Bio ethics books Disability Psychiatry

“The First into the Dark” and Covid-19

Michael Robertson, one of the authors of The First into the Dark, participated in a conversation with Lee-Ann Whitten, an Education Officer at the Sydney Jewish Museum on the book and its significance to present day.

Michael Robertson, one of the authors of The First into the Dark, participated in a conversation with Lee-Ann Whitten, an Education Officer at the Sydney Jewish Museum on the book and its significance to present day. In a wide ranging conversation, Michael and Lee discussed the use of a victim perspective in narrating the history of the Krankenmorde, the gendered violence of the medical and nursing professions who perpetrated the crime and; the motivations of the perpetrators. The conversation then shifted to a discussion of biopower/biopolitics – a key theme in the book – and how this related to the current climate in the time of COVID 19. Michael and Lee discussed in particular the disturbing parallels between the relative valuation of life in the Nazi period and the utilisation of economic justifications of life and death decisions made in present day aged care and disability care sectors.

The conversation was a fantastic opportunity to contextualise the book to our current times and re-visit the lessons learned, ignored and forgotten from the Krankenmorde.

To view the full conversation please click here.

To read online, or download an open access (free) version of The First Into the Dark, please click here.


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