by Ian Dowbiggin, The Prince Arthur Herald, 30 November 2015
Ian Dowbiggin teaches history at the University of Prince Edward Island, and is the author of A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America.
One thing is clear: if the euthanasia movement’s records have indeed been destroyed, a lot of history has vanished, Orwell-like, down a cavernous memory hole. And with it, information the right-to-die movement doesn’t want you to know.
I should know, because I saw these records and I know what was in them. I wrote up my findings in my 2003 book on the history of the movement, published by Oxford University Press.
Not only did these activists urge governments to permit voluntary mercy-killing and physician-assisted suicide, many also supported the involuntary mercy-killing of handicapped people. For example, despite his knowledge of widespread Nazi murder of people with disabilities, in 1943 the ESA’s president thought it was a good idea to legalize euthanasia in time for returning veterans who suffered from mental and physical wounds.
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