No surprise here – pro-deathers getting accolades, that is. These kudos are for an old-school Canadian eugenicist. Don’t worry – we have many eugenicists in this day and age to replace her.
Canada honours prominent eugenicist
In bioethics, as in every field, reputations are kept aloft more by the volume of the applause than by the historical record, at least for a while. This seems to be the lesson from yet another honour burnishing the reputation of one of Canada’s most famous women, Dr Helen MacMurchy.
Dr MacMurchy (1862-1953) was named one of the 10 leading female physicians in the Western world in 1949 for her contributions to public health. And now the Canadian government has just designated her as “a person of national historic significance”.
However, as Don Butler reminded readers of the Ottawa Citizen, she was also “the most prominent promoter of eugenics in Canada” and was ultimately responsible for sterilising thousands of “feeble-minded women”, a policy which has left a legacy of grief and shame. more