The Black Stork: Eugenics and the Death of Defective Babies in American Medicine and Motion Pictures since 1915 / Edition 1

The Black Stork: Eugenics and the Death of Defective Babies in American Medicine and Motion Pictures since 1915 / Edition 1

by Martin S. Pernick
     
 

In the late 1910s Dr. Harry J. Haiselden, a prominent Chicago surgeon, electrified the nation by allowing the deaths of at least six infants he diagnosed as "defectives". He displayed the dying infants to journalists, wrote about them for the Hearst newspapers, and starred in a feature film about his crusade. Prominent Americans from Clarence Darrow to

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Overview

In the late 1910s Dr. Harry J. Haiselden, a prominent Chicago surgeon, electrified the nation by allowing the deaths of at least six infants he diagnosed as "defectives". He displayed the dying infants to journalists, wrote about them for the Hearst newspapers, and starred in a feature film about his crusade. Prominent Americans from Clarence Darrow to Helen Keller rallied to his support. Martin Pernick tells this captivating story—uncovering forgotten sources and long-lost motion pictures—in order to show how efforts to improve human heredity (eugenics) became linked with mercy killing, as well as with race, class, gender and ethnicity. It documents the impact of cultural values on science along with the way scientific claims of objectivity shape modern culture. While focused on early 20th century America, The Black Stork traces these issues from antiquity to the rise of Nazism, and to the "Baby Doe", "assisted suicide" and human genome initiative debates of today.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195135398
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
07/28/1999
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

I. Witholding Treatment
1. The Birth of a Controversy
2. Contexts to the Conflict
3. Identifying the Unfit: Biology and Culture in Eugenic Constructions of Hereditary Disease
4. Eliminating the Unfit: Euthanasia and Eugenics
5. Who Decides?: The Ironies of Professional Power
II. Publicity
6. Mass Media Medicine
7. Eugenics on Film
8. The Black Stork
9. Medicine, Media, and Memory

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