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To the Editor:—
In a recent issue of The Journal (October 18, p. 1402) a query regarding the marriage of the epileptic was answered in a manner which I feel demands a protest. The reply ends "At present the only hope of eliminating the disease epilepsy is by birth control among epileptic adults." This reply overlooks two facts: The first is that a person afflicted with epilepsy who marries a normal person may expect one child in forty resulting from the union to suffer from convulsions. The second is that the hope of weeding out a recessive mendelian trait by birth control is so minute as to be negligible.In interesting contrast is a letter with regard to the marriage of diabetic patients in the next issue (p. 1490). The reply states "If diabetes were to be eliminated by eugenics, not only diabetic patients but all relatives of diabetic patients
Putnam TJ. MARRIAGE IN EPILEPSY AND DIABETES. JAMA. 1941;117(26):2271. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820520067029
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