A film made by Dr. Harry Haiselden
, a champion of the American eugenics
movement in the first quarter of the 20th Century. The film is a melodrama
based on Dr. Haiselden's own cases, in which he advocates withholding medical attention
from disabled (especially mentally disabled
) infants and allowing them to die.
According to Haiselden, the future in store for a disabled infant is pretty grim. In the film, a hunchbacked infant grows into a shunned child and eventually into a derelict criminal, the father of a brood of degenerate children. One night, crazed with the misery of his life, he tracks down the doctor who saved his life as an infant and kills him, saying "You are the man who condemned me to this life of torture and shame. See what you have saved me for? Now you'll pay."
The only alternative, of course, is to allow the baby to gently fly to the arms of Jesus and live with him in heaven. (That's what the good mother chooses.)
The film is a sick, sick look at the world of eugenic thinking, and it's quite shocking to me the attitudes mainstream society, even doctors, had about disabled people at the turn of the last century. Luckily we're much more enlightened today.