Nurses and Midwives in Nazi Germany: The Euthanasia Programs

Edited by Susan Benedict and Linda Shields

The ethics of nursing and midwifery, and how these were abrogated during the Nazi era. Nurses and midwives actively killed their patients, many of whom were disabled children and infants and patients with mental (and other) illnesses or intellectual disabilities. The book for the first time, explains the role of one of the world's most historically prominent midwifery leaders in the Nazi crimes... "a groundbreaking and chilling historical analysis of a medical system in which death becomes a medical cure and nursing professionals view their allegiance to the state, their superiors and society above that of individual patients."


Introduction


The role of physicians in the crimes of the Nazi era in Europe has been extensively studied, but nurses and midwives have been largely ignored. Many of the crimes for which doctors were charged and punished occurred in hospitals, and nurses make up the main work force in any hospital; ergo, they, too, were at least complicit in, and often primarily responsible for,
many of the same crimes. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the so-called "euthanasia" programs, where people, including children, were systematically killed because they were considered "life unworthy of life" or "useless feeders". (It is worth noting here that the term "euthanasia" is a misnomer. While the word means "a good death" there was nothing
good about how these people died. However, it continues to be used in the context of these crimes.)

Midwives were mandated to report infants born with deformities so they could be killed, and the midwives were paid per capita to do so. Psychiatric hospitals were cleared of their patients and used for barracks to house soldiers. Killing took place in the hospitals, and often a crematorium was built on site to dispose of the dead. A telling film exists-now held by and publicly available from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum-which shows a nurse in uniform helping naked men and
boys into a gas chamber. The care she takes to put a blanket around their shoulders makes us wonder how a nurse, who is educated and trained to think that caring is the platform on which her/his work is based, can regard killing as a legitimate part of that caring. This is the essence of this book. 

While there is a large literature about the roles of the medical profession in the Third Reich, the reason that nursing and midwifery have been largely ignored until recently is open to supposition. Two authors have been dominant in the area (apart from the contributors to this book). A German nurse, Hilde Steppe (1947-1999), first published reports of the role of German nurses in the Nazi era in the early 1980s in German and then in the 1990s in English. Historian Bronwyn McFarland- Icke published a book about psychiatric nurses in Nazi Germany in 1999. Other investigations in the area have been piecemeal, and a conference held in Limerick in Irelandin 2004 highlighted the dearth of scholarship in this area of nursing and midwifery history. Perhaps this deficit relates to the fact that females have traditionally dominated these professions, and it has been assumed that women would not commit such crimes. It could be due to the fact that
people hold nursing and midwifery in high regard, and believe (as we have been told on several occasions) that "nurses would not do those things". Such unenlightened thinking inhibits full and proper examination of a dark side of the history of nursing and midwifery. Unless this is addressed, we cannot develop the professions to their full potential.

This book has eleven chapters. This first introductory chapter, called "Setting the Scene", does just that, with explanations of the primary political theories of fascism and Nazism, how the Nazis came to power, the role of propaganda in influencing the lives of the German people, and a description of the "T4" programs, which were the planned and systematic killing
of people with a range of illnesses and disabilities.

Chapter 2 examines the role played by eugenics in the development of the racially motivated killings in which nurses were complicit.

Chapter 3 discusses nursing in Nazi Germany, describing how the profession developed and was structured in that era.

Chapter 4 explains how psychiatric nursing was structured in Nazi Germany, and how it was the main specialty of nursing under which the killings were done.

Chapter 5 discusses the "euthanasia" programs in detail.

Chapter 6 explains the actions of nurses at Meseritz-Obrawalde, one of the psychiatric hospitals that were killing centers, and, using trial transcripts, examines the nurses' justifications for their roles in murder.

Chapter 7 includes more detail from another institution and testimonies
of the nurses who killed.

Chapter 8 describes the role of midwives

Chapter 9 is a discussion on how the lessons learned from the euthanasia
program can be taught to nurses and midwives today.

In Chapter 10, there is a discussion of the philosophical and sociological theories that could
account for the nurses' and midwives' actions, while

Chapter 11 rounds off the discussion with some questions as to whether this could happen again,
and some reflections on how similar things are happening in twenty-first century nursing and midwifery practice.

The book is available for download on online reading here.


Susan Benedict is Professor of Nursing, Director of Global Health, and Co­Director of the Campus-WideEthics Program
at the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Nursing in Houston.

