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"Abnormal Hemoglobin Molecules in Relation to Disease"
"Abnormal Hemoglobin Molecules in Relation to Disease" April 21, 1972.
Lecture delivered at Michigan State University.

The Ramifications of Procreation between Heterozygotes. (1:49)

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Linus Pauling: I believe first that heterozygotes should be identified. And of course it is fine that there is a program going on. The test is very simple and cheap; the automated tests that Dr. Nalbandian has worked on, for example; very cheap. The heterozygotes should know that they are heterozygotes.

If two heterozygotes marry one another, they should have no children, in my opinion, because a twenty-five percent chance of dooming your child to this life of suffering is too great to be acceptable to a moral person. If they want to marry one another, they should probably be sterilized so as to be sure that they would have no children. If a heterozygote marries a normal, then they won’t have to worry about the child leading a life of suffering, but half of the children will be heterozygotes, like the parent, like the one parent. And the gene, the incidence of the gene, will not die out, will not decrease.

So I think that if the heterozygote marries some other person, he should be advised to have a smaller number of children than average, and then in the course of time the gene will die out, or to have no children at all. Of course, the desire to have children is a very important one, and I’m not willing to say that all heterozygotes who marry normals should refrain from having children.


Creator: Linus Pauling
Associated: Robert Nalbandian
Clip ID: 1972v.3-marriage

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Creator: Linus Pauling
Associated: Michigan State University

Date: April 21, 1972
Genre: sound
ID: 1972v.3
Copyright: More Information

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