Sunday, April 14, 2013

The link between eugenics and euthanasia

Eugenics, in psychology, is an attempt to create the perfect human race. In this article, it talks about scenarios in history that describe specific situations in which eugenics and euthanasia are almost directly related. The article focuses more on the holocaust, and how the Nazis had done both. There's a difference between involuntary and voluntary euthanasia, both of which cause moral and cultural issues, but the Nazi's had practiced involuntary. "it is the ending of the life of someone who does not want their life ended. Involuntary euthanasia in the service of a policy of racial purity by those who take themselves to be racially superior is perhaps even worse. But other than the use of the word "euthanasia" there is little in common between the Nazi practice of euthanasia and the kind of euthanasia envisaged by those who defend the legislation of that practice today." It is believed that this example is directly related because of the reasoning behind the holocaust. This "mass murder" form of eugenics is morally wrong and unethical. For the Nazis, both practices were a means to a specific end, the end of racial purity, the end of a particular "desirable" state of human kind in which society rids itself of "undesirable" people and then breed "better "peoples. The two practices of eugenics and euthanasia, practiced by the Nazis, were two distinct means to the same end. The article states that. "Also, some of the involuntary euthanasia practices of the Nazis were also practices of eugenics. Since some of the many people that the Nazis murdered under the guise of euthanasia were children and young adults, and since these young people were thereby prevented from having children and passing on their genes, the mass murder of those persons was a form of eugenics." Many of the practices we do today, involve the practice of eugenics. Things such as the termination  pregnancies, fertility treatments, contraception, genetic screening, etc. are all available as a choice to people, and which also affect the genetic composition of the population. This argument of whether eugenics is a bad thing, is directly related to euthanasia, in the sense that it could potentially mean created ideal society, whether it be intentional or unintentional.

No comments: