The website "Learning from History" is a publication platform
for educational projects (realized in schools
and in out-of-school, youth education)
dedicated to the history of Poland and its neighbors in the 20th century and human rights
The human rights of the disabled, the terminally ill and the dying, in the context of the Nazi „Euthanasia“ programme
Location / Region: Prague
Institution: René Milfait (ed.), Jabok, The College of Social Pedagogy and Theology
Patron / Project supervision: René Milfait (ed.)
Project authors: René Milfait (ed.), Daniel Bartoň, Konrad Hilpert, Soňa Matochová, Michal V. Šimůnek, Barbora Zelenková
Age group: Mixed group
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Contact:

René Milfait (ed.): rene.milfait@seznam.cz; +420 736 678 634.

On the photo is Zdeněk Susa (Editor) and Barbora Zelenková (author) while the presentation of the publication in a book shop.

Introductory remarks

The book represents one of the outcomes of an international project that analysed the injustice committed by the Nazi regime towards certain groups of vulnerable people, and explored how to carry such experience into human rights education today. The project fits into the wider context of the promotion of human rights in Central Europe through critical examination of history, under the auspices of German foundation „Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft“ (Remembrance, Responsibility and Future).

This collective work, edited by René Milfait, opens with a critical analysis of forced sterilisation and of the Nazi programme “Euthanasie” both in Germany and in the Czech lands. It does not stop at the injustice done in the first half of the 20th century, but follows the stories of the victims up to the present day. With this historical context in mind, the authors focus their reflections on medical ethics and the role they played in the atrocities committed during the 20th century.

While studying ethical challenges in medicine and biomedicine the authors turn to the role human rights and human dignity can play in preventing our societies from repeating such past failures. Far from a naïve optimism that human rights are the answer to every malaise, they analyse what impact human rights discourse can have on the rights of people with disabilities, the terminally ill and the dying. They showcase this in detailed discussions of the empowerment of people with disabilities in the area of sexuality, relationships and parenthood, of the dignified care of the terminally ill and the dying, as well as of ethics and human rights education.

The 424-page volume authored by 5 Czechs and a German will be a useful resource to both students and professionals in the fields of medicine, law, social work, pastoral care, theology and education. The publication of the book was generously supported by the foundation Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft and the Protestant Theological Faculty of Charles University in Prague.

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Didactic text

The project fits into the wider context of the promotion of human rights in Central Europe through critical examination of history, under the auspices of German foundation „Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft“ (Remembrance, Responsibility and Future). 

Methodologhy
Creating local historical references
Convey factual knowledge
Book edition
Subjects
"Euthanasia" program