Binding and Hoche’s “Life Unworthy of Life”

A historical and ethical analysis

Howard Brody, M. Wayne Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-511
Number of pages12
JournalPerspectives in Biology and Medicine
Volume57
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 11 2014
Externally publishedYes

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Ethical Analysis
National Socialism
Genocide
Lawyers
Psychiatry
Historical Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy

Cite this

Binding and Hoche’s “Life Unworthy of Life” : A historical and ethical analysis. / Brody, Howard; Wayne Cooper, M.

In: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Vol. 57, No. 4, 11.01.2014, p. 500-511.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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