Lethal Neglect: American Eugenics in the 21st Century

First posted May 2016

In 1918 the American Eugenics Movement proposed extreme poverty as a means of executing undesirables and mental defectives.

Eugenicists called it Lethal Neglect or Lethal Selection

“Selection by death may result either from inadequate food supply, or from some other lethal reason. ” Review of Applied Eugenics, By Paul Popenoe and Roswell H. Johnson, Eugenical News (vol. 4)

A page from Applied Eugenics by Paul Popenoe, that recommends using poverty to reduce the population of 'inferior people'
A page from Applied Eugenics by Paul Popenoe.

Nazi Germany was the most extreme expression of a global movement started by wealthy Americans in the late 1800’s.

The American Eugenics Movement provided the template for Nazi Germany.

The use of the Warsaw Ghetto in Nazi occupied Poland meets the criteria for mass murder by Lethal Neglect.

“On October 12, 1940, the Germans decreed the establishment of a ghetto in Warsaw. The decree required all Jewish residents of Warsaw to move into a designated area, which German authorities sealed off from the rest of the city in November 1940. The ghetto was enclosed by a wall that was over 10 feet high, topped with barbed wire, and closely guarded to prevent movement between the ghetto and the rest of Warsaw. The population of the ghetto, increased by Jews compelled to move in from nearby towns, was estimated to be over 400,000 Jews. German authorities forced ghetto residents to live in an area of 1.3 square miles, with an average of 7.2 persons per room. ” Holocaust Encyclopedia

Nothing was allowed through the wall; no water, no food, no medical care and no way out.

The Nazi’s took daily photographs of the residents to document their decline.

In January 1942, nearly 6,000 people – and perhaps 100,000 people, 1939 to 1942 – died of starvation and disease in the ghetto.  The Warsaw Ghetto, 1940-3

The American Eugenics movement was such a powerful global movement that Nazis on trial at Nuremberg after World War II cited American Eugenics programs as a defense of their policies and mentioned Buck v. Bell in their testimony.

This brings us to today:

After 40 years of the passive neglect of the mentally ill the GOP is openly embracing policies that will cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.


A young well dressed man on a cell phone passes a homless man sitting on the sidewalk in San Francisco.
And the streets are perfectly clean

Oct 5, 2017Republicans let health insurance expire for 9 million American children.

Life Unworthy of Life
Lethal Neglect: the failure to provide the goods or services necessary for functioning or to avoid harm.

Oct 12, 2017  Trump signs new executive order to sabotage the ACA

Photograph of an elderly homeless man staggering as he pushes a heavy shopping cart through Clarion Alley in San Francisco
Lethal Neglect is targeting specific people for death by poverty.


Former KKK wizard David Duke, for example, has been proclaiming on Twitter that Trump’s election and cabinet picks are the first steps toward “taking America back” — that is, taking America “back” from anyone who isn’t descended from fair-skinned Europeans. In white nationalist ideology, only white Americans have a true right to the country — and the rights that go along with citizenship, like voting. Think Progress

“For almost three generations people, in some cases, have been given handouts,” Johnston said. “They have been ‘enabled’ so much that their paradigm in life is simply being given the stuff of life, however meager.”

“What you see is a setting for a life of misery is life to them never-the-less,” he continued. “No one has the guts to just let them wither and die. No one who wants votes is willing to call a spade a spade. As long as the Dems can get their votes the enabling will continue. The Republicans need their votes and dare not cut the fiscal tether. It is really a political Catch-22.” Indiana Republican John Johnston

Indiana Republican: ‘No One Has the Guts’ to Let the Poor ‘Wither and Die’

Photograph of a disabled homeless man with his arm in a cast sleeping on a filthy mattress on a street in San Francisco
San Francisco shows its guts


(c) Rob Goldstein 2016-2017 all rights reserved























62 Seconds of Soul Murder in San Francisco

Homelsss people leave messages of anguish on the walls of alleys.
Homeless people write on the walls of the alleys in which they sleep.

First posted September 17, 2016.

The term Soul Murder describes the effects of child abuse.

I include the willful hurting of people who are gravely ill
and unable to care for themselves.

Soul Murder is always an abuse of power.

It’s all too easy to imagine that the Third Reich was a bizarre aberration, a kind of mass insanity instigated by a small group of deranged ideologues who conspired to seize political power and bend a nation to their will. Alternatively, it’s tempting to imagine that the Germans were (or are) a uniquely cruel and bloodthirsty people. But these diagnoses are dangerously wrong. What’s most disturbing about the Nazi phenomenon is not that the Nazis were madmen or monsters. It’s that they were ordinary human beings.  Less Than  Human, The Psychology of Cruelty

A man at a muni stop at Church and Market Street in San Francisco, Califiornia
A patient recently discharged from a hospital to the Street.
I took a walk to my dentist last Thursday.

