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United Nations Outreach Programme on the Holocaust to Mark Anniversary of Nazi Doctors’ Trial with Medical Ethics Panel Discussion, 2 December

The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme will host an online panel discussion on medical ethics during and in response to the Holocaust, as well as educational initiatives that draw on the history of the Holocaust to develop ethical leadership in the contemporary context.

The online panel discussion, titled “Ethics, Justice and the Holocaust”, will take place on Thursday, 2 December 2021 at 12:00 p.m. EST.  It marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, and the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Doctors’ Trial that opened on 9 December 1946 in Nuremberg, Germany.

The Doctors’ Trial charged 23 Nazi German physicians and administrators with war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Holocaust.  Accepting the ethical perversions and racist ideology of the Nazi regime, the defendants had planned and implemented inhumane and unethical medical experiments in the name of medical science.  There were countless doctors and nurses not brought to trial, some of whom carried out the so-called Euthanasia Programme — the first expression of organized and State-sanctioned murder of women, children and men deemed by the Nazis as  “life unworthy of life” because of psychiatric, neurological or physical disabilities.

The panel discussion will bring together experts to consider the issues of medical ethics, racism and justice in the context of the Holocaust, and the importance of cultivating the values of human rights and dignity among current and future medical practitioners.

Panellists will include:  Herwig Czech, Professor of History of Medicine at the Medical University of Vienna Department of Ethics, Collections and History of Medicine; Stephen Smith, Finci-Viterbi Endowed Executive Director at the USC Shoah Foundation; Stacy Gallin, Founder and Director of the Maimonides Institute for Medicine, Ethics and the Holocaust; Hedy S. Wald, Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; and Avi Omer, Founder of the Social Excellence Forum, a non-governmental organization based in Israel that works with high school students to develop ethical leadership, using the case study of Ernst Rudin, Nazi eugenicist.

Dr. Patricia Heberer Rice, Senior Historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, will moderate the discussion.

Please register at bit.ly/31gZ17T to attend the discussion.

The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme was established by General Assembly resolution 60/7 in 2005 to further Holocaust remembrance and education, to help prevent future acts of genocide.  Its multifaceted programme includes online and print educational products, seminars, exhibitions, a film series and the annual worldwide observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, held on 27 January.


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