Self Reflection

Watch the video belowtitled,

Caring Corrupted: The Killing Nurses of the Third Reich (in youtube)

Play Video

and then reecton 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 reective

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 reection activity

important? Think about your own vulnerability to outside pressures and

inuences—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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