Wednesday, April 9, 2008

UK researcher studies nurses roles during Nazi euthanasia

The Yorkshire Post (UK) reports on Professor Linda Shields of Hull University who is leading an international group of nurses, midwives, historians and philosophers to research how and why medical professionals participated the Nazi's euthanasia atrocities. She will deliver a speech on the topic at the Royal College of Nursing conference in Liverpool April 9.

"It was even part of the job of a home care nurse to report disabled people to the authorities for euthanasia programmes," according to the article."Tens of thousands of people are believed to have been killed in this way by doctors and nurses in Nazi Germany."

"A lot of the nurses involved did it because they thought it was the right thing to do, Prof. Shields said. "They saw killing as being part of their caring role. This is what intrigues me. We need to understand why it happened."

In addition to the Nazi killing of six million Jewish people, the Nazis are estimated to have also killed about 275,000 disabled people, according the BBC Ouch! Disability Magazine.

"Under a secret plan called the 'T4 Program' (T4 was a reference to the address of the program's Berlin HQ - Tiergartenstrasse 4), disabled people in Germany were killed by lethal injection or poison gas," the magazine says. "The T4 Program saw a string of six death camps - called 'euthanasia centres' - set up across Germany and Austria."