When caring turned to killing
An Australian academic is at the forefront of groundbreaking research piecing together the role of nurses in the Third Reich. Linda Belardi reports.
Curtin University's Professor Linda Shields is concerned that the role of nurses in the Nazi era has been airbrushed from history and with it the lessons to be learnt from the past. "There has been a great deal of scholarship on the role of doctors and what they did in Nazi-occupied Europe, what has been neglected or overlooked is the role of nurses," Shields says. "And yet most of the killings that we are looking at occurred in hospitals where nurses made up the bulk of the workforce. Nurses were very much involved in the killings and the camp experiments," she says. Indeed, survivor...
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
What an interesting piece of research! I, for one, was unaware of the extent of the atrocities that were carried out in the name of "acts of mercy". As a mental health nurse I found it very interesting to read of the euthanasia killings carried out on the so called "useless feeders". Unfortunately stigma against the person with a disability or mental illness for example, is still alive and well. We need research such as this to remind us that we are not so far removed from the ideas of the Hitler regime. May we never see this form of atrocity again!
Wednesday, 4 April 2012
I have never considered the role of nurses in this light. Other texts I have read have presented the hardships of nursing during conflict. Much has been made of the conditions in which nurses worked and the "angel" perception of care provision. This article provides a timely reminder that it is important not to get lost in a somewhat "heroic" portrayal of nurses during these times. As a teacher of nurses, I take students on a thought provoking journey into ethics and ethical decision making. After reading this article, I can see that I will have an entirely different view point to include in discussions. Thank you for this important research.
Saturday, 14 April 2012
Brilliant article. Thank you. Yes, its essential that we learn from the examples given in the article, to be non-passive regarding our need to critically review our caring, professional and ethical Nursing boundaries that are safely on the side of the 'do no harm' spectrum to all in our care. I will certainly be citing this article in my Nursing education and advocacy work. I also appreciate to now having Maria Stromberger as an example of a positive role model. I hope to give her some more of the well overdue attention which she deserves!
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
A chilling article - I will be on the lookout for the book later this year. As mother of a child with a disability, this struck close to home. As a nurse, it reminds me to be accountable for my own opinions and actions surrounding any form of killing, particularly euthanasia. The story of Maria Stromberger is an inspiration and deserves to be widely acknowledged. Thank you for publishing this valuable article.
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