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עמוד בית
Fri, 31.05.24

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March 2007
T. Chelouche

This paper does not attempt to deal with the legitimate ethical or moral debate on abortion. Utilizing abortion as a subject I will show how science and medicine in general, and abortion in particular, were used as weapons of mass destruction by Nazi physicians in their zeal to comply with the political climate of the time. Nazi policy on abortion and childbirth was just one of the methods devised and designed to ensure the extermination of those whom the Nazis deemed had "lives not worth living." Physicians implemented these policies, not with the fate of their patients in mind, but rather in the name of the "state." When discussing pregnancy, abortion and childbirth during the Holocaust it is imperative to include an essay of how these issues affected the Jewish prisoner doctors in the ghettos and camps. Nazi policy dictated their actions too. From an extensive search of their testimonies, I conclude that for these doctors ethical discourse comprised a fundamental component of their functioning. I do not propose to judge them in any way and one should not, in my opinion, argue whether their behavior was or was not morally acceptable under such duress; nevertheless, unlike their Nazi counterparts, a key theme in their testimonies was to "keep their medical values."


February 2003
M. Klein

Birth helpers touch the parturient woman in many ways. They make physical contact to diagnose difficulties and manipulate safe delivery.

They may also touch the woman in non-physical ways, with special words, as they help a woman to give birth. Some hope also for a divine touch, as Jewish tradition teaches that God is a partner in the birth process.

This paper takes a historical look at the different forms of touch used by birth attendants to ease the safe arrival of a healthy infant.

We hope that this short retrospective will encourage today's birth helpers, especially doctors and midwives, to notice how they themselves touch birthing women. We hope to promote awareness of the verbal and non-verbal language of touch and to encourage the use of the art of touch among medical staff who are now more skilled than ever before in applying scientific touch to patients.

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