Vocabulary

Euthanasia

The deliberate killing of someone by action or omission, with or without that person’s consent, for what are claimed to be compassionate reasons.

Eugenics

The practice or advocacy of controlled selective breeding of human populations (as by sterilization) to improve the population’s genetic composition by increasing the occurrence of  “desirable” heritable traits or decreasing the occurrence of “undesirable” heritable traits.

“Nazi” Eugenics

The practice or advocacy of controlled selective breeding of human populations (as by sterilization) to “improve” the population’s genetic composition by increasing the occurrence of  “desirable” heritable traits or decreasing the occurrence of “undesirable” heritable traits.

Lebensunwertes Leben

(Literal translation from the German: ‘lives unworthy of life’.) A Nazi designation for the segments of the populace which, according to the Nazi regime of the time, had no right to live. The expression first appeared in print via the title of a 1920 book, Die Freigabe der Vernichtung Lebensunwerten Lebens (Allowing the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Life) by two professors, the jurist Karl Binding (retired from the University of Leipzig) and psychiatrist Alfred Hoche from the University of Freiburg.

Genetic Engineering

The artificial manipulation, modification and recombination of DNA or other nucleic acid molecules in order to modify an organism or population of organisms ostensibly for the better.

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