Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 88.djvu/111

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Why

���There are Defective and Monsters

��It is not our purpose in this article to com- ment upon the ethical right of a physician to permit a defective infant to die. What can science do to prevent Bollinger babies from being defectives? Why arc defectives born from apparently normal and healthy parents? The subject has been studied by man\ scien- tists and their results are here summarized. — Editor.

��A cretin, aged forty-two

���A defective who is almost an idiot

��BOTH in Sinbad, the sailor, of Ara- bian Nights' fame, and Homer's Odyssey, there are narrated, strange tales of a monster with one eye in the middle of its head, who was so gigantic and so voracious that he ate t\yo men for breakfast and two for supper, besides emptying three bowls of wine. This creature was called Cyclops or Polyphemus. Another strange for- mation described in tradition as a "Winged Horse" was Pegasus, the steed of the ]\Iuses, which was faster than or- dinary horses, because of its wings. Uni- corns or horses with spear-like horns are also mentioned in ancient histories as are other human, animal, and plant pedigreed prodigies.

Side-shows, dime museums, fairs and the circus have special departments de- voted to exhibitions of Jo-Jo, the Dog- Faced Boy ; the Bearded Lady, Siamese Twins ; two-headed calves ; four-legged hens, and various animal and human monstrosities. _ The manner in which the odd, contorted creatures are form- ed, whether they are inherited, like club foot, color blindness, and webbed fingers, or are suddenly caused before birtli

���A twin egg monster before development 83

��as the little Chicago baby's deformities were traced to the prospective mother's typhoid fever, has been a much debated medical point.

Dr. E. I. VVerber, of Princeton and iale Universities, has undertaken ex- perimentally to ring the changes on all theories, doubts and opinions by finding exact facts upon which to base the whole problem. It is now possible to attempt an explanation of the strange malformation of the little Bollinger baby born in the Chicago German- American Hospital on Friday, Novem- ber 12, 1915, which created such wide- spread interest, because Dr. H. V. Haiselden, the German surgeon, refused to operate to save its life. The principal physical deformities in that much-dis- cussed case were the closure of the in- testinal tract, paralysis of the nerves of the right side of the face, the absence of the right ear, blindness of one eye, and malformation of the shoulders. The brain was only slightly subnormal, but the cranial nerves were absent or undeveloped.

"If he grew up he would be a hopeless cripple and would suffer from fits," said the doctor.

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