Euthanasia in The Nazi Era

Alyssa Price 7

Introduction to Euthanasia

Euthanasia is the act of deliberately ending a person's life to relieve suffering. Euthanasia has been a reoccurring issue of morality for many years. Euthanasia is very similar to suicide but sometimes includes a third party, which would then be defined as assisted suicide. There are various versions of euthanasia just with different people involved and methods used. The Nazis even had their own twisted version of euthanasia.

Euthanasia today

Today, Euthanasia is a more controversial subject than ever. Most debates are over whether or not Euthanasia is against the law. According to the "Encyclopedia of American Law," mercy killing is a criminal homicide. If a doctor is charged with homicide, a state court may have to go to a federal court to see if the method would be considered illegal. Some have a maximum penalty of up to life imprisonment. Euthanasia is illegal in all 50 states.

Euthanasia in the Nazi Era

Nazi euthanasia was used differently than the current definition of euthanasia. The Nazis would only end what they considered "life unworthy of life", not as an action of mercy. Their plan was to murder the fraction of the population least capable to protect themselves. This plan was called the "Final Solution", and the destruction of the Jews was their answer.

The first step to their plan was to set up Ghettos along the Soviet Union in 1941, then began the massive killings. The Nazis introduced nomadic gas vans, which released poisonous gases to those locked inside. Another method of euthanasia used by the Nazis was mass shootings. The Nazi's version of euthanasia was barbaric.


Citations and Helpful Sources

Closing to Euthanasia

Each person must come to their own conclusion whether euthanasia is a moral choice . Depending on a person's particular situation, opinions could easily change over this very controversial subject. Most hope they will never be personally challenged with this decision.
The Nazi Euthanasia (T4) Programme