Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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Chapter 3

Resistance to Direct
Medical Killing 
  There is strange talk in Munich about the fate, of mental patients.

How come he died so fast? I enclose a stamp so that you will tell me about his last hours.

Why was my brother's body burned? I would like to have buried him in a grave.

We have to reproach you about not having given us chance to say goodbye . . . . We are really bitter and do not understand your measures. I expect you will tell me your reasons for such behavior. 
  — Excerpts from letters of family members of
patients killed in the euthanasia program 
Resistance within Psychiatry 
Some psychiatrists resisted medical killing — but mostly in limited, isolated, and indirect. ways. Though insufficient, that resistance was not without significance.

What was undoubtedly the most widespread form of resistance is the most difficult to evaluate: the “silent resistance” in the form of actions taken by individual psychiatrists to enable patients to evade the lethal bureaucracy.¹ These measures included diagnosing patients as severely neurotic rather than schizophrenic, or minimizing mentally deficient patients' inability to work; releasing patients to their families or keeping them in university clinics or on general medical services, rather than transferring them to state hospitals; and generally emphasizing patients’
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

Robert J. Lifton
ISBN 0-465-09094
© 1986
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