The Doctors Trial considered the fate of twenty-three German physicians who either participated in the Nazi program to euthanize persons deemed "unworthy of life" (the mentally ill, mentally retarded, or physically disabled) or who conducted experiments on concentration camp prisoners without consent. The Doctors Trial lasted 140 days. Eighty-five witnesses testified and almost 1,500 documents were introduced. Sixteen of the doctors charged were found guilty. Seven were executed.
The Doctors Trial provides a significant and important example of human rights violations and serves as a lesson in law and bioethics vital to understanding how law evolved from an initial eugenics policy to and including the horrible examples that framed human atrocities during WW II.
This course will highlight examples from Jeanne Guillemin's "Hidden Atrocites, Japanese Germ Warfare and American Obstruction of Justice at the Tokyo Trial", Joel Dimsdale's "Anatomy of Malice" examining the psychological assessments necessary for the trials, and Vivien Spitz's "Doctors from Hell", delving deep into the actual court transcripts from the proceedings. Ben Ferenz's work, one of the actual prosecutors at the trials, will also be included as insight into this tragic period.