Whither Nuremberg?: medicine's continuing Nazi heritage

Med Glob Surviv. 1995 Sep;2(3):148-57.


The medical crimes of the Hitler regime are commonly perceived to have been committed by a few demonic physicians working in isolation from the mainstream of the German medicine. The success of this myth has imperiled the value system of medicine today. The World Medical Association (WMA), established to address the ethical challenges arising from the German tragedy, has itself been compromised by this legacy. The leadership of the WMA has included doctors once associated with the Nazi SS terror organization and linked to crimes prosecuted at Nuremberg. Despite these recent revelations the WMA has yet to address the ethical issues raised by its own Nazi heritage or to pay homage to the victims of the Nazi regime.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / ethics
  • Complicity*
  • Dehumanization
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Eugenics / history
  • Germany
  • History, 20th Century
  • Homicide / history
  • Humans
  • National Socialism*
  • Nontherapeutic Human Experimentation / history
  • Physicians* / ethics
  • Prejudice
  • Professional Misconduct* / history
  • Schools, Medical / history
  • Scientific Misconduct / history
  • Societies, Medical
  • Sterilization, Involuntary / history
  • Vulnerable Populations
  • War Crimes*