Center for Medicine after the Holocaust Announces Supplement for Health Professions to the Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
Galilee Declaration calls upon medical schools and other healthcare institutions to incorporate the study of medicine and the Holocaust
The Galilee Declaration, which highlights the role of the medical community in Nazi Germany’s atrocities, calls upon medical schools and other healthcare institutions to incorporate the study of medicine and the Holocaust in their curricula. So far, it has been signed by close to 100 members of the international medical community and academic scholars, and endorsements continue to grow.
It was originally drafted at the Second International Conference on Medicine in the Holocaust and Beyond, held in May 2017 in Western Galilee, Israel. This conference is part of an ongoing international effort to encourage healthcare professionals to study, teach, research, and learn from the behavior of German medical professionals and scientists—the best in the world at the time—who played a central and indispensable role in the design and implementation of the Holocaust.
Conference participants from 17 countries addressed issues relevant to the study of medicine during and after the Holocaust. Close to 100 papers spanning history, education and bioethics were presented.
Professor Shmuel Reis, M.D., MHPE, who hosted the conference along with Drs. Miriam Offer and Boaz Cohen, noted, “Both the dark and enlightened faces of healthcare professions in this period were studied, and the implications for today’s and tomorrow’s practitioners were addressed. The meeting reached its peak with the launch of this consensual declaration, summoning all healthcare professions to study medicine during those dark years.”
Reis, a family practitioner with academic appointments at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Brown University in Providence, RI, has been involved in the study and teaching of medicine in the Holocaust and beyond for two decades and has published extensively in the field.
CMATH Executive Director Sheldon Rubenfeld, M.D. added, “The Galilee Declaration is a powerful call to action for all healthcare professionals and organizations.”
Rubenfeld, a physician and professor of internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in the Texas Medical Center, founded CMATH in 2010. He has been active in Holocaust education for 20 years and began teaching medicine after the Holocaust at Baylor in 2003. He has led CMATH’s global initiatives to bring Holocaust education to the medical community, beginning with the First International Scholars Workshop on Medicine after the Holocaust, which was held in Houston in 2015.
“Teaching and studying medicine and the Holocaust is of critical importance to today’s medical professionals,” Rubenfeld stressed. “History helps us behave better.”
CMATH has expanded since its inception to include panels and lecture series on specific topics – such as human subjects research, biomedical ethics and physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia – as well as an extensive online library of resources for educators. It will organize its fifth tour for scholars and medical professionals to European medical sites relevant to the Holocaust from May 13-19, 2018. In 2019, it will co-sponsor the Third International Scholars Workshop on Medicine after the Holocaust in Berlin, Germany.
The entire text of the Galilee Declaration can be found online at http://www.medicineaftertheholocaust.org/galilee-declaration. Those who wish to support this mission can add their signatures to the declaration by visiting the Maimonides Institute for Medicine, Ethics and the Holocaust website at http://mimeh.org/galilee.cfm.
The Center for Medicine after the Holocaust (CMATH) provides programs for healthcare students, professionals, and educators to learn about medicine and the Holocaust and challenges them to apply that history to contemporary medical education, practice, research, and healthcare policy. To learn more about CMATH and its programs, visit http://www.medicineaftertheholocaust.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @medafterhc.
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