Full text: Problems in eugenics

A. Bluhm.Medicine and Eugenics.39 
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 
By Dr. Agnes Bluhm, 
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, how­ 
ever, 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.

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