Physicians and torture: Lessons from Nazi doctors

How is such a thing possible? What are the personal, professional and political contexts and the psychological characteristics that allow doctors to use their skills to torture and kill rather than heal? This paper examines case studies from Nazi Germany in an attempt to answer these questions.

About the authors

Michael A. Grodin

MD, is Professor, Department of Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights, Boston University School of Public Health, and Professor, Boston University School of Medicine. He is co-founder of Global Lawyers and Physicians and co-director of the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights.

George J. Annas

JD, MPH, is Edward R. Utley Professor and Chair, Department of Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights, Boston University School of Public Health, and Professor, Boston University School of Medicine, and School of Law. He is co-founder of Global Lawyers and Physicians and a member of the Committee on Human Rights of the National Academies of Science.