Hitler's program to create a pure race was aided and abetted by the medical profession. Robert Lifton in his book, The Nazi Doctors paints a terrible picture of medicine perverted into killing. The doctors were the first line of cooperators in the holocaust by referring patients for extermination by deeming them "unlebenswert leben" or "lives not worthy of living." These medically unworthy lives included the mentally ill, the handicapped, and the sickly . The doctors provided cover for Hitler by claiming a medical necessity for killing off the weakest in society. As Lifton describes in his book, the doctors convinced themselves that what they were doing was "therapeutic."
Jeff Miller, the Curt Jester, has a terrific post on the analogies between current proposals on "health care" and Nazi eugenics. While the mass slaughter of the Jewish people was, of course, the evil pinnacle of the murderous regime, there was an undercurrent of medical and economic reasoning that set the stage for future horrors. And, unknown to many, the roots of the eugenics movement in Nazi Germany, the movement to create a master race, came from our own United States and made its way over to Germany. So, we cannot think that we are superior and would never allow such horror to happen on our shores.
Life can be viewed as expendable, especially when faith in God falters and when economics becomes a driving factor, just as it was in Nazi Germany. Take the case of Oregon, the only state in the union that has passed an assisted suicide law. Barbara Wagner, a cancer patient in that State was denied coverage of chemotherapy by her insurance company, but was approved for euthanasia drugs. The chemo would have cost the company $3,000 per month to provide, but the pills to end her life would only cost $100. When these decisions are taken away from the person and handed over to government bureaucrats, do we really believe that the government will protect the sick and the weak when they are a burden on the economy?
Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel believes that we should allocate resources to those who are likely to have the most "quality" in their lives. Should the government be making decisions as to which lives are worthy of saving? There is no guarantee that the medical philosophy that inspired the Nazi doctors cannot happen here. It may seem outrageous to consider, but remember the boiling frog theory. When a frog is dropped into cold water, it won't jump out. If the heat is turned up a little at a time, it will remain in the water until it dies. We already live in a country that legalized the killing of the unborn. Is the heat being turned up a notch?