Killing 'Schizophrenics': Contemporary U.S. Psychiatry Versus Nazi Psychiatry
Levine, Bruce E.http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/01/killing-schizophrenics-contemporary-u-s-psychiatry-versus-nazi-psychiatry/
Date Written: 2017-02-01
Publisher: Counter Punch
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20323
In the United States in the earlier part of the twentieth century, there was widespread compulsory sterilization of those diagnosed with serious mental illness; and from the 1970s through the early 1990s, dehumanizing experiments that ignored the Nuremberg Code of research ethics were administered on this population by prominent American psychiatrists.
When a society becomes so fanatical about machine-like efficiency, productivity and order that ethical injunctions against murder are thrown out the window, Nazi Germany -- and societies that admire it -- emerge. In 1934, ten years after Virginia passed its 1924 sterilization act, Joseph Dejarnette, superintendent of Virginia's Western State Hospital, noted Nazi Germany's increasing rates of sterilizations and lamented in the Richmond Times-Dispatch: "The Germans are beating us at our own game." And that year, Leon Whitney, executive secretary of the American Eugenics Society, said of Nazism, "While we were pussy-footing around . . . the Germans were calling a spade a spade."