The 1920 essay by German attorney Karl Binding and psychiatrist Alfred Hoche, “Permitting the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Life,” is often characterized as a stepping-stone toward the Nazi genocide policies. A careful review of Binding and Hoche’s arguments does reveal elements that foreshadow Nazi thinking, but it also contains points that fail to parallel-or that directly contradict-Nazi death practices. A proper ethical and historical analysis of this work requires a more nuanced discussion than it often receives.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Issues, ethics and legal aspects
- History and Philosophy of Science