This disturbing and explosive comment was left by reader Stephen Mendelson to the post immediately below this one:
I recognize this is a dangerous topic to talk about, but it needs to be raised. According to the Rambam, is Michael Schiavo a rodef (pursuer) for trying to murder his wife by slow starvation? And what about Judge Greer and all the others who have ordered this cruel form of an execution of an innocent person to tale place simply because she has a severe disability? Are they any different, except perhaps in scale, from Nazi eugenicists?
Let us remember what happened in Nazi Germany. The first victims of the Shoah were people with disabilities (and those with psychiatric labels). The first book calling for the mass extermination of an entire class of people in Germany was written by a psychiatrist Alfred Hoche, and a lawyer, Karl Binding in 1920, well before Hitler y"sh had been heard from (Die Freigabe der Vernichtung Lebensunwerten Lebens). The mass murder of people with disabilities, mainly by German and French psychiatrists and pediatricians, received much support in the United States. In 1941, Dr. Foster Kennedy delivered an address to the American Psychiatric Association calling for the gassing of all "incurably ill" five-year-old "retarded" children, whom he called "imbeciles" and "idiots," as well as "Nature's mistake." The APA, in an unsigned editorial in the July 1942 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, supported Dr. Kennedy's position (against that of Dr. Leo Kanner, who supported selective sterilization instead and pointed out what was going in in Nazi Germany at the time) and also advicated a psychiatric campaign to alleviate parental guilt at the murder of theoir loved ones. The APA considered the desire of parents to care for their severly disabled child itself a "mental illness" and a fit object for psychiatric concern.
Jews did not speak out against the eugenics and "euthanasia" of the last century and that lead to the death of the six million kedoshim. Will we continue to stand by idly as the Michael Schiavos, Peter Singers and Jack Kevorkians of the world seek to bring back the ideology that so influenced Hitler?
I am not sure what Michael Schiavo is, but one thing is clear – Jewish leadership has failed again. From YU Rabbi J. David Bleich's "meals on wheels" comment to Agudath Israel's very brief non-statement, we have again been let down by those who claim to lead us.