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February 27, 1937


Author Affiliations

Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, New York.

JAMA. 1937;108(9):746. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780090058024

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To the Editor:—  An article in the New York Herald Tribune for Sunday, January 17, has just been brought to my attention. It is entitled "Mercy Deaths for 'Incurables' Opposed by 54 per cent in Nation Poll, but Physicians Approve by 53 per cent." This attributes to me, in a survey made by the American Institute of Public Opinion, the following statement:Sentimental prejudice should not stand in the way of civilization. It is my opinion that not only incurables, but kidnapers, murderers, habitual criminals of all kinds, as well as the hopelessly insane, should be quietly and painlessly disposed of.Inasmuch as the following paragraph states that you "take violent exception to this point of view," I wish to inform you that I have never advocated the killing of incurables, although quotations of this sort have been attributed to me several times. In my book "Man, the Unknown," on

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