PEOPLE who would sterilise the mentally handicapped are heading down the Nazi road which the BMA have been frequently close to on these matters.
It all began with what at first sight appeared to be a perfectly harmless letter of Adolf Hitler of September 1 1939.
All it said was, "Reichleader Bouhler and Dr Med Brandt are responsibly commissioned to extend the authority of physicians, to be designated by name, so that a mercy death may be granted to patients who according to human judgement are incurably ill according to the most critical evaluation of the state of their disease. (Signed) Adolf Hitler."
This unleashed the killing of one million people in an euthanasia programme which included 300,000 mentally handicapped victims. In one Bavarian mental institution, for example, there were, after the war, only 200 survivors out of 2,500.
The result of the Nazi "health" programme is that there are practically no mature mentally retarded adults left in Germany today.
Of course, the simple letter of Hitler also led to the extermination of from 7 to 9 million Jews and Christians in concentration camps.
Families of victims of the extermination of the mentally handicapped were informed that their loved ones had died of "pneumonia". It was all neat and economical, as in most cases a simple injection into the bloodstream of poison or air, or a lethal dose of drugs, or starvation, or the withholding of medical care sufficed.
Call Fr Paris
IF you have an interest in the work for Handicapped people, the Diocese of Westminster have a superbly run Pastoral Office for Handicapped People at St Joseph's Centre, The Burroughs, Hendon, London NW4 Telephone 01-202 3999 Fr Anthony Paris is the priest in charge.