Euthanasia After the Holocaust--Is It Possible?: A Report From the Federal Republic of Germany
Bioethics. 1988 Jan; 2(1): 58-59.
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 reveal that over 50% of West Germans favor active euthanasia, a proportion identical to that in corresponding U.S. polls. However, official opinion is strongly opposed to legalizing any kind of euthanasia except nontreatment of those in the irreversible process of imminent death. Even legally acceptable treatment refusal may be easily overridden by declaring the patient incompetent. Kottow cites poor medical treatment of the mentally ill and 38% public acceptance of proposals to kill them as evidence of dormant tendencies which support the view that the "times are not yet ripe for innovative legislation." (KIE abstract)
Active Euthanasia; Allowing to Die; Attitudes; Death; Eugenics; Euthanasia; Holocaust; Involuntary Sterilization; Killing; Legal Aspects; Legislation; Life; National Socialism; Physicians; Public Opinion; Public Policy; Socialism; Sterilization; Terminally Ill; Treatment Refusal; Value of Life; Wedge Argument;
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