Code named ‘Aktion T4’, the Nazi euthanasia program to eliminate ‘life unworthy of life’ at first focused on newborns and very young children. Midwives and doctors were required to register children up to age three who showed symptoms of mental retardation, physical deformity, or other symptoms included on a questionnaire from the Reich Health Ministry.
The Nazi euthanasia program quickly expanded to include older disabled children and adults. Hitler’s decree of October, 1939, typed on his personal stationary, enlarged ‘the authority of certain physicians to be designated by name in such manner that persons who, according to human judgment, are incurable can, upon a most careful diagnosis of their condition of sickness, be accorded a mercy death.’
At Brandenburg, a former prison was converted into a killing center where the first Nazi experimental gassings took place. The gas chambers were disguised as shower rooms, but were actually hermetically sealed chambers connected by pipes to cylinders of carbon monoxide. Patients were generally drugged before being led naked into the gas chamber. Each killing center included a crematorium where the bodies were taken for disposal.
Now compare the Nazi’s Aktion T4 program to the modern day equivalent of using amniocentesis to screen preborn human beings for mental or physical disabilities. Those who are determined to be ‘life unworthy of life’ are then aborted. In fact, over 90% of children prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are killed while cradled in their mother’s womb.
We are literally following in the Nazi’s footsteps. We are literally killing the mentally and physically disabled because they are mentally and physically disabled. Somehow, we have managed to justify this slaughter because those doing the dying are hidden away. Somehow, we have accepted this horror in the name of human rights. Somehow, we have lost our way.
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