Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Bad doc, good doc

In the past 3 weeks, two very important, prominent doctors have passed away. Dr. Heinrich Gross was 90 upon his death, and Dr. Charles W. Socarides was 83. They were contemporaries of each other, but with radically different agendas.

Dr. Heinrich Gross was a doctor who helped facilitate hundreds of thousands of euthanasia deaths in Europe around the time of World War II. Earlier this month, when his death was announced, and the original obituary claimed that there were around 75,000 deaths from euthanasia at that time. When I read it, I knew that was either a factual error or an intentional underestimation of the facts. There were far more cases of euthanasia by these doctors. A presentation called "Useless Eaters" (which by the way is a wonderful educational tool on the history of euthanasia) prepared by Dr. Mark Mostert of Regent University suggests at least twice that many based on his extensive research. When the correction to the article was posted last week, I was quite relieved. The correction retracted the earlier number and suggested a more likely number of 250,000 deaths. Dr. Gross was tried at Nuremburg for his participation in these crimes, but later in life his attitudes and actions suggested that he may have had a change of heart.

On the opposite end of the morality spectrum is Dr. Charles Socarides, who also died in December. Dr. Socarides was a leading psychoanalyst determined that homosexuality is not inherent to a person's life and held his opinion "long after it was considered scientifically acceptable to do." The truth is, however, that Dr. Socarides is right, and it should always be scientifically accepted to promote human truths. Dr. Socarides is a great hero who has left many books and extensive research on the hope and healing available to those suffering from sexual trauma and homosexuality.

Recommended reading:
On the history of the modern euthanasia movement: Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: Past and Present by Dr. J.C. Willke. ISBN: 910728-22-4
On the psychology of homosexuality: Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth by Jeffrey Satinover. ISBN: 0080105625X

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