Marc S. Micozzi gave this chilling warning in his 1993 article “National Healthcare: Medicine in Germany, 1918–1945”:
“We now know the end of this historical horror story of massive crimes against humanity and the leader of the thousand-year reich burning in a bunker in Berlin. But it is not so easy to recognize the steps on the path down the slippery slope when we don’t yet know the end of the story—as today we do not know which social health reforms in combination with which new medical technologies have the potential to plunge modern society over a brink in which disaster might result. Is legalized abortion a new form of medicide? Is doctor-assisted suicide a step toward positive euthanasia? Is modern genetic testing and the Human Genome Project the first step to a new eugenics? Is health-care rationing, which is always a result of government involvement in medical care, a step toward the new definition of ‘life unworthy of living’? Is our present ‘quality of life index’ a new way of saying it?
“Nazi medicine was implemented by a political-medical complex—on the basis of political health care—a scientific and social philosophy imposed by a totalitarian regime. It should never happen again, but could it ever happen again?”
Recent events may bring us closer to the frightening answer.