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Euthanasia, or Youth in Asia? By Brigette Lee

First and second year Baylor College of Medicine students enrolled in Healing by Killing: Medicine during the Third Reich are required to write a paper on a topic of their choosing at the end of the nine-week course. They may write about any topic that is stimulated by the material in the course, which includes eugenics, involuntary sterilization, Nuremberg and Jim Crow laws, involuntary euthanasia, human subjects research, the Nuremberg Doctors’ Trial and Code, how healers become killers, the implications of this history for contemporary medicine, and personal reflections of a distinguished physician, which was Dr. Joseph Gathe this year. The murder of disabled Germans began with the involuntary “euthanasia” or “mercy killing” of 5,000 German children, which led to the adult euthanasia or “T4” program that euthanized approximately 200,000 German adults. Jews were initially excluded from the euthanasia programs because they were not considered worthy of “mercy killing.”


Euthanasia or Youth in Asia?

Child Euthanasia in Nazi Germany or Female Infanticide in China

By Brigette Lee

It’s a Girl:

The Three Deadliest Words

in the World. (1)

Euthanasia or Youth in Asia?

“Mercy” killing

It’s a good death

For the betterment of the children

The parents The Society (2)

Euthanasia or Youth in Asia?

Hearing her cries

What is the best way?

Exposure? Suffocation? Burying alive? Strangulation?

Drowning? Cold water?

Boiling water? Abandonment? (3)

Euthanasia or Youth in Asia?

Sons are more useful

They will care for the parents

Support the family

Be hard workers

Girls are a burden

Feet must be bound

They must be cared for

Dowries must be paid

For someone else to care for them (3)

Euthanasia or Youth in Asia?

Intravenous lethal injections.


A coping mechanism? (2)

Euthanasia or Youth in Asia?

Fu Xuan said it best -

“How sad it is to be a woman,

Nothing on earth is held so cheap.

No one is glad when a girl is born,

By her the family sets no store.” (3)

Euthanasia or Youth in Asia?

Brigette Lee Citations:

1. Youtube. “It’s a Girl: The Three Deadliest Words in the World.” Youtube. Last modified 2011.

2. Susan Benedict, Linda Shields and Alison J. O’Donnell, “Children’s ‘Euthanasia’ in Nazi Germany,” Journal of Pediatric Nursing 24, no. 6 (December 2009): 506-516.

3. Bernice J. Lee, “Female Infanticide in China,” Historical Reflections 8, no. 3 (Fall 1981): 163-177.

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