John W. Thompson

Psychiatrist in the Shadow of the Holocaust

Paul J. Weindling, Paul Weindling

Biography of a World War II-era physician whose work was a response to the suffering of Holocaust victims, and whose investigations laid the groundwork for the Nuremberg Medical Trials.
Date Published :
April 2013
Publisher :
Boydell and Brewer
Series :
Rochester Studies in Medical History
Illustration :
9 b/w. 1 line.
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781580464604
Pages : 456
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available
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$39.95

Overview
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John W. Thompson: Psychiatrist in the Shadow of the Holocaust is the biography of a doctor whose revulsion at Nazi human experiments prompted him to seek a humane basis for physician-patient relations. As a military scientific intelligence officer in 1945, Thompson was the first to name "medical war crimes" as a special category for prosecution. His investigations laid the groundwork for the Nuremberg medical trials and for the novel idea of "informed consent." Yet, Thompson has remained a little-known figure, despite his many scientific, literary, and religious connections.
This book traces Thompson's life from his birth in Mexico, through his studies at Stanford, Edinburgh, and Harvard, and his service in the Canadian Air Force. It reconstructs his therapeutic work with Unesco in Germany and his time as a Civil Rights activist in New York, where he developed his concept of holistic medicine.
Thompson was close to authors like Auden and Spender and inspirational religious figures like Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche. He drew on ideas of Freud, Jung, and Buber. The philosophical and religious dimensions of Thompson's response to Holocaust victims' suffering are key to this study, which cites accounts of psychiatrists, students and patients who knew Thompson personally, war crimes prosecution records, and unpublished personal papers.

Paul Weindling is Wellcome Trust Research Professor at the Centre for Health, Medicine and Society: Past and Present, Oxford Brookes University, UK.

About The Author
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Paul Weindling is Wellcome Trust Research professor in the History of Medicine, Department of History, Oxford Brookes University.

Paul Weindling is Wellcome Trust Research professor in the History of Medicine, Department of History, Oxford Brookes University.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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"Ecce Homo"
Mexican Childhood
Palo Alto Schooling, Stanford Student
Transatlantic Physiologist
Edinburgh Physician
Excitable Harvard
High Altitude and Rapid Descent
Auden, Anxiety, and the German Mind
Belsen, "My Crucifix"
Medical War Crimes Revelations
Experimental Ethics
Therapist for the German Patient
UNESCO: At the Conscience of the World
The Eau Vive Affair
Sebastian
Matthias
Child Guide
New York: "St. John the Psychiatrist"
Hallucinations
"Dying We Live"
John Thompson's Writings: Published, Unpublished, and Lost
Archives and Selected Bibliography
Notes
Index

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