Linda Shields is Professor of Nursing-Tropical Health at James Cook Uni­versity, Townsville,Queensland,and Honorary
Professor, School of Medi­cine,The University of Queensland.

[Yep.  All over again.  I guess I am particularly sensitive to these seemingly separate issues because as a biochemistry major, and having already published research, my thesis director suggested that I so something more broadly relevant to research ethics.  Bottom line, I finally did my biochemistry thesis on the Nazi medical war crimes, finally narrowing the topic to Mengele's twin (TWIN  TWIN  TWIN) experiments.  It wasn't an "ethical" analysis, but a scientific analysis of his researcher evaluating his scientific method, procedures, data and conclusions.  Spend a year and a half at the Library of Congress researching it.  It has stayed with me all these years, and I finally wrote an article for people who kept wondering why I chose to do the doctoral dissertation I did:  “Me and Mengele” (October 18, 2003), at:  http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_136meandmengele.html  (also attached to this email).  Very worrisome. -DNI]


The Alfie Evans Tragedy Bodes Badly for Mankind

by Judy Brown

Alfie Evans is a 23-month-old baby boy who suffers from a rare disease that has, according to his doctors, destroyed his brain. Whether or not this diagnosis is accurate is not the point.  The questions about this case are not about Alfie’s condition but rather about the hospital. Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, England, took this baby off a ventilator against the wishes of his parents and is not allowing the parents to seek treatment elsewhere. Alfie’s parents have valiantly appealed this decision, even proposing that Alfie be flown to Rome for treatment, but “the judge said all medical experts agreed that further treatment was futile and it would be against Alfie’s best interests to fly to the Vatican’s Bambino Gesù hospital in Rome.”

Alfie’s parents lost all of their appeals and can do nothing else. In the process, mankind has lost as well. The reasons are simple.  The use of the words “futile” and “best interests” are fraught with innuendo. They are subjective terms that can mean whatever the person uttering them wants them to mean! If you are wondering whose best interests are served when planned death is arranged, then you are on the same page we are on the fate of this sweet baby.

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital has violated Alfie’s basic human rights by making this decision, which has been upheld by a British Court of Appeals. Many have protested with letters, with calls, and even with demonstrations outside this deadly hospital, but apparently the court system has made a decision that may, barring a miracle, result in the death of this baby boy.

The sad reality of this case, like so many others in Britain, the USA, and elsewhere, is that human dignity and parental authority matter not if a hospital staff, a medical ethics panel, or a judge decides that they know what is “best” for a child. While we might question where such thinking comes from, it does not take a genius to figure that out. After all, when man usurps the rights of others as he acts in what he may feel is for the greater good, all manner of evil can occur.

John O’Sullivan at National Review nailed it when he wrote of Alfie’s case:

In a movie, Alfie would survive in the last final scene. It’s hard to believe that he will do so in life. We can understand the quite simple emotions that move Alfie’s parents, the crowds of sympathizers, and the Italian diplomats and their voters. But how are we to interpret the official UK decisions? It seems to me (partly on the basis of earlier such conflicts) that all involved will believe passionately that they are doing the right thing. But something else has taken over their thoughts and action: They are now determined to defend their claim to be Alfie’s real parents and their compassionate administration of his inevitable death without pain—against what they see as the primitive sentimentality of those trying to rescue him. They grit their teeth and get on with it, maybe feeling a little noble about it all. And they don’t realize that they are moving by baby steps towards the compulsory euthanasia of the weak and sick.

Yes, for mankind this is the case. Those baby steps have become increasingly prevalent and have generated very little from the community at large—a community that seems to be asleep, unaware of what lies ahead.

This entire tragedy reminds me of Flannery O’Connor’s prescient quote: “In the absence of faith, we govern by tenderness. And tenderness leads to the gas chamber.

Indeed, the Alfie Evans tragedy bodes badly for mankind.


Related:  https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-05-01-alfie-evans-executed-by-lethal-injection-organ-harvesting-alder-hey.html


Death Panels: Court Orders Sick Toddler Killed Despite Parents’ Desperate Pleas

by Joshua Gill


A U.K. court upheld an earlier ruling Tuesday ordering a toddler to be taken off life support despite his parents’ desire to continue treating him.

London’s Court of Appeal denied the parents’ request to transfer their son, 21-month-old Alfie Evans, to the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital. The appeals court upheld a lower court’s ruling that sided with doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, who say that continued treatment is “futile,” according to Crux Now.

