A Martian view of the Hardinian taboo

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7141.1386 (Published 02 May 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1386

Eugenics is flourishing among population control groups and intellectual elites

  1. Gregory Gardner, Locum general practitioner (gardner@charis.co.uk)
  1. 64 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0AE
  2. 1 bis Rue du Tir, Geneva 1204, Switzerland

    EDITOR—Ideologically driven movements are rarely equipped or eager to examine their own presuppositions. The population control lobby and its apologists in the BMJ1 are examples.

    King and Elliott, for instance, extol the ideas of Garrett Hardin. Hardin is a eugenicist, being a former director of the American Eugenics Society. He was an active member at the same time as the Nazi eugenicist Otmar Von Verschuer, who became a foreign member in 1956.2 Verschuer, who was a teacher of Josef Mengele and similarly interested in research on twins, helped finance Mengele's grotesque experiments at Auschwitz. “My assistant Dr Mengele has joined me in this branch of research. He is presently employed as Hauptsturmfuhrer and camp physician in the concentration camp at Auschwitz … the blood samples are being sent to my laboratory for analysis.”3 The activities of Verschuer were well known, but, far from being treated as an outcast, he was given honour and academic …

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