Bioethics has been significantly influenced by health professionals’ involvement in atrocities of the Holocaust. From abortion to xeno-transplantation, deliberation on almost every ethics topic in health care today has been influenced by Nazi medical crimes. These topics include genetics, informed consent, public health, military and civilian health policy and practice, death and dying, human subjects research and refugee care.

Ethics in Health Care

Explore the AMA Journal of Ethics for articles, podcasts and polls that focus on ethical issues that affect physicans, physicians-in-training and their patients.

The January issue of AMA Journal of Ethics® (@JournalofEthics) is devoted to orienting and reorienting contemporary bioethics to legacies of the tragic history of the Holocaust.

Articles include:

  1. How Should Clinicians’ Involvement in the Holocaust Inform Contemporary Responsibilities to Protect Public Safety?” 

    1. Perils of physicians intentionally harming individuals in errant attempts to strengthen a community have been illuminated by the Holocaust.
  2. How Should History of Physician Involvement in the Holocaust Inform How Physicians Approach Employers?” 

    1. When responding to an ad for a job caring for patient-detainees along the US southern border, applicants should anticipate the need to navigate dual loyalties.
  3. How Should a Physician Respond to Discovering Her Patient Has Been Forcibly Sterilized?” 

    1.  Forced sterilization requires many clinicians’ complicity.
  4. Teaching Health Professions Students About the Holocaust.” 

    1. One health professions school views the Holocaust as fundamental content knowledge in modern health care ethics, but teaching it is difficult.

In the journal’s January podcast, Matthew K. Wynia, MD, MPH, discusses the importance and challenges of teaching Holocaust history to health professions students. Dr. Wynia is a professor of medicine and public health at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He is also the director of the University of Colorado’s Center for Bioethics and Humanities located on the Anschutz Medical Campus.

Related Coverage

Horrific COVID-19 surge demands readiness on crisis standards of care

Listen to previous episodes of the podcast, “Ethics Talk,” or subscribe in iTunes or other services.

These AMA Journal of Ethics CME modules are each designated by the AMA for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™:

Additionally, the CME module, “Ethics Talk: Teaching the Holocaust,” is designated by the AMA for a maximum of 0.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

The offering is part of the AMA Ed Hub™, an online learning platform that brings together high-quality CME, maintenance of certification, and educational content—in one place—with relevant learning activities, automated credit tracking and reporting for some states and specialty boards.

Related Coverage

7 ways to cope with moral distress during COVID-19

The journal’s editorial focus is on commentaries and articles that offer practical advice and insights for medical students and physicians. Submit a manuscript for publication. The journal also invites original photographs, graphics, cartoons, drawings and paintings that explore the ethical dimensions of health or health care.

Upcoming issues of the AMA Journal of Ethics will focus on Racial and Ethnic Health Equity in the U.S. Sign up to receive email alerts when new issues are published.

Featured Stories