Evans suffers from an unknown neurological degenerative condition that has reduced him to what the hospital has called a “semi-vegetable state,” but his parents argue that he is still responsive and say they will continue to fight for him to be treated.

“At this moment, Alfie’s not ready so we’re not ready to let go,” Tom Evans, the boy’s father, told the BBC.  Tom said that he would challenge the ruling before the U.K.’s Supreme Court.

The case bears similarities to the 2017 legal battle over treatment for Charlie Gard, who died at 11 months old after U.K. courts continually deliberated and denied him the option to receive treatment. Then as now, the hospital officials overseeing the treatment of the child have argued that attempting to treat him would be against the child’s best interest — a conclusion that Alfie’s parents contest.

“Our aim is always to try and reach an agreement with parents about the most appropriate care plan for their child. Unfortunately there are sometimes rare situations such as this where agreement cannot be reached and the treating team believe that continued active treatment is not in a child’s best interests,” Alder Hey Children’s Hospital said in a statement, according to Crux.

Justice Anthony Hayden of the U.K.’s High Court agreed in his Feb. 20 ruling with the hospital’s assessment that continuing to treat the Alfie was “unkind, unfair, and inhumane.”  Hayden praised the efforts of Alfie’s parents but ultimately denied them the chance to medically fight for their son’s life. He said that Tom’s urging to “fight on with Alfie’s army” was commendable but that the parents’ had no clear plan for their son’s betterment. Tom, incensed by the ruling, denounced it and vowed that he would continue the fight.

“My son has been sentenced to the death penalty. The system has worked against us. I’m not crying because I know how wrong they are, I know how strong my boy is doing. He is strong, he is comfortable. This isn’t the end. This is just the start. I’m going to take this NHS down. I’m not giving up, my son isn’t giving up. No-one, I repeat, no-one in this country, is taking my boy away from me. They are not violating his rights and they are violating my rights,” Tom said after Hayden’s ruling, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.

The three judges of the appeals court, however, echoed Hayden’s reasoning Tuesday and said that the hospital had given due consideration to the parents’ wishes.

They ruled hospital staff’s decision to remove Alfie from life support and deny his transfer to another hospital was justified since Alfie is, according to their assessment, comatose and unaware of his surroundings.

The parents argue that Alfie is still aware and can still respond to them, but hospital staff say that what the parents interpret as responses are actually seizures, according to the Daily Mail.

Barrister Stephen Knafler QC, who represents Alfie’s parents against the state, argued that, regardless of the hospital’s assessment, the courts’ rulings overstep their boundaries and interfere with “parental choice,” according to Crux.

Please like and share this story on Facebook if you think this court’s ruling is sickening.



Medical Murder? Mass Woman Medically Kidnapped from Home Dies After Being Denied Medical Intervention

by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff

Lawyers and guardians denied Beverley Finnegan the life-saving treatment her sister wanted her to have. The guardianship cost her life. Photo source.


As the icy blast of the historic “bomb cyclone” chilled the heart of Boston and flooded her streets, an even more chilling battle was taking place over the life of 69 year old Beverley Finnegan.

The fight to get court-appointed guardians and attorneys to allow her to receive life-saving medical treatment has ended with her death just before noon on Friday, January 5, 2018.

See Beverley’s story here:


Her tragic death follows the one day that her sister and advocate Janet Pidge were not able to be by her side at Framington Union Hospital. The brutal snowstorm kept Janet, as well as many other residents in the greater Boston area, home and off the streets on Thursday.

“A Turn for the Worse” – During a Crippling Snowstorm

Beverley’s condition was largely unchanged during the last several weeks, so the Friday morning phone call came as a shock.

Gary Zalkin, attorney for Framington Union Hospital, left a voicemail at 8:30 a.m. saying that that she had taken “a turn for the worse” and would likely pass within the next hour or so.

Janet was already en route to the hospital to be by her sister’s side. Advocate and journalist David Arnold told Health Impact News that he joined Janet in Beverley’s hospital room. He reports that her heart stopped several times, while doctors kept saying that her brain had shut down. Finally, her heart stopped beating for the last time, and she was pronounced dead at 11:48 a.m.

Janet’s attorney Lisa Belanger calls it “euthanasia” – the hastening of Beverley Finnegan’s death. Belanger attempted to file a criminal complaint on Saturday, since euthanasia is illegal in Massachusetts. However, the police denied her request, telling her to file medical malpractice instead. She told Health Impact News:

This is worse than the Twilight Zone.

