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critical theory, epistemology, euthanasia, feminist, Nazi, nursing history



  1. Benedict, Susan CRNA, DSN, FAAN
  2. Georges, Jane M. PhD, RN


From 1940 to 1945, Nazi Germany conducted a program of killing institutionalized psychiatric patients. Known as "euthanasia," this killing program included the administration of lethal doses of medication given largely by nurses. The purposes of this article are to (1) describe the historical context in which nurses' participation in the Nazi euthanasia program occurred; (2) present a recently unsealed narrative testimony of a nurse accused of active participation in the euthanasia program; and (3) analyze this account from a critical-feminist perspective, with a focus on its epistemological salience for contemporary nursing.