Skip to main contentU.S. National Library of MedicineU.S. National Library of Medicine

Profiles in Science
Pinterest badge Follow Profiles in Science on Pinterest!

The C. Everett Koop Papers

Letter from C. Everett Koop to Carl Levin, United States Senate pdf (115,463 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from C. Everett Koop to Carl Levin, United States Senate
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (115,463 Bytes)
1981-11-05 (November 5, 1981)
Koop, C. Everett
Levin, Carl
United States Senate
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Exhibit Category:
Congenital Birth Defects and the Medical Rights of Children: The "Baby Doe" Controversy
Metadata Record Letter from Carl Levin, United States Senate to C. Everett Koop (November 2, 1981) pdf (84,635 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Metadata Record Letter from Carl Levin, United States Senate to C. Everett Koop (November 9, 1981) pdf (54,339 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Box Number: 7
Folder Number: 2
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Sequential Files
SubSeries: September 1981
Folder: Confirmation as Surgeon General: Background information, 1981 Sep
November 5, 1981
Dear Senator Levin:
I have been traveling on official business and, hence, did not see your letter of November 2 until I arrived back in Washington on the morning of November 5. I called your office in order to answer as promptly as possible your urgent request concerning statements I had made at a meeting of the Medical Society of New Jersey.
The statement you quoted in your letter is very easily documented. Such documentation should first go back to 1920 when Karl Binding and Alfred Hoche wrote a book entitled, The Release of the Destruction of Life Devoid of Value. This was the "Bible" for the euthanasia movement and, as you can see by the date, preceded anything to do with the Nazis.
A book published shortly after World War II by Wertham entitled, The Sign of Cain, further documents what I had to say about the involvement of the medical profession in developing euthanasia. Wertham makes it clear that after the medical consent was obtained, the Supreme Court of Germany had to legalize euthanasia in order that the programmatic destruction of certain classes of people could be carried out.
Another book which is vital to the continuation of this story is one by Richard L. Rubinstein, published by Harper and Row in 1975 entitled, The Cunning of History -- Mass Death and the American Future.
Finally, Leo Alexander, a marvelous gentleman and a competent psychiatrist still living in the Boston suburbs, was the representative of the United States Army and the American Psychiatric Association at the Nuremburg trials. Because Dr. Alexander was Austrian, he could speak with all of the war criminals in their native tongue, and his 40 or so volumes of testimony are now the property of the Tufts Medical School Library in Boston. His paper entitled, "Medical Science Under Dictatorship," published in the New England Journal of Medicine on July 14, 1949 is a classic in its field and depicts the entire course of events as I outlined in the paragraph you quoted.
I trust this information is convincing enough to you to believe that I was not speaking without firm understanding of the historical importance of a planned system of medical euthanasia, first aimed at the senile, the infirm, the insane, and the retarded, which eventually escaped those bounds and became what we think of as the Holocaust.
I would be more than pleased to discuss this with you at any time that you see fit.
Sincerely yours,
C. Everett Koop, M.D.
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health
Metadata Last Modified Date:
Linked Data:
RDF/XML     JSON     JSON-LD     N3/Turtle     N-Triples