Parents rightfully wonder and worry about their child’s future. Marriage and grandchildren are a part of that future. Not so long ago, marriage of persons with epilepsy was prohibited by law in many states. The eugenics movement, relying on a U.S. Supreme Court decision and on the principle that “one generation of imbeciles is enough,” was able to implement these laws. Fortunately, the erroneous rationale behind these laws was disproved and the laws abolished. Ironically, we are only now beginning to gain significant information about the genetics of the epilepsies. Many misconceptions and misbeliefs still abound, for example, about the effects of pregnancy on epilepsy and about the effects of epilepsy and its treatment on a fetus. Physicians themselves often give outdated answers to these questions.
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LIVING WITH EPILEPSY: MARRIAGE, PREGNANCY, AND CHILDRENParents rightfully wonder and worry about their child’s future. Marriage and grandchildren are a part of that future. Not so long ago, marriage of persons with epilepsy was prohibited by law in many states. The eugenics movement, relying on a U.S. Supreme Court decision and on the principle that “one generation of imbeciles is enough,” was able to implement these laws. Fortunately, the erroneous rationale behind these laws was disproved and the laws abolished. Ironically, we are only now beginning to gain significant information about the genetics of the epilepsies. Many misconceptions and misbeliefs still abound, for example, about the effects of pregnancy on epilepsy and about the effects of epilepsy and its treatment on a fetus. Physicians themselves often give outdated answers to these questions.*264\208\8*

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