Originally posted April 29, 2017
German medicine under Hitler resulted in so many horrors – eugenics, human experimentation, forced sterilization, involuntary euthanasia, mass murder – that there is a temptation to say that “Nazi doctors had no ethics”.
However, according to an article in the Annals of Internal Medicine by Florian Bruns and Tessa Chelouche (from Germany and Israel respectively), this was not the case at all. In fact, medical ethics was an important part of the medical curriculum between 1939 and 1945. Nazi officials established lectureships in every medical school in Germany for a subject called “Medical Law and Professional Studies” (MLPS).
There was no lack of ethics. It was just the wrong kind of ethics.
It is important to realize that ethical reasoning can be corrupted and that teaching ethics is, in itself, no guarantee of the moral integrity of physicians.
The article is here.