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Article
September 4, 1897

THE FATE OF THE IDIOT.

JAMA. 1897;XXIX(10):492-493. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440360036007

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Abstract

There are in the United States about 95,000 beings hopelessly idiotic. Their existence and care is a problem perplexing alike to the sociologist, the political economist and the physician. It is beyond question that the simple endurance and perpetuation of this load of useless misery that has been habitualized by our modern civilization might and should be settled in a somewhat different way. Of what use to humanity, to civilization or to science, is it to go on as we are at present going? There is no truth so well established by history and by general biologic science as that the evolutionary process has been brought to its present position by a plan utterly different from that which we have adopted with our idiots. It is also plainly, painfully clear that the economic moral is no less striking and manifest. For every three or four of these wrecks kept alive

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