Curricula & Syllabi

Healing by Killing: Medicine in the Third Reich

Posted by Sheldon Rubenfeld, M.D. on April 20, 2016

Dr. Sheldon Rubenfeld, M.D. is the executive director of Medicine After the Holocaust, Clinical Professor of General Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, and a Lecturer at Rice University. Attachments include the syllabus for his class at Rice University Healing by Killing: Medical Ethics after the Holocaust, an outline of the elective course at Baylor  Healing by Killing: Medicine during the Third Reich, and a paper by student Jake Keller from the 2015-2016 Baylor class Here is an excerpt: “The lecturer finished the historical portion of his talk and began bringing up examples of euthanasia today. He discussed the organization that offers drug addicts and alcoholics money to become sterilized. He continued on to the sterilization of prisoners in the United States as recent as 2010. I cannot remember the other modern examples, but I do remember the feeling of horror and disgust that this had been occurring in my backyard.”


  1. Nazi medicine: the central role of the medical profession in the design and implementation of “Applied Biology,” the healthcare policy of Germany under National Socialism that led to the Holocaust.
  2. American eugenics: the eugenic policies generated by American eugenicists that provided moral, legal, and philanthropy support and models for German National Socialist public healthcare policy makers and physicians.
  3. Medical ethics after the Holocaust: the history of secular and Jewish medical ethics up to the Nuremberg Medical Trial, and the transformation of medical ethics into bioethics after the Nuremberg Code.

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