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November 15, 1930


JAMA. 1930;95(20):1520-1521. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02720200056024

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Eugenics and the Birth Rate  In the beginning of the eugenic movement, eugenists in America decided to make experiments to discover whether hereditary taints or defects could be eradicated by control measures. As Dr. Scheumann recently brought out at the meeting of the Vereinigung öffentlicher Eheberatungsstellen, in Dresden, eugenists demanded, at that time, that persons who, with pathologic hereditary tendencies, were a menace to future offspring, should be prohibited from marrying. Marriage should, it was urged, be made dependent on the securing of a special permit. The expectations aroused by these measures were not, however, realized. Those concerned avoided the issue by marrying in another state, in which no such restrictions were known: or, if possible, they concealed their disease. Many eugenists in Germany supported the view that the presentation of a certificate as the basis for securing a marriage license was not only desirable but necessary. The Prussian ministry

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