Distinguished Speaker Videos

Science, Medicine and Religion after the Holocaust

Posted by John M. Haas, Ph.D. S.T.L. on April 20, 2016

President, National Catholic Bioethics Center

Dr. Haas—scholar and President of the National Catholic Bioethics Center  gives us a history of Catholicism’s doctrine of human dignity in health care, of the Hippocratic Oath, and of the German medical profession’s violation of these principles. He describes how the science of eugenics undermined both secular and religious medical ethics, thereby leading to elimination of the subhuman untermenschen.

 American Lothrop Stoddard was the first to use this term in “The Revolt Against Civilization: the Menace of the Under Man,” demonstrating that the rest of the Western world was also taken with eugenics. Germany responded to its embrace of National Socialism with some of the strictest protections against violation of human dignity in medicine after the Holocaust, including:

  • Outlawing Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PID)
  • Opposition to embryonic research
  • Refusal to participate in the Human Genome Project

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