Letter From Germany
Kottow, Michael H.
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1982 Mar; 8(1): 44-47.
Medical ethics in the Federal Republic of Germany is characterized by two recurrent themes: a deontological emphasis on the physician's duty; and a conception of the patient as needy and help seeking, morally and biologically inferior to the physician. The philosophical and historical underpinnings of contemporary German attitudes toward euthanasia and the physician-patient relationship are discussed. Medico-ethical thought in Germany is described as conservative and unsophisticated, its development hampered by bitter antagonism between the defenders of existing institutions and practices, which include academically well situated physicians, theologians, and right-wing politicians, and the iconoclasts, represented by sociologists, journalists, lay people, and younger physicians in training. (KIE abstract)
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Kottow, M.H. (1988-01)The author theorizes that eugenically-related killings before and during the Nazi era have made it more difficult to discuss euthanasia in modern West Germany and have influenced public policy on this issue. Opinion polls ...