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February 9, 1918


JAMA. 1918;70(6):388-389. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600060034014

There is a widespread belief that the causation of delinquency is to be found in mental and physical defects of the individual that might in many instances be remedied or ameliorated if they were properly recognized. For this among other reasons, there has been a growing demand for the basic facts. It has become obvious, for example, that the idiotic and the feebleminded cannot be cured. No way is known by which they can be made normal; and as the conditions represented by such persons are both incurable and congenital, our attention must be turned to the prevention of feeblemindedness in the future. The difficulties that this offers can better be appreciated when it is realized that a conservative estimate by Goddard has placed the number of feebleminded persons in the United States at not less than a quarter of a million.

At the Second Pan-American Scientific Congress, held in