The Holocaust hastouched every part of human life even to this day. One man’s ideology ofcreating a perfect race created the deliberate mass murder of millions ofinnocent civilians. Adolf Hitler, with his ideas of a pure breed or “masterrace” of people, prompted the death of a whole generation of people (AmericanMedical Association). His method to create this pure race was to wipe offJewish people from the face of the earth. Along with anyone who was unusual,people with disabilities, dark-skinned and or anyone who did not believe theway he did.
These strange ideologies gave humans the power to play God,originating from the government leaders down to the very professionals whoswore an oath to do no harm. The worst crimesagainst humanity were performed within the four walls of concentration camps.Josef Mengele, known as the “Angel of Death” was one of theseprofessionals. Physicians like himcarried out unethical medical experiments on thousands of prisoners held in theconcentration camps without their consent.
Unspeakable acts were done in thename of science. The physicians who swore an oath to preserve and heal humanitysucceeded in committing deliberate harm. Prejudice and intolerance ran throughthe veins of these people, whose only job was to provide equal and just care toanyone in need. The Nuremberg Trials brought these so-calledprofessionals to justice.
They were charged on the basis of the HippocraticOath that “the physician will use treatment to help the sick according tohis ability and judgment, but never with the view to injury andwrongdoing” (Shuster, 1998). The Nazi regime gave power to thesephysicians to do whatever was right in the name of science. Without any regardto the ethical standards that they swore to protect. Prejudice against theJewish people spurred the heinous research studies by the taking of innocentlives.
Solely to promote the posterity of the master race, which Hitler desiredthose without blemish or illnesses. TheNuremberg code was established after the convictions of the Nazi physicians.This code created a new ethical milestone stating, “physicians will notuse their medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, evenunder threat” (Imran, 2013). The HippocraticOath was modified as stated above by the World Medical Association to educatehealthcare professionals in medical ethics. As medical professionals, we are held to a higher standard of personaland professional values.
We areobligated to understand the ethical and legal aspects of medicine, which isvery important for comprehensive health-care as a whole (Imran, 2013). Patientsentrust their lives into our hands, we should be competent enough to care forthem. History cannot be repeated again in the name of science. We took an oath,after all, to do no harm despite race, color or creed.