Award Type

2019 - 2020 Garnet Track: First Place

Document Type

Article

Abstract

On the path to becoming a doctor, many undergraduate students focus their studies exclusively on STEM classes. This prepares students well for medical school but disregards the significance of Humanities courses that are imperative to becoming ethical physicians who can relate and advocate for those around them. I spent the last one and a half years investigating Dr. Julius Hallervorden, a famous 20th century neuropathologist, who became complicit in criminal acts perpetrated in the Nazi “euthanasia” program. Dr. Hallervorden was not tried in the Nuremberg Doctors’ Trial. Prosecutors determined there was insufficient evidence to convict him of murdering patients. After extensive literature reviews, a visit to Berlin, Germany, to conduct research at various archives and memorial sites, and a research trip to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., I have gathered a long list of primary and secondary sources to help me investigate Hallervorden’s role in the Nazi “euthanasia” program. I have discovered, with relative certainty, that Hallervorden hand selected victims to be murdered for the purpose of acquiring data for his own research interests, making him guilty of crimes against humanity.

The importance of my research falls under many headings- naming those complicit in crimes, identifying the Nazi’s never-ending quest for human perfection, and making the case for changing the names of diseases named after Nazi doctors. Without exposing and recollecting crimes perpetrated against humanity, history will repeat itself. I hope to bring attention to the horrible crimes committed against the disabled community by Hallervorden. I aspire to encourage myself, future, and current physicians to discover the ethical thing to do in every case and repeat to themselves, “Do no harm.”

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