Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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  Chapter 2

“Euthanasia”: Direct
Medical Killing 
  The state organism … [is] a whole with its own laws and rights, much like one self-contained human organism … which, in the interest of the welfare of the whole, also - as we doctors know - abandons and rejects parts or particles that have become worthless or dangerous.   
  Either one is a doctor or one is not   
  — A former Nazi doctor   
For a doctor, there is a large step from ligating spermatic cords or ovarian tubes, or even removing uteri, to killing or designating for death one’s own patients. Medical Gleichschaltung made that step possible The Nazis could combine active participation by a broad spectrum of German physicians, especially psychiatrists, with a secret plan emanating from the highest Party authority. The characteristic mixture of terror and idealism could now concretize the principle of “life unworthy of life” and authorize the killing of both children and adults 
The Background 
There was considerable advocacy elsewhere of “mercy killing,” including its recommendation in the United States by the same Foster Kennedy who was honored at the Heidelberg jubilee.¹ And anyone trained in American medicine has personal experience of doctors, nurses, and med- […ical]
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

Robert J. Lifton
ISBN 0-465-09094
© 1986
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