Posted: June 13th, 2021
Watch the video belowtitled,
Caring Corrupted: The Killing Nurses of the Third Reich (in youtube)
and then reecton the following prompt:
This video conjures many emotions, both as a nurse and a moral human being.
Most of us entered/will enter the profession of nursing in response to a calling to
care for our fellow human beings. For many of us, we believe with an urgent
commitment that nursing is who we are, not simply what we do. We are guided by
a moral compass that sets our life course based on knowing right from wrong,
good from evil.
While it is impossible for us to understand how the nurses in the concentration
camps could be complicit in their role as ‘doers’ of euthanasia, it is curious how
many of them came to believe that killing was a legitimate part of their caring
role. These thoughts beg many questions, the answers for which will be reective
of your own beliefs and values system. Answer the following in your Forum post:
Do you think these nurses were complicit from the beginning, or did they slowly
become involved over time until it became easier to cross the line? Once they did
cross the line, how might a sense of power have overtaken their moral judgment?
Perhaps they were indoctrinated to believe that the health of the public at large
was more important than the health of the individual; yet how could they justify
their actions to exploit the few for the bene0t of the many? Were they simply
following orders? Were they motivated by the thought of losing their job, or
maybe even their life, if they refused? Could they have truly believed that they
were simply relieving these children of their su1ering and in so doing were being
merciful in their actions?
In the context of your own nursing practice, why is this reection activity
important? Think about your own vulnerability to outside pressures and
inuences—would you speak up today if your moral position was threatened? Why
or why not? Consider this from a position of power that you may or may not have.
In today’s challenging healthcare environment, why is it important that we not
only understand our moral position but that we also monitor our own response
and the response of others?
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