Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2007 Feb 27;6:8.

Psychiatry during the Nazi era: ethical lessons for the modern professional.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Beer Yaakov Mental Health Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. raels@post.tau.ac.il

Abstract

For the first time in history, psychiatrists during the Nazi era sought to systematically exterminate their patients. However, little has been published from this dark period analyzing what may be learned for clinical and research psychiatry. At each stage in the murderous process lay a series of unethical and heinous practices, with many psychiatrists demonstrating a profound commitment to the atrocities, playing central, pivotal roles critical to the success of Nazi policy. Several misconceptions led to this misconduct, including allowing philosophical constructs to define clinical practice, focusing exclusively on preventative medicine, allowing political pressures to influence practice, blurring the roles of clinicians and researchers, and falsely believing that good science and good ethics always co-exist. Psychiatry during this period provides a most horrifying example of how science may be perverted by external forces. It thus becomes crucial to include the Nazi era psychiatry experience in ethics training as an example of proper practice gone awry.

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center