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EUGENIC LAW

DOCTOR'S SCATHING CRITICISM. DEFEATING ITS OWN ENDS. The e\igenie law at present in force jin the State of Wisconsin is an im- : moral law, writes Dr. Horace M. I Browne, in the "New York Times," for ■it is a well known socialogical' fact that whatever interferes with legal marriage tends to increase immorality, j vice and disease. Besides, it tends to increase that class of matrimonial excursions that consist in marriages that are consummated but not solemnised, I thereby destroying any eugenic effect i it might have even if it were capable of enforcement in its present form. A Temptation.

! The law provides for the payment of a fee of but 3 dollars for the physician making the examinations. How easy it would be for all of us to make out a lot of certificates in blank, leave them in the hands of our office girls, to be passed out to anyone applying, providing they paid the three dollars. The certificate would be just as valuable if distributed in that way as far as any eup-enic result is concerned, as though an attempt had been'made.-under, the provisions of the eugenic law for examination. Some unscrupulous medical men might take in a great deal of money in these circumstances. A Dazed State. The State of Wisconsin has been for the last four or five years dazed in a state of intellectual esctasy by a continued contemplation of a thing which is called the "Wisconsin idea." What the Wisconsin idea may really be neither the wisdom of the Scribes nor the cleverness of the Pharisees has been able to explain; but it seems in some way to be a,scheme, by enactment of statutes, to give everybody "equal opportunity," provided always that opportunity has first been prescribed by a commission or by Legislature. The climax of these prescriptions has been reached in the eugenic law. The law referred to provides for the issue of marriage certificates only to those showing a clean bill of health. It has, however, since Dr. Brown wrote, been declared unconstitutional by a Judge sitting in the Wisconsin Circuit Court. ■'...'■ The case involved a decision as to the I legality of the so-called Law of Eugenics, and an appeal will be lodged with the Supreme Court of the United States.

•The Eugenics Law of Wisconsin came into operation, on New Year's Day. It provides among other things that candidates for matrimany shall submit to various "health tests" extending over a period of more than four months, shall have the spinal cord punctured and fluid extracted for analysis, and the skull bored and a portion of the brain removed for microscopic examination.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19140218.2.67

Bibliographic details

EUGENIC LAW, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8797, 18 February 1914

Word Count
444

EUGENIC LAW Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8797, 18 February 1914

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