Monday, April 4, 2016

Why medical ethics matters

 2016 Apr 1;38:184-200. [Epub ahead of print]

What's in a Name? Neurological Eponyms of the Nazi Era.


The 1920s were a booming decade for neuroscience, and perhaps nowhere was this truer than in Germany. Following the rise of Hitler's regime and the persecution of Jews and others, however, Germany and Austria lost numerous world-class neuroscientists. Vacant posts were quickly filled with 'Aryan' and academic staff loyal to the Nazis. Indeed, many physicians and scientists went even further and became engaged in National Socialist (NS)-euthanasia programs. In recent years, the medical community has become more aware of the ethical burden associated with eponyms derived from scientists of the Third Reich. This book chapter reviews 53 neurological eponyms derived from physicians who worked in the Nazi era. Among them are victims who were forced out of the country or murdered in concentration camps, protestors who risked their academic careers and often their lives, beneficiaries who published on brains from 'euthanized' children, and collaborators who were directly involved in the planning and execution of NS-euthanasia programs.

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