trying to end or mend a degenerate stock if left to itself.
Analysis of data regarding first attack of insanity in 464 parents
and their 508 offspring; the signal tendency to the occurrence of the
disease in a more intense form and at an earlier age in the offspring.
This "antedating" or "anticipation" in relation to Nature's process
of elimination of the unfit. Nearly 50 per cent. of the offspring
affected 20 years earlier than the parent. The same found in uncles
and aunts with nephews and nieces, only not nearly so marked. Seeing
that the unfit are at present able to survive; does nature end or mend
degenerate stocks, or have the lines of neuropathic inheritance only
been partially cut off by this tendency to "anticipation"? What we want
to know is: What is the fate of all the offspring of an insane parent
or parents; for there are a great many facts which show that a disease
may be latent and re-appear in a stock when the conditions of mating
or environment are unfavourable? A collection of pedigrees is required
which will prove conclusively that the offspring of insane parents,
who are free from the insane manifestations during adolescence, will
breed children who will not become insane. Supposing it were shown
that cases discharged as recovered had the seeds of insanity, by the
fact that their progeny were feeble-minded, epileptic, or insane, it
would be a clear indication of taking measures to prevent them handing
on the disease. Recurrent insanity - the birth of children in the sane
intervals. Analysis of pedigrees with a dual neuropathic inheritance
of maternal and paternal stocks compared with single neuropathic
inheritance. Conclusion that a child born of neuropathic inheritance in
both ancestral stocks stands, on an average, the chance of being insane
four times as great as when only one stock is affected. Are there any
types of insanity especially liable to be transmitted in the same form
or another form? The prediction of the racial value of an individual
inheritance can only be predicted by a study of what a man was born
with - Nature, and what happened after birth - Nurture.




THE PLACE OF EUGENICS IN THE MEDICAL CURRICULUM.

(Abstract.)

By H. E. Jordan,


_Chairman of the Eugenics Section of the American Association for the
Study and Prevention of Infant Mortality._




The Science of Eugenics deserves a place in the medical curriculum for
three reasons. Firstly: Medicine is fast becoming a science of the
prevention of weakness and morbidity; their permanent not temporary
cure, their racial eradication rather than their personal palliation.
Eugenic conduct is undeniably a factor in attaining the speedy
achievement of the end of racial health. Eugenics, embracing genetics,
is thus one of the important disciplines among the future medical
sciences. The coming physician must have adequate training in matters
relating to heredity and Eugenics. Secondly: as the general population
becomes better educated in matters of personal and racial health and
hygiene it will more and more demand advice regarding the prevention
of weakness in themselves and their offspring. The physicians are
logically the men who must give it. Thirdly: physicians will be more
efficient public servants if they approach their work with the Eugenic
outlook on life.

Instruction in Eugenics, in the form of a number of special lectures
on the subject, is already given in some of our medical schools. This
indicates at least that the need is felt and the importance of such
knowledge to the best physician recognised. Since not all of the better
medical schools give such courses, however, we may infer that there are
obstacles in the way. What is the nature of these?

One such may be the lack of adequate preparation on the part of the
students in the fundamentals of biology to properly comprehend the
import and application of Eugenic facts. This obstacle is speedily
being removed; for considerable biological training is already a
medical course prerequisite. But there may be a lack of properly
prepared teachers to present this subject to even properly prepared
medical students. This obstacle is also fast disappearing. Once the
demand for this kind of help is voiced, there will appear properly
trained teachers to instruct physicians.

Another obstacle may be raised by short-sighted and self-seeking
physicians, for whom less illness and weakness may mean less work and
a reduced income. But this is, perhaps, only a relatively very small
factor in, and also only a passing phase of, the opposition, and will
soon correct itself.

The most encouraging prospect for this new scheme of activity is the
deep interest shown by young medical students in matters of heredity
and Eugenics.




A HEALTHY SANE FAMILY SHOWING LONGEVITY IN CATALONIA.

(Abstract.)

By Professor I. Valenti Vivo.




I. A healthy family showing longevity in Catalonia: the greater part of
them died over 60 years of age from acute sickness. All belonged to the
districts of Barcelona and Gerona. A record of their ability in medical
science, art and agriculture, their average fertility.

II. Communication on Biometrika: Licentiates in medical science, 50
scholars, 1910: 70 in 1912. Dates: Cephalic index, stature, span,
dynamometer, age, district.




SOME REMARKS ON BACKWARD CHILDREN.

(Abstract.)

By Dr. Raoul Dupuy.




When we speak of a backward child, we mean any subject which is
arrested or retarded more or less completely in its bodily, psychical,
and sensorial evolution, in consequence of congenital and acquired
lesions, or simply in consequence of physiological troubles, which
concern, either at the same or a different time, the brain and
the glands of internal secretion (the thyroid, the hypophysis,
the suprarenals, and the genital glands). The cerebral lesions,
practically incurable in the present state of science, produce "atropic
backwardness" the functional troubles of the brain, or those caused by
the glands of internal secretion, which can be modified by "combined
organotherapy" produce dystrophic backwardness. We also, however, find
mixed types, half of the one and half of the other, which are similarly
susceptible of improvement. The number, and above all the variety of
the types of dystrophic backwardness, makes a general classification
of them impossible. The study of their bodily, psychical and sensorial
anomalies proves that in most of the manifestations of backwardness
and immaturity, these children present perversions of evolution which
have a common bearing on the development of body, mind and spirit.
Although apparently different from one another, these backward persons,
whether the mischief be corporal, psychical or sensorial, show
pathological peculiarities, which prove that the cause of their various
dystrophies have a similar origin, and that they often arise from
defective function of the sympathic system which appears to be brought
into action by the internal glands. The backward children consist
of intoxicated, under-grown or anæmic persons, who, besides, suffer
from retention of substances, which ought normally to be eliminated,
chiefly the chlorides and phosphates (in cases of apathy) or the hyper
excretion of the same substances (in cases of instability). Moreover,
the combined organotherapy ought to be considered as a "perfect
touchstone" of dystrophy, and if applied according to certain rules,
it gives results which are more complete and more certain than thyroid
organotherapy by itself. It goes without saying that a special training
is necessary for the intellectual "backwards"; but before any attempt
at education, it is necessary to treat their bodily deficiencies, and
to place them in the special schools with the boarding system, where
they will be under the eye both of the doctor and of the teacher.




FIRST INTERNATIONAL

EUGENICS CONGRESS,

LONDON,

July 24th to July 30th, 1912,

UNIVERSITY OF LONDON,

SOUTH KENSINGTON.


* * * * *


CATALOGUE

OF

THE EXHIBITION.


* * * * *


1 2 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Online LibraryVariousAbstracts of Papers Read at the First International Eugenics Congress → online text (page 4 of 15)