22 MARCH 1935, Page 3

The Elimination of Imbeciles Dr. Frederick Grundy suggested a short

way of dealing with imbeciles, or low-grade mental defectives, in an address to the Eugenics Society last Tuesday. He thought they should be painlessly but relentlessly exter- minated. No one can doubt that in the case of these miserable, ineffectual, less-than-human human beings it would be better for themselves and for others that they did not exist. To hasten death for them would be merciful.; to nurse their existence may be cowardly kindness. But how to control the procedure which would put an end to their misery is a problem not easy to solve. In the case of other defectives with less painful mental symptoms no such drastic treatment would be tolerated. But in the great majority of defectives examined by him Or. Grundy has found that their weakness was inherited. If that is the general experience sterilization to prevent parenthood is clearly indicated.. But the bearing of heredity on mental deficiency needs a great deal more investigation yet.