Full text: Problems in eugenics

64Section I.D. F. Weeks. 
Practically, it is not always easy to distinguish the simplex from the 
normal condition, although frequently a simplex condition is indicated by 
an intermediate mental status. 
The method of obtaining our material, through the medium of field work, 
is largely responsible for any advance which has been made in our study of 
the Inheritance of Epilepsy. 
The field workers visit the parents and other relatives of the patient and 
interview them in their homes, where they are at ease and free from 
restraining influences, as would not be possible elsewhere. The family 
physician, clergyman, school teacher, and other interested persons are also 
interviewed for the purpose of securing an accurate account of the mental 
status, environmental conditions, diseases, and causes of death, if dead, of 
as many relatives of the patient as possible. 
The data thus obtained is put in permanent form on a chart, and with 
the written heredity history is filed with the other records of the case. On a 
heredity card the data is recorded and tabulated, in such a manner that 
future additions and corrections can be easily made without destroying or 
detracting from the work done to date. An index of the names of indi­ 
viduals charted facilitates the tracing of families from one pedigree to 
another. (See pages 79 and 80, form for written description of the chart 
and Heredity Card.) 
A cross index of place, name and trait helps to locate the defective strain 
by family name, defect, and locality. A reference index is also kept of 
relatives living in different counties, states or foreign countries, together with 
the name and location of any institutions in which they have been treated. 
In connection with the heredity work a register kept by counties shows 
the name, age, institution, or other care received, no care, etc., of every 
epileptic in the state known to us. (See page 80, Registration Card.) 
It will be easily understood how data thus obtained has proved to be much 
more significant and trustworthy than the familiar family history obtained 
from the patient or his guardians at the time of his admission to the institu­ 
tion, and, we are convinced, justifies careful study, which is more than 
can be said of the former history. Material. 
For this study the material consists of the histories obtained for 397 
patients; there are, however, only 388 different family histories; that is, 
the 397 patients come from 388 different fraternities. In one case there 
are four patients from the same fraternity; and in another there are three 
from the same fraternity, and in this case the mother is also a patient; and 
in four other cases there are two from the same fraternity. Besides these, 
four other patients have been found to be related, and the frequency with 
which the same name occurs on many of the charts indicates without a

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