Friday, July 03, 2015

Medicalization

In Nazi mass murder, we can say that a barrier was removed, a boundary crossed: that boundary between violent imagery and periodic killing of victims (as of Jews in pogroms) on the one hand, and systematic genocide in Auschwitz and elsewhere on the other. My argument in this study is that the medicalization of killing - the imagery of killing in the name of healing - was crucial to that terrible step. At the heart of the Nazi enterprise, then, is the destruction of the boundary between healing and killing.

--Robert Jay Lifton, "The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing And The Psychology Of Genocide", page 14

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