On Dec. 4, 2007, two authorities on medicine and the Third Reich will present "Academic Medicine During the Nazi Period and Implications for Creating Awareness of Professional Responsibility Today." Volker Roelcke, M.D., professor and director of the Institute for the History of Medicine at the University of Giessen in Germany, and William Seidelman, M.D., C.C.F.P., F.C.F.P, also an internationally recognized authority on the history of medicine during the Third Reich and a fellow of the College of Family Physicians in Canada, will discuss the importance of teaching today’s medical students the value of treating each of their patients equally The two will detail the role played by the academic and research elite in German and Austrian medical faculties and research institutes and report on current developments in the elucidation of that tragic history and the efforts being made to account for that record within Germany and Austria.
The lecture series will continue on Dec. 11, 2007 as Michael A. Grodin, M.D., a professor of health law, bioethics and human rights at the Boston University School of Public Health, will examine how today's governments, like those of the Third Reich, can permit and encourage doctors to assist with torturous acts in his lecture, "Mad, Bad or Evil - How Physician Healers Turn to Torture, Murder and Genocide from the Nazi Doctors to Abu Ghraib." In his discussion, Grodin will discuss how the legacy of the Holocaust lives on today as demonstrated through acts of torture and human rights abuse by military doctors in former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Central America, Central and South America, China, the Middle East and most recently, in Darfur.
The same night Michael L. Gross, Ph.D., a professor of political science and the chair of the Department of International Relations at the School of Political Sciences at the University of Haifa, Israel, will present, “Is Medicine a Pacifist Vocation or Should Doctors Help Build Bombs?” Gross will examine the roles physicians play in creating more effective lethal and non-lethal weapons and how that fits in with their duty to serve as healers.
All the lectures will take place at Holocaust Museum Houston, 5401 Caroline St., and will begin at 6 p.m.
The lectures are a continuation of a 15-part series designed to help understand how the Holocaust's horrific medical practices shape modern medical ethics. Other upcoming lectures will feature such compelling topics as misusing personal genetic information and genetic discrimination to further separate races.
All lectures are free, but advanced registration is required. For information on CME and CNE credits for medical professionals attending this program, visit www.utcme.net. All lectures also can be accessed through the World Wide Web or through The University of Texas’ teleconferencing system at participating facilities. Please visit www.hmh.org/medethics for more information on viewing the lecture via the Web or at an off-site location.
An exhibit, "How Healing Becomes Killing: Eugenics, Euthanasia and Extermination," complements the lecture series and provides provocative historical documentation of the role played by scientists, physicians and government officials at the six "euthanasia" centers where they murdered thousands of Germany's most vulnerable citizens. There is no admission charge to view the exhibit, now in the Mincberg Gallery at the Museum’s Morgan Family Center (5401 Caroline St.) in Houston’s Museum District. The exhibit runs through Feb. 3, 2008. Viewing hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
For more information about "Medical Ethics and the Holocaust,visit www.hmh.org/medethics .