The Doctors of the Holocaust

Reflections and Ethical Implications

  • Ross F. Lordo University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville


Upon the completion of medical education, every physician takes the Hippocratic oath to “do no harm.” Three words that each young doctor recites that aligns them with a life of healing, care, and compassion. The atrocities of medical experimentation during the Third Reich that resulted in over six million Jewish deaths demonstrates that physicians and human beings have the capability to do evil while claiming to do good. Therefore, this paper attempts to reflect on the historical lessons and implications that these actions have on the future of medicine.