Psychiatric Genetics From Nazi Germany: What To Do With The Data?

In a guest editorial in the March issue of Molecular Psychiatry, Dr. Miron Baron, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, discusses the fact that in the 30's and 40's Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party generously funded psychiatric research in Germany aimed at identifying a genetic basis for mental illness. Such work was followed by the Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring, that led to sterilization or castration of the mentally ill.

Later the T-4 euthanasia program resulted in the extermination of the mentally ill. The Holocaust followed. Recent advances in genetics have led to a resurgence on psychiatric genetics research. Dr. Baron discusses the history of Nazi-funded genetics research and comments on whether investigators today should utilize some of the data generated by Nazi-funded research.

Full reference: Miron Baron. Psychiatric Genetics and Prejudice: Can the Science be Separated from the Scientist? Molecular Psychiatry 1998;3:96-100. This article is from the March 1988 issue of Molecular Psychiatry (http://www.stockton-press.co.uk/mp), an independent peer-reviewed journal published by Stockton Press/Macmillan Press.

Editor: Julio Licinio, MD - editorial assistant: Julie Vianello
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For information on the scientific aspects of the article please contact the author, Dr. Miron Baron, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, NYSPI - UNIT 58, 722 W 168 St, New York, NY 10032, USA, Phone: +1 212-543-563

Contact: Julie Vianello
Molecular Psychiatry

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