“Medspeak” for Murder

The Nazi Experience and the Culture of Medicine
  • William E. Seidelman
Part of the Contemporary Issues in Biomedicine, Ethics, and Society book series (CIBES)


Nazi medicine challenges the ethical foundation of medicine today. Whereas the genesis of bioethics occurred in the ashes of Nazi Germany, modern medicine has been unable or unwilling to recognize the enormity of the role played by medicine in Nazi Germany, or the implications of that role for medicine and medical science today. Nazi medicine was neither an aberration that arose in 1933 and disappeared in 1945, nor was it an anomaly relevant only to Nazi Germany and German-occupied Europe. Nazi medicine had its origins in the same academic and professional environment that influenced the development of the health care systems of the developed world. It was created and developed in the birthplace of scientific medicine: 19th and 20th Century Germany. The German medical school, which served as a model for medical education in North America, is the same medical school that graduated physicians who became practitioners of evil. Nazi medicine thrived in the health care system that gave the world socialized medicine. It did not die on the gallows at Nuremberg; its influence continues to this very day.


Ethical Foundation Scientific Medicine Health Science Center Medicine Today Academic Hierarchy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • William E. Seidelman

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