Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 2
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Balfe, Myles 2016. Why Did U.S. Healthcare Professionals Become Involved in Torture During the War on Terror?. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry,

    Siddiqui, Norain A. Civaner, Murat and Elci, Omur Cinar 2013. Physician Involvement in Torture: An Ethical Perspective. Journal of Medical Humanities, Vol. 34, Issue. 1, p. 59.


Physicians and torture: lessons from the Nazi doctors


How is it possible? What are the personal, professional and political contexts that allow physicians to use their skills to torture and kill rather than heal? What are the psychological characteristics and the social, cultural and political factors that predispose physicians to participate in human rights abuses? What can be done to recognize at-risk situations and attempt to provide corrective or preventive strategies? This article examines case studies from Nazi Germany in an attempt to answer these questions. Subjects discussed include the psychology of the individual perpetrator, dehumanization, numbing, splitting, omnipotence, medicalization, group dynamics, obedience to authority, diffusion of responsibility, theories of aggression, training, cultural and social contexts, accountability and prevention.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Review of the Red Cross
  • ISSN: 1816-3831
  • EISSN: 1607-5889
  • URL: /core/journals/international-review-of-the-red-cross
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *