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  Book Review: Euthanasia — Symptom of our Century
  

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By: Christian Wessling, M.D.
Euthanasie - ein Symptom unseres Jahrhunderts (Euthanasia — Symptom of our Century) by Armin J. Husemarm, MD, Verlag Freies Geis-tesleben, Stuttgart, 1966 (55 pp.)

That the atrocities of Nazism root in the spirit-denying, scientific paradigms of our time is not a novel idea among some modern thinkers, of whom Viennese psychiatrist and concentration camp survivor, Viktor Franki, may be the most prominent. What is not clearly seen by most, however, is that the whole spook did not end in 1945, but those very concepts and premises that laid the groundwork for the destruction of millions of human beings are alive and well and may be gaining ground in modem mainstream scientific thought.

Husemann's booklet, unfortunately not yet translated into English, attempts to penetrate these issues from an anthroposophical perspective, using the re-emergency of public interest in "mercy killings" of life deemed "unworthy" as a particularly striking case-in-point. With sharply chiseled Germanic phrases (which, no doubt, will prove challenging to translate), Husemann points out how onesided interpretations of the works of Haeckel and Darwin have influenced later thinkers such as Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler and B.F. Skinner as well as modem proponents of euthanasia such as ethicist, Peter Singer. "What emerge as pro-euthanasia propaganda throughout the world today are the matastases of deeply-diseased thinking." On the other hand, a thinking that includes "results of observation of soul and spirit according to the natural-scientific method", as outlined in Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy of Freedom, could provide much-needed clarity, as could an expanding grasp of the concept of reincarnation.

Dr. Husemann's ideas are well-researched, thoughtfully and provocatively presented. As health professionals, we will benefit from thinking them through, whether we agree with him or not.






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