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Reply #5: Of course if you were not favored by them... [View All]

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Leo 9 Donating Member (560 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-02-09 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Of course if you were not favored by them...
Doctors, Pregnancy, Childbirth and Abortion during the Third Reich
Tessa Chelouche MD

Clalit Health Services, Shomron District, Israel
Affiliated to Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel

Program for the Study of Medicine and the Holocaust, Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology; and
Department for Healthcare, Ethics and the Holocaust, International Center for Health, Law and Ethics, Haifa University, Israel

This paper does not attempt to deal with the legitimate ethical or
moral debate on abortion. Utilizing abortion as a subject I will show
how science and medicine in general, and abortion in particular,
were used as weapons of mass destruction by Nazi physicians in
their zeal to comply with the political climate of the time. Nazi policy
on abortion and childbirth was just one of the methods devised and
designed to ensure the extermination of those whom the Nazis
deemed had lives not worth living. Physicians implemented
these policies, not with the fate of their patients in mind, but rather
in the name of the state. When discussing pregnancy, abortion
and childbirth during the Holocaust it is imperative to include an
essay of how these issues affected the Jewish prisoner doctors in
the ghettos and camps. Nazi policy dictated their actions too. From
an extensive search of their testimonies, I conclude that for these
doctors ethical discourse comprised a fundamental component of
their functioning. I do not propose to judge them in any way and
one should not, in my opinion, argue whether their behavior was
or was not morally acceptable under such duress; nevertheless,
unlike their Nazi counterparts, a key theme in their testimonies was
to keep their medical values.
IMAJ 2007;9:202206

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