NBC chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman talked about the use of abortion to eliminate a child that might have a medical disorder. Snyderman defended her position on NBC Today—“Well, I’m pro-science, so I believe that this is a great way to prevent diseases.”
Snyderman’s position isn’t new.
Erik Larson, in his bestseller In the Garden of Beasts, wrote about a similar position, one that was actually enacted into law more than 79 years ago. Larson’s book is about William E. Dodd, U.S. ambassador to Germany during the first administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the early 1930s.
Larson detailed one memorandum Dodd sent to the administration:
“Another newly proposed law caught Dodd’s particular attention—a law ‘to permit killing incurables,’ as he described it in a memorandum to the State Department dated October 26, 1933. Seriously ill patients could ask to be euthanized, but if unable to make the request, their families could do so for them. This proposal, ‘together with legislation already enacted governing the sterilization of persons affected by hereditary imbecility and other similar defects, is in line with Hitler’s aim to raise the physical standard of the German people,’ Dodd wrote. ‘According to Nazi philosophy only Germans who are physically fit belong in the Third Reich, and they are the ones who are expected to raise large families.’” [pg. 164]
Larson covered the policy in a chapter that also examined “protection of the German Race from what is considered the disintegration caused by an intermixture of Jewish and colored blood.”
Larson’s book details a dark time in history, explaining events that led to the hybrid we call the Nazi Party, short for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. That time in history was a period when the U.S. attempted to deal diplomatically with a madman. The book will leave a thinking person deeply troubled at obvious parallels in global affairs today. Larson is that rare writer who can write nonfiction that makes you turn the page as though you’re reading a novel.
The Right Scoop has full details on Snyderman’s remarks.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/June 13, 2012)