Kidnapped and Denied Civil Rights over Medical Disagreement

For months, Beverley Finnegan and her sister Janet Pidge have been battling the state of Massachusetts to bring her home. The sisters owned a condo together, and they relied on each other. Several years ago Ms. Finnegan named her sister as her proxy if ever she needed someone to make decisions for her. Her wishes were completely ignored.

A doctor diagnosed her with an illness that, in hindsight, she may never have had. Dr. Anne McKinley said that she had a lung infection called Mycobacterium kansasii and that she would die without treatment. When Ms. Finnegan chose not to go back to that particular doctor, Dr. McKinley filed a protective order with the courts.

Police and social workers broke into the condo and seized her. Because she fought against her kidnappers, she was deemed mentally ill and violent. She was bodily seized and forced against her will into a nursing home and forced onto psychotropic drugs.

The door frame was broken during Beverley Finnegan’s state-sanctioned abduction, yet she was labeled “paranoid.” Photo source: Boston Broadside.

For months, she begged and pleaded to go home, saying that they were going to kill her. The presumably imaginary infection that was used as a pretense to deprive her of her liberty was never addressed – not once.

Stranger Named as Her Guardian, While Sister Fights Back

Lawyers petitioned for, and won, the ability to override Ms. Finnegan’s wishes, and a judge appointed a guardian with Jewish Family and Children’s Services. Under a draconian legal construct known as “guardianship,” Marissa Levenson was granted the authority to make life-altering decisions for a woman she had never before met.

Marissa Levenson, guardian with Jewish Family and Children’s Services, was given authority to place Ms. Finnegan into a nursing home against her will. Photo source: Boston Broadside>.

According to Lonnie Brennan of the Boston Broadside, who met with Janet Pidge and has attended some of the court hearings:

Beverly’s sister, Janet, is hysterically desperate: she’s fighting daily to get anyone to help. Janet can’t stop talking about her sister, non-stop. She’s anxious, desperate, and determined to get someone to listen. She’s spent her savings, she’s knocked on seemingly every door of every lawyer or politician she could find.

She’s been lied to along the way in the same way her sister was lied to. She is called delusional and paranoid for not believing the state.

She can’t stop. She fights on. She’s determined and gets into rants about the shock of the taking of her sister, long-term problems at her condo with certain neighbors, and the tragic history of her family (for which a movie should be set).

Her money is gone and she’s stuck asking for rides daily or help to pay for the trains to take her from Newton to Framingham each day where she prays at her sister’s side. 


Life-Saving Medical Measures Denied

Lisa Belanger says that the decline in Ms. Finnegan’s health was directly related to fact that the state placed her under guardianship. Under that guardianship, she was forced into a nursing home that did not properly care for her. Due to their alleged neglect and possibly actively harmful practices, Ms. Finnegan wound up in a coma on November 30, and doctors have neglected basic medical care that could have saved her life.

On December 18 and again on December 22, Belanger went head to head in court with a gaggle of attorneys and guardians who were determined to pull the plug and end Beverley Finnegan’s life, against the adamant wishes of her sister.

On one side were the guardian and attorneys for Framington Union Hospital, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and Springwell – a non-profit organization utilized by the state of Massachusetts to implement Adult Protective Services policies.

They all argued that it would be more compassionate to pull the plug than allow her to live life under the current circumstances.

Lisa Belanger argued for Ms. Finnegan’s basic Constitutional right to life. She presented an affidavit from renowned medical expert Dr. Paul Byrne dated December 22, in which he stated that she did “not fulfill any set of ‘brain death’ criteria.”

Dr. Byrne laid out specific medical protocols that should have been taken already but hadn’t. He said that if they would initiate such treatment immediately, Beverley’s health should improve.

Since that time, Lisa Belanger engaged in a life and death struggle to get the hospital to do the basic medical treatments that could have saved Ms. Finnegan’s life. She sent numerous requests to the newly appointed Guardian ad Litem Joanne Moses and to the various attorneys involved, including the hospital’s attorney Gary Zalkin.

Her every attempt was rebuffed.

Counsel for Framington Union Hospital, Gary Zalkin. Photo source.

Even though Beverley’s sister and her attorney were clear that they wanted such measures being taken, Zalkin reportedly said that they would have to wait until the new Guardian ad Litem approved of the tracheostomy and they were all able to go before the judge again for approval.

