In addition to killing millions via gas chambers, starvation and forced labor in concentration camps during the Holocaust, the Nazi regime also propagated the lesser-known but equally horrifying practice of mercy deaths: the systematic killing of people with cognitive and developmental disabilities, usually in the context of medical care. In the special exhibit How Healing Becomes Killing: Eugenics, Euthanasia and Extermination, the Holocaust Museum Houston explores how corrupted medical ethics during the Holocaust led to an additional 200,000 deaths. Historical records and photos show how scientists, doctors and government officials colluded to rid the population of defective individuals, and they explore the convoluted rationale that made these killings accepted. The exhibit and its accompanying lecture series also demonstrate how these ethical concerns echo in modern-day topics such as assisted suicide, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and euthanasia.
Sept. 20-Feb. 3, 2007