From Big Medical Encyclopedia

EUGENICS (from grech, eugenes of a good sort) — the doctrine about the prevention of possible deterioration in hereditary qualities of the person, and in the long term — about conditions and methods of influence on improvement of these qualities.

The term «eugenics» is for the first time offered by the English biologist F. Galton in the book «Heredity of Talent, Its Laws and Effects» (1869). In spite of the fact that progressive scientists put before E. the humane purposes, were quite often covered with it reactionaries and racists who, based on false representations about as if inferiority of separate races, the people and social groups and leaning on nationalist and class prejudices, justified racial national and class discrimination, having replaced, eventually, as made it in the politich. purposes fascism, E. so-called racial hygiene and having legalized genocide.

Around E. are conducted acute an ideal. disputes. Some scientists believe that the concept «eugenics» as if is incompatible with scientific outlook while only the reactionary direction in E is really incompatible with it. with its aspiration to transfer the principles of artificial selection (selection) applied in livestock production to the person. Others recognize that contents E., its problems and the most reasonable means of their achievement will depart to genetics of the person, anthropogenetics and medical genetics.

The sciences studying heredity and variability of signs of a human body showed that a variety of people is connected both with their hereditary inclinations, and with living conditions (including climatic, social and economic, cultural, etc.). Studying of unioval twins, in particular their mental development, and also genealogical observations demonstrate that heredity plays a big, but not exclusive role in definition mental, including intellectual, abilities of the person. If its morphological features, types of century of N of are defined preferential by heredity, then on its mental features and behavior strong impact is exerted also by the environment and social conditions: education, education, work, influence of collective, society, etc. is always much more than People who were born with outstanding spiritual potentialities, than people, the Crimea these potentialities it was succeeded to realize. In klassovoantagonistichesky about - Vakh talents from the people, as a rule, could not reveal completely. V. I. Lenin wrote: «Capitalism smothered, suppressed, broke the mass of talents among workers and the working peasants. These talents perished under oppression of need, poverty, violation of the human person. Our debt to be able to find these talents now and to put them to work» (Half-N of SOBR. soch., 5th prod., page 235). Therefore so the particularly important becomes identification of all positive opportunities put in a genotype of an individual by creation of the conditions which are in every possible way promoting its development and formation as persons. The communistic formation, edges sets as the purpose harmonious development of the personality, will give the chance of the fullest development physical. and spiritual potentialities of the person. But the social reorganization about-va on the communistic beginnings does not remove in the long term a possibility of improvement and a genetic basis of the person that, certainly, it is connected with huge moral responsibility of scientists.

In this direction the medical genetics can make a lot of things, a cut enter tasks as studying of action of mutagens — chemical, radiation, etc. the environmental factors damaging hereditary structures in sex cells of the person and the prevention (including and by improvement of the habitat) the harmful mutations menacing to health of future generations. Manifestation of harmful mutations is especially promoted by marriages between relatives since at the same time the probability of receiving from both parents of usually suppressed (recessive) harmful sign sharply increases. The fact that in the isolated human groups (isolates) where, as a rule, closely related marriages happen more often, the percent of hereditary diseases and uglinesses increases is explained by it. Harmful effects of closely related marriages were noticed still in the ancient time, as led to their condemnation, prohibition by customs, and afterwards and legal. To the prevention of distribution of harmful mutations and their combinations by restriction of marriage between carriers of similar mutations serves medicogenetic consultations which purpose to provide possibilities of manifestation of harmful heredity at posterity of the people marrying. Rather exact predictions in this sense can be already made for many hereditary diseases, napr, hemophilias, color-blindness, etc. These are the safety (preventive) methods preventing deterioration in hereditary qualities of the person. On more high level of development of science the possibility of use reasonable is in the long term not excluded, it is moral also socially justified impact on the human race. High-gifted people make invaluable wealth about-va, one of conditions of its progress, and a question of opportunities of their identification, conditions of education and education cannot but draw attention of scientists. All this demands further in-depth studies and on genetics of the person with more and more broad use of methods and achievements of molecular genetics.

See also Genetics of the person , Medicogenetic consultation , Medical genetics .

Bibliography: Human biology, the lane with English, under the editorship of V. V. Bunak, M., 1968; Lobashov M. E. Genetics, L., 1967; Nil J. and Shell U. Nasledstvennost of the person, the lane with English, M., 1958; Stern K. Fundamentals of genetics of the person, the lane with English, M., 1965; Efroimson V. P. Introduction to medical genetics, M., 1968.

Yu. E. Veltishchev, A. G. Spirkin.