Who Is a Nazi? (Can we call doctors who decide to kill elderly that name?)

There’s been much debate as to who is a Jew.  Startlingly, there is also often debate on who is a Nazi.  Would Attila the Hun qualify?  What about a Dr. Kevorkian?  Is there a standard to be a Nazi or is that reserved for those of a specific era and movement, not to be compared elsewhere?

 I ask these questions because a recent article described the stuggles of an elderly patient to survive doctos who thought him better dead. http://www.aish.com/ci/s/A_Dignified_Murder.html   He was a Holocaust survivor who survived both the Nazis and the doctors of today.  And some medical practitioners (methinks they protesteth too loudly) jumped up and gasped to me, how…could…one…compare…doctors of today and Nazis, which is what got me thinking about this who is a Nazi debate.

 It happens often, in the midst of a heated political give-and-take or in the midst of an impassioned plea against injustice, that the Nazi name becomes invoked.  There are then claims of belittling the Holocaust and the accuracy of comparison.

 So, my friends, who is a Nazi?

 According to Collins English Dictionary, the adjective can be a derogatory one for one who is brutal.

 The Nazi movement believed (as did many of the generation) in a concept called Eugenics.  Call it survival of the fittest in the most extreme sense – to the point of the fittest killing the feeble.  The Nazis felt justified in wiping out Gypsies, developmentally delayed and the Jews…all because they felt that these were lesser classes, draining society of its resources.  This led to a wholesale massive killing campaign, that gave rise to a new word in the lexicon of brutality, that of genocide, which the United Nations deems as:  “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group

 The United Nations did not yet add to this another class of people who ought to be there and protected.  You see, in our day and age, in our health care mess where malpractice and shoddy medicine has made medical costs skyrocket and inadequate handling of resources made some push for the rationing of medical care, the elderly and the really sick are being bumped off.  It is a slippery slope to, ah, who’s next, the developmentally delayed again? 

 So, doctors, if you don’t like being called Nazi, don’t sign up for Eugenics, for being the person who decides who deserves life and who not.

 For life is to be preserved and cherished.  Isn’t that one of the core principles of the Constitution?  And it is one of the tenets of the Jewish beliefs system — U’Vacharta BaChayim — you are always to choose life, for Kol Neshama Tehallel Kah, each soul praises G-d.  According to the commentators you can read that Kol Neshima — every breath we take is a praise to G-d.

[I had a weird conversation with a paramedic about this subject.  We were talking about the concept of quality of life –of his view that when a person can no longer get pleasure they ought to die.  And I asked him, “what kind of pleasures are you talking about? Folks like you only know shallow pleasures, the bar, the disco, the good steak.  So you say, when a guy can’t eat or date, we should kill him off.  But,” I wanted to know, “what about a more highly evolved person, someone who gets pleasure out of thoughts, out of communing with G-d, out of spirituality?!  Huh, what then?  So what if he can’t eat.  He is still enjoying the oomph of a good thought.”  And this young paramedic stared at me for a long time, speechless.  And I thought, “ahh, my dear, young friend, you are beginning to understand that our mind works — because I see a thought forming, now isn’t that too pleasure.”]


not just elderly, but also preemies…


a debate on the matter



About jewishspectacles

Jewish Spectacles-the kind you look through, not the kind you create!
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