Statement of APA President on Shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue


From the American Psychological Association: “‘Hate crimes are the most extreme expression of prejudice. Compared to other crimes, hate crimes have a more destructive impact on victims and communities because they target core aspects of our identity as human beings.

‘People victimized by violent hate crimes are likely to experience more intense psychological distress than victims of other violent crimes. These can take the form of post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety and anger.

‘Hate crimes also send the message to members of the victim’s group that they are unwelcome in the community, decreasing feelings of safety and security. Furthermore, witnessing discrimination against one’s own group can lead to psychological distress and lower self-esteem.'”

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  1. During the Nazi era, for the first time in history, psychiatrists sought to systematically exterminate their patients. It has been acknowledged that the medical profession was profoundly involved in crimes against humanity during this period, with various publications describing this malevolent period of medical history. It is less known, however, that psychiatrists were among the worst transgressors. At each stage of the descent of the profession into the depths of criminal and genocidal clinical practice lay a series of unethical decisions and immoral professional judgments. Furthermore, very little has been published on lessons that may be learned from this dark period in the history of psychiatry and on ethical principles that may be extrapolated for the future practice of clinical and research psychiatry and for inclusion in educational programs. This paper reviews the role of psychiatrists in the Nazi era and analyzes the underlying misconceptions that led to the aberrant behavior. Finally, some recommendations for inclusion of the study of this period in ethics training are presented …

    The professional status of psychiatrists did not place any obstacle to their participation in Nazi crimes, and many demonstrated a profound commitment to the atrocities. Psychiatrists were instrumental in instituting a system of identifying, notifying, transporting, and killing hundreds of thousands of mentally ill and “racially and cognitively compromised” individuals in settings ranging from centralized psychiatric hospitals to prisons and death camps. Their role was central and critical to the success of Nazi policy, plans, and principles. …

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  2. Yeah, fuck this shit. Some “psychologists” are just as complicit as psychiatrists, and have no compunctions about overseeing torture, for example.

    Though for its own good I recommend that the psychological “APA” change its name lest it be confused with its evil twin.

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