Lisa Belanger countered with:

EVERY SECOND THAT GOES BY YOU AND YOUR CLIENT ARE OVERTLY DEPRIVING MY CLIENT’S SISTER OF WHATEVER RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE.

To confirm, Judge Monks expressly stated that Metro West HAS AUTHORITY to perform emergency necessitated procedures–that such procedures do not require a court order.  Again, the emergency procedures are laid out by Dr. Byrne in his provided affidavits that you have received.

As already substantiated from the documentation I provided you, you and your client’s FAILURE TO ACT continues to be knowingly and deliberately causing overt harm to my client’s sister, Beverley Finnegan.

None of the life-saving procedures were initiated. On the day that Beverley’s sister could not be with her at the hospital due to the massive snowstorm, her health suddenly declined. By the time Janet Pidge and Lisa Belanger got word of her demise, all of the government offices to which they could have turned were closed due to the storm.

They were completely helpless to stop what they see as Ms. Finnegan’s needless death. Because of the guardianship, Beverley’s trusted loved one was powerless to intervene to save her life.

This woman who was functional, in full control of her mind, and able to walk and care for herself on her own just a few months ago is gone – another victim of guardianship.

David Arnold has written several articles on the dangers of guardianship. He told Health Impact News:

Guardianship is a form of slavery, but it is actually far worse than slavery. It needs to be abolished.

With guardianship, they want to rob them and kill them.

Conflicts of Interest: Psychotherapist, Jewish Family and Child Services All Complicit in Death

Even though the sisters lived in a large metropolitan area, the small group of players involved in their case have worked together in a number of similar guardianship cases, according to public records.

Jewish Family and Child Services seems to be a major player in the region. They played a significant role in the decisions leading to the rapid decline of Beverley Finnegan’s health.

Attorneys Gary Zalkin, Lawrence K. Glick, and Wendy K. Crenshaw each appear on the dockets of many guardianship cases in various roles – alternately as counsel for the ward, counsel for the petitioner for guardianship, the petitioner, or guardian.

There are cases where the same attorney’s name shows up in the record in more than one role. In a case from 2016, Case #BR16P0649GD, Gary Zalkin is listed as the attorney for the ward, the petitioner on behalf of the facility wanting to place the ward under guardianship, and as the guardian himself. That is three conflicting roles – all represented by the same attorney.

Zalkin practiced for 14 years as a psychotherapist (Source) before attending law school. He has lectured and written on the practice of guardianship, and has apparently found his niche. According to his website:

Attorney Gary Zalkin wrote the chapter in the Mental Health volume of the Massachusetts Practice Series that explains the new guardianship and conservatorship laws. He has additionally pioneered the affirmation of health care proxies for mental health issues in Massachusetts. He has served as chair of the Riverside Community Care Human Rights Committee and as president of the Board of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Massachusetts, MetroWest affiliate.

In 2005 Attorney Zalkin was honored by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as one of fifteen “rising stars – Massachusetts lawyers who have been members of the bar 10 years or less, but who have already distinguished themselves in some manner and appear poised for even greater things.”

Attorney Gary Zalkin received his B.A. in psychology from Brandeis University in 1989 and his M.S.W. from Simmons College School of Social Work in 1992.

Gary Zalkin is also “a member of the Harvard Medical School’s Program in Psychiatry and the Law.” (Source).

Cover-up of Medical Malpractice?

How is it that a person can lose every Constitutional and human right, including the rights to make personal and medical decisions, refuse medical treatment, live in her own home, be autonomous, and choose to live – based on a letter from a doctor not backed up with evidence?

Framington Union Hospital. Photo taken by an advocate, name withheld by request.

What really happened to Beverley Finnegan – both in the nursing home before her hospitalization and in the hospital during the snowstorm, during the time that her sister could not watch over her and try to protect her?

Is there a cover-up happening of medical malpractice?

What kind of benefit is there to those parties networked together? Why are there so many entities and individuals working to take away the basic human rights of senior citizens?

How can citizens protect themselves from the tyrannical overreach of people operating under the color of law to take all their worldly goods as well as their very liberty? Is anyone safe?

Beverley Finnegan’s voice has been silenced. Will her death go unnoticed, or will it mean something? Who will speak out for justice for her and for countless others whose lives are being stolen?


Other Adult Guardianship Stories We Have Covered:

Medical Kidnapping of Seniors: A $273 BILLION Industry

Obamacare: America’s Elder Medical Kidnapping Epidemic is Leaving Seniors Homeless