Death Urged for Idiots, 1934, Richard Berry

 The Daily Express

Thursday, July 12 1934

Death Urged For Idiots

 Death-Urged-for-Idiots-RJA-Berry-1934Doctors call it “Kindness”

‘Why keep human monstrosities?’

Two doctors advocated painless death for hopeless cases of mental defectives at the Royal Sanitary Health Congress in Bristol yesterday.

Professor R. J. A Berry, director of medical services at Stoke Patt Colony, Bristol, said that the lowest grade[elements]___the speechless, hopeless, helpless idiots were “living examples of [?]logical malformations.”

It was difficult for anyone who saw these “human mental monstrosities” almost every day to understand why society took such extraordinary pains to keep them alive.”

“With complete absence of all human qualities or intelligence, ” he said, “they had to be clothed, fed, housed, and waited on hand and foot at the nation’s expense and one wonders why.”

Lowest Grades

“Surely a kindly euthanasia is the only really kindly treatment for this pathetic side of mental deficiency.”

Dr. Henry Herd, a Manchester school medical officer, agreed that it would be a “kindness” to apply euthanasia in the lowest grades of cases.

He was of the opinion that voluntary sterilization would leave the problem of the defective as large and as clamant as ever.

He pointed to California where he said only an average of seven defectives per annum had been sterilized over a period of more than twenty years.


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