EP 471 Was Germany Alone a Nation That Practiced Eugenics?

The answer to the question posed in our title of this episode is an emphatic ‘no’.  Regrettably, the practice of eugenics has occurred in the United States, more specifically in California, through the 1970’s. And it has occurred in many other countries. You could look it up or just listen to our podcast, featuring University of Michigan professor, Alexandra Minna Stern, author of ‘Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America’.  The issue is pertinent today for several reasons.  As Harriet Washington pointed out in a podcast we posted in May, 2021 ‘informed medical consent’ is loosely applied in our country today.  Given our tendency to ascribe a ladder of value to different groups, some greater, some lesser, this is the genesis for the practice of eugenics. Thus there is a  need for ongoing vigilance, as the practice comes in many forms.  Further, as our society attempts to recover from a pandemic, vaccine acceptance is required among minority populations who recall their treatment in the past and thus remain hesitant. Finally, it is pertinent because ‘eugenics by choice’ may well be the future as medical technology gives us much greater information to work with before a child has left the womb.  It’s a complicated issue but we break it down today on this episode.