Lives that are not worthy of being lived between past and present: italians facing ethical dilemmas


  • Isabella Merzagora
  • Enrico Finzi
  • Antonella Piga
  • Palmina Caruso
  • Umberto Genovese
  • Guido Travaini


Not only in Germany during the Nazi era, but in a lot of other countries, some doctors took part in the most atrocious violation
of human rights. In this article, the Authors try to define some theoretical frameworks able to explain these behaviors, for example
referring to the theory of “perverted idelism”. Then, the Authors submitted to a representative sample of Italian population,
a questionnaire about health-related ethical dilemmas. The items were related – in a less direct way – to the disabled people
holocaust that happened during the Nazi era. The subject is of particular importance nowadays, since it is related to socially
shared themes such as healthcare and the rights to life and medical treatments, often found in electoral programs and political
debates. We find the results that have come to light reassuring, in terms of respect for life and human rights. On the other hand,
certain answers seem to be – even with smaller percentages – worrying and worthy of a qualitative deepening.