Full text: Problems in eugenics

398Section IV.H. E. Jordan. 
obstacle, however, 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. Such condition would 
result almost to the same degree in the same undesirable end of 
misinformation and misguided emotional activity. This obstacle also is 
fast disappearing. Once the demand for this kind of help is voiced, there 
will appear properly trained teachers to instruct physicians, who will be 
called upon to mediate and apply the eugenic truths. The widespread 
readjustments that are now taking place in medical instruction generally 
will adjust also this matter. Just as the fundamental medical sciences of 
anatomy, physiology and pathology are coming to be taught by specialists— 
who have submitted to a long preparation for, and are now devoting all 
their time and energy to, these particular lines of work rather than by 
doctors who give to these interests only their spare moments—so eugenics 
will come to be taught by specialists in heredity. 
Another obstacle may be raised by short-sighted and self-seeking 
physicians. 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. 
Less illness and weakness mean less work and reduced income for a largely 
prevalent type of physician. For a brief transitional period, then, this 
type of doctor may suffer. But his interests are negligible beside the 
greater racial interest. Moreover, he will soon adapt himself to the new 
conditions. There will always be considerable scope for at least most of 
the present phases of medicine, in somewhat altered form perhaps, but 
eugenic science will take its proper place among the fundamental sciences, 
and greatly help in bringing about the reduction of widespread morbidity 
by largely eliminating that portion perennially contributed through heredity. 
The place of eugenics in the medical curriculum is among the 
fundamental sciences. The reasons why it is not now holding its proper 
place will very rapidly disappear. Enlightened society demands the 
elimination of as much of the physical, mental and moral sickness and 
weakness as can be prevented. Eugenics gives the key for the practical 
and humane reduction of the present high rate of racial deficiency. The 
future physician must be largely an advisory functionary, rather than a 
dispenser of medicines. And his advice will be solicited not only for the 
individual and for the present,* but for the race and for the future. 
The most encouraging prospect for this new scheme of medical activity 
is the deep interest shown by young medical students in matters of heredity 
and eugenics. Youth is naturally chivalrous and eager for altruistic 
endeavours. The practising physician hardened by the cold facts of 
professional experience frequently loses his earlier idealism, and is very 
much less susceptible to the eugenic appeal, less tolerant of its aims, and 
quite unwilling (perhaps unable) to encourage eugenic practice.

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