The Core of the Nazi `Useless Eater' Policy: Utilitarianism --
From the Pamphlet: "Ban the HMOs!"


by Nancy Spannaus

Printed in the American Almanac, January, 2000.


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The Nazi philosophy which has taken over health care in the United States through the HMOs, as well as associated pro-euthanasia policies, was identified as early as 1949 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Leo Alexander, who had worked with the prosecution at the postwar Nuremberg Tribunal devoting to prosecuting the Nazi doctors, put his finger on it: It is the utilitarian attitude which classified some lives as not useful, or, in Hitler's own words, ``not worthy to be lived.''

See how closely Dr. Alexander's analysis of the takeover of the Nazi outlook, shows the Nazis' parallels with the dominant thinking today:

``Whatever proportions these crimes finally assumed, it became evident to all who investigated them that they had started from small beginnings. The beginnings at first were merely a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitude of the physicians. It started with the acceptance of the attitude, basic in the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived. This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick. Gradually the sphere of those to be included in this categroy was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, and finally all non-Aryans. But it is important to realize that the infinitely small wedged-in lever from which this entire trend of mind received its impetus was the attitude toward the non-rehabilitable sick.''

Dr. Alexander, who gave interviews to LaRouche movement publications in the early 1980s, condemning the ``right to die'' movement and its application in health care, feared that such a Nazi attitude was already surfacing among American doctors in 1949. He said:

``Physicians have become dangerously close to being mere technicians of rehabilitation. The essentially Hegelian rational attitude has led them to make cetain distinctions in the handliing of acute and chronic diseases. The patient with the latter carried an obvious stigma as the one less likely to be fully rehabilitable for social usefulness. In an increasingly utilitarian society these patients are being looked down upon with increasing definiteness as unwanted ballast....

``Hospitals like to limit themselves to the care of patients who can be fully rehabilitated, and the patient whose full rehabilitation is unlikely finds himself, at least in the best and most advanced centers of healing, a second-class patient faced with a reluctance on the part of both the visiting and the house staff to suggest and apply therapeutic procedures that are not likely to bring about immediately striking results in terms of recovery. I wish to emphasize that this point of view did not arise primarily within the medical profession, which has always been outstanding in a highly competitive economic society for giving freely and unstintingly of its time and efforts, but was imposed by the shortage of funds available, both private and public....''

If this was the case in 1949, before HMO cost-cutting had taken over and dramatically reduced facilities, and instituted cost incentives to reduce care, you can imagine what Dr. Alexander would say today.


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The preceding article is a rough version of the article that appeared in The American Almanac. It is made available here with the permission of The New Federalist Newspaper. Any use of, or quotations from, this article must attribute them to The New Federalist, and The American Almanac


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