My dentist is on Powell and Sutter Street.

My Walk to the dentist along Market Street  takes about
thirty minutes.

Below is 62 seconds of that walk,.

5 chance encounters with people whose public suffering is palpable
and unnecessary.

I’ve arranged these short videos in order in which they were made.

62 seconds of random soul murders in one short walk in San Francisco.

Forty years of tax cuts and privatized medical greed.

We know what we have to do…

but we choose instead to dehumanize
and scapegoat the  victims.

I’m not a wealthy man.

I don’t travel by limo and plane.

When people have no where to
piss but the street

I have to smell it.

I’m not a wealthy man, I can’t
shit where I eat and jet to the
illusion of a cleaner place at
the table.


A homeless man asleep on Dolores street
A man sleeps on bare concrete on Dolores Street


All Content (c) Rob Goldstein 2016






Your Rights as a Mental Health Patient

Art by Rob Goldstein
Murdered by Greed and Apathy

From CBS News:

“Papers published recently by the Dutch Euthanasia Commission reportedly revealed that a woman in her twenties was allowed to go ahead with assisted suicide based on psychiatrists’ decision that her mental health condition was “insufferable,” and it was therefore illegal to deny her life-ending drugs. Multiple reports cited the documents published by the Commission as stating the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) the woman suffered due to the abuse was “incurable,” enabling the approval under Dutch law of her request for euthanasia. The Telegraph reports that the young woman was not an isolated case, and in fact, the rate of approved assisted suicides in the Netherlands for patients suffering from mental disorders has increased dramatically since the procedure was first made legal. …”

I don’t know what the Dutch offer as far as psychiatric treatment. What I’ve read sounds good but we in the U.S. are not the only masters of the use of deceptive
language and statistics to hide our sins.

If the Dutch system is anything like the broken and corrupt for profit mental health system in the U.S. then this business of euthanizing psych patients is chilling news.

On June 9th of this year California will allow Medically Assisted Suicide.

Am I wrong to think that making euthanasia legal in a for profit medical system that systematically denies the mentally ill access to treatment is an invitation to abuse?

Shouldn’t we make universal access to health care a right before we make suicide a treatment option?

Look at the abuse of right of the mentally ill to refuse treatment:

Art by Rob Goldstein
Lethal Neglect on Harrison Street
  • If the idea of assisted suicide for psychiatric patients in a country that already treats the mentally ill like trash doesn’t make your blood run cold then you probably have plenty of money and assume that everyone else does too or you are deluded into thinking that mental illness can’t happen to you.  But it can happen to you and if you get sick tomorrow it will be the system that will make you want to die.

    I asked myself, what kind of rights must we have to make suicide an acceptable treatment outcome?Here’s what I’ve come up with:You have the right to be a patient. Calling us ‘consumers’ demeans the seriousness of our illnesses.You have the right to expect your care providers to learn about the illness
    you have.

    You have the right to have the illness you have.

    You have the right to have the symptoms you have.

    You have the right to individualized care based on your needs and not corrupt ‘evidence based‘ statistics.

    You have a right to treatment providers who place your needs as a patient above profit.

    You have a right to professional interventions when it is obvious that you are too ill to care for yourself despite your denial.

    You have a right to inpatient treatment with length of stays based on your needs instead of profit.

    You have a right to clinics staffed by people skilled in both behavioral and psycho-dynamic interventions.

    You have a right to long-term residential or in-patient care. The fact is that many psychiatric patients need structured environments to function.  To say this another way, you have the right to need what you need to be as well as you can be.

    You have the right to die, but only if there is absolutely no other way to mitigate your pain or to help you to learn to cope with it.

    Your responsibility as a patient:

    You must use the resources provided to you to maximize your health and your quality of life.

    Anger Alert


Art by Rob Goldstein
American Psychiatry

In my perfect world people who were sexually and emotionally abused as children get more for treatment than wishful thinking based on the classist assumption that EVERYONE is a child of the upper middle class and EVERYONE has access to all the resources they need to build a life worth living.

In my perfect World you have a 12th Right:

12:  You have a right to more than CBT affirmations when you seek treatment for a serious trauma induced mental illness.

Please note: I’m not saying that affirmations don’t have their place. I’m saying that they are not the right treatment approach for everything.

Below are three examples of CBT affirmations with caveats by me:

A river of compassion washes away my anger and replaces it with love.

Caveat: Provided I get the treatment I need when I need it.

I have been given endless talents which I begin to utilize today.

Caveat: What can one say about a statement this irrelevant to someone with chronic paranoid schizophrenia who sleeps on the street because he is too ill to access services?

I am guided in my every step by a Spirit who leads me towards what I must know and do.

 Caveat: I’d rather see a skilled psychotherapist.

Art by Rob Goldstein
Calling Dr. Freud