Full text: Problems in eugenics

36Section IV. 
Section IV. 
Medicine and Eugenics. 
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 per­ 
sons 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 benzosulfone- 
paraminophenylarsinate 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 com­ 
parison 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 Academie 
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 treat­ 
ment 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.

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