GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2005-11 > 1133018299
From: "Betty" <>
Subject: Re: Lepors in Massachusetts
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2005 10:18:19 -0500
That is sad - but interesting !
Not in regards to New England, but I've seen "history documentaries" and a
recent "History Detectives" show which told about the "immigrant camps"
where "the Chinese" were kept - while "the Govt." decided whether they were
healthy enough to live in our country !
In fact, I believe a similar story was mentioned yesterday, in regards to
the death of actor, "Pat" Morita. After surviving "Spinal TB," as a
child, "Pat" spent part of his childhood at a Japanese-American internment
camp in AZ during World War II.
There don't seem to be too many "people from other continents" who were
treated "equally" in the early years of our country ! And, that goes for
"people with unusual health problems" also !
We probably can't even imagine --- what "powers that be" did --to-- people
who had "health problems that they didn't understand" .. in the 1600's and
right up through the 1900's !
I hope everyone enjoyed their Holiday !
Betty (near Lowell, MA)
(In the 1960's my parents - at the birth of their youngest child - in MA -
were told by the doctors to send their baby to "an institution" -
immediately, if not sooner ! She was born with "Down's." (which many
people say should be changed to .. "Up" !)
My parents refused and took her home. Their youngest daughter is a very
active member of her community - works part-time, volunteers at the Food
Pantry, and knows many of the people "at Town Hall" on a first-name basis.)
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, November 26, 2005 7:50 AM
Subject: Lepors in Massachusetts
> Good morning listers..
> This was in the Boston Globe this morning and I thought I would pass
> the first part as it may shed some light on someone's missing relatives.
> did not include the entire article as it is addressing the possible Bird
> pandemic...but I did include the URL if anyone wishes to read the entire
> Susan in MA.
> KEN HARTNETT
> The tragedy of Penikese Island
> By Ken Hartnett | November 26, 2005
> ONE HUNDRED years ago this month, Massachusetts politicians responded to a
> public health panic by opening a state leprosy hospital on barren Penikese
> Island, 14 miles off New Bedford near Cuttyhunk. They kept it operating
> for 16
> years, isolating its foreign-born patients from family and friends in a
> punishing setting that drove up costs and compromised care.
> While the Commonwealth's high-minded intention was to protect a
> and stigmatized few from their fear-filled neighbors while giving them
> medical care, the state in reality snatched away life, stripping leprosy
> victims of family and friends while exposing them to experiments beyond
> limited capacity for informed consent. Penikese patients spoke Russian,
> Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, and Turkish, but few spoke English.