In North Carolina over 7,600 people were sterilized between 1929 and 1974 under the state’s Eugenics Sterilization Program. Indiana was the first state to implement such a program, and eventually over 30 states followed suit, including North Carolina in 1929. The Eugenics Board of North Carolina reviewed petitions for sterilizations and authorized sterilizations in over 90% of cases. Of those sterilized, approximately 38% were black and 84% were female; moreover, 71% were classified as “feebleminded.” While most states’ sterilization programs diminished in scope after World War II, almost 80% of North Carolina’s cases occurred after 1945. By the late 1960’s over 60% of those sterilized in North Carolina were black and 99% were female.
Here is an older, short talk by Greg Stock, from 2003–How Biotech Will Drive Our Evolution–on uses of present and future biotechnologies for human betterment that has recently been posted on TED Talks.
One of the interesting things is that while Stock presents a dismissive view of past hype about future technologies–e.g., the Human Genome Project and curing all ailments–there is also much more uplifting and positive talk about the uses of technology in medicine in 5-10 years, i.e., about the period that we’re almost in the middle of now. It’s nice to have predictions whose test conditions are now in place so we can, well, see how they have fared. I guess you can decide how much difference there is between the past and the present.
from Alex Schadenberg, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
There will never be a more important time to stop assisted suicide!
The promotion information for the Second-International Symposium on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide states that registrations need to be in by April 25. The registration cut-off date has been extended until May 11. In the past week we have had an incredible number of registrations that have arrived. We will have an incredible Symposium, but more groups and individuals are needed to ensure a successful outcome.
The Second-International Symposium on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide is at the National Conference Center on May 29 – 30, 2009 (near the Washington Dulles airport) and is possibly the most important conference ever on assisted suicide.
Consider the context:
Assisted suicide has been promoted by the euthanasia lobby for many years. The pressure to legalize assisted suicide has never been greater than now. Last November, Washington State legalized assisted suicide through a referendum vote making it the second state, after Oregon, to legalize assisted suicide. Last December, a Judge in Montana imposed assisted suicide upon that state by judicial fiat making Montana the third state to allow the direct and intentional killing of its citizens. That decision is being appealed. Last year Luxembourg legalized euthanasia. This Spring, the euthanasia lobby introduced legislation to legalize assisted suicide in Hawaii, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Vermont. Continue reading →
Adam Wilson posted two messages on Twitter on April 15. The first one, “GO BADGERS,” might have been sent by any University of Wisconsin-Madison student cheering for the school team. His second post, 20 minutes later, was a little more unusual: “SPELLING WITH MY BRAIN.”
Wilson, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering, was confirming an announcement he had made two weeks earlier — his lab had developed a way to post messages on Twitter using electrical impulses generated by thought. That’s right, no keyboards, just a red cap fitted with electrodes that monitor brain activity, hooked up to a computer flashing letters on a screen. Wilson sent the messages by concentrating on the letters he wanted to “type,” then focusing on the word “twit” at the bottom of the screen to post the message.
The development could be a lifeline for people with “locked-in syndrome” — whose brains function normally but who cannot speak or move because of injury or disease.Read the rest here.
The webcast of the symposium on growth attenuation, held at the Seattle Children’s Hospital in January 2009, is up on the website of the Treuman Katz Centre for Pediatric Bioethics at the hospital; Emigrl has previously posted thoughtfully and in detail on this symposium both at What Sorts here and in more detail at her Eminism blog. There are two parts to the webcast, which you can link to below, but a couple of brief things about my viewing of them first. Continue reading →