|Opis:||The word euthanasia (euthanatos) is of Greek origin and means a good or mild death; its meaning has not changed much nowadays. From one point of view, it refers to a death without suffering, and from another point of view, it refers to the very measures leading to such a death. Based on these measures, euthanasia is either active or passive. Euthanasia can also be divided into three types based on the patient’s expressed will – it can be voluntary, non-voluntary and involuntary. An example of involuntary euthanasia is the »Nazi euthanasia« which was established in as early as 1939 with the Nazis coming to power. First, the sterilization law was passed which was later on expanded with provisions on forced abortions to prevent genetically defective people from having offspring. They went on to euthanize mutilated and mentally-disabled new-borns in various child-care facilities. The age limit was later on raised to children up to 16 years old. This was all merely a preliminary stage of the adult euthanasia or the so-called Action T4, which took place in the utmost secrecy and claimed the lives of approximately 70,000 people by the time it was stopped in September 1941. Despite the halt of the adult euthanasia, it secretly continued in medical institutions until the end of the war.
The »Nazi euthanasia« developed within the Nazi ideology that was modelled on the eugenics of the 19th and 20th century. The positive aspect of eugenics was its aim to physically and mentally improve the offspring. Its negative aspect, however, was the deliberate destruction of offspring for a variety of reasons, including racist ones. This means that the Nazi euthanasia can be interpreted in two aspects; the aspect of euthanasia and the aspect of eugenics. Hence, the »Nazi euthanasia« as a negative eugenics measure.
Apart from strong propaganda, the legal and political system all helped to implement the »Nazi euthanasia«. On the one side, a totalitarian dictatorship with its violence, propaganda and a one-party system. On the other side, the legal system, serving only to implement the Nazi ideology, subordinated the role of human rights, severely limited them and, in far too many cases, took them away. The legal order with the cruellest, most unjust and immoral laws, which could be unconstitutional based on the law of »special powers«.|