Black Stork Eugenics and the Death of Defective Babies in American Medicine and Motion Pictures since 1915

ISBN-10: 0195135393

ISBN-13: 9780195135398

Edition: N/A

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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". Seeking to publicize his efforts to eliminate the "unfit", 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. The Black Stork tells this startling story, based on newly-rediscovered sources and long-lost motion pictures, in order to illuminate many broader controversies. The books shows how efforts to improve human heredity (eugenics) became linked with mercy-killing (euthanasia) and with race, class, gender and ethnic hatreds. It documents how mass culture changed the meaning of medical concepts like "heredity" and "disease", and how medical controversies helped shape the commercial mass media. It demonstrates how cultural values influence science, and how scientific claims of objectivity have shaped modern culture. While focused on the formative years of 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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Book details

List price: $36.95
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 7/22/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 328
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

Withholding Treatment
The Birth of a Controversy
The Public Death of Baby Bollinger
Debates and Investigations
The Doctor and the Parents
Haiselden and History
A Word about Words
Contexts to the Conflict
Before Baby Bollinger: Infanticide, Eugenics, and Euthanasia
U.S.A., 1915
Taking Sides: Some Rough Images of the Debate
Identifying the Unfit: Biology and Culture in the Construction of Hereditary Disease
Heredity, Environment, and the Scope of Eugenics: Scientific Conceptions to 1915
Heredity, Environment, and the Scope of Eugenics: Haiselden and Mass Cultural Meanings
Constructing the Socially Defective: Crime, Race, and Class
Defects and Desires: Eugenics, Aesthetics, and Sex
Elite Priorities and Mass Culture: Physical and Mental Defects
Degrees of Difference: Normality or Perfection?
Opposing Expansive Concepts of Hereditary Defect: Equal Worth or Entering Wedge?
Fitness and Objectivity
Eliminating the Unfit: Euthanasia and Eugenics
From Prevention to Death
Killing or Letting Die
For Whose Benefit?
Loving and Loathing
Objective Science and Moral Obligation
Who Decides? The Ironies of Professional Power
Doctors, Families, and the State
Support for Medical Power
Opponents of Medical Decision Making
Eugenics and Gender Politics within Families and in Society
Specialization and the Limits of Objectivity
Mass-Media Medicine and Aesthetic Censorship
Publicity, Public Health, and Professional Power
Medical Movies and the Rise of Aesthetic Censorship
Eugenics on Film
The Black Stork
The Movie
Making and Distributing The Black Stork
Medicine, Media, and Memory
From Haiselden to Hitler: Infanticide, Eugenics, and Euthanasia, 1919-1945
Baby Doe, Doctor Death, and the Human Genome Project: Comparing Haiselden's America with the Present
Individuals Involved in the Controversy
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