I think that in many cases, people who may have “good” intentions initially can end up causing great harm to a lot of people at least partly due to societal norms and influences of the times. For example, with the Nazi doctors’ experiments, in their minds they may think that they were actually doing something good for their nation’s soldiers’ survival. This may have justified to them the merits of conducting all the inhumane and awful experiments. Also, with the compulsory sterilization in Canada, they justified their actions by citing the possibility of “improving” their nation’s gene pool. In any case, I believe that these people’s actions could have at least been partly influenced by societal beliefs of the times.
As someone who hopes to one day become a healthcare provider and interact with patients on a daily basis, I will make sure that I look at each patient as an individual. I think that in many instances it becomes easy for doctors to consider each patient as simply another case instead of a person. This then could make it easier for them to then disregard ethical concerns in treating patients. It is extremely important for us to discuss the issue of ethics and morality, but also to learn about instances in history where healthcare providers and governments have failed to uphold these standards. We must learn about what is right, but also about what happens when things go wrong. We must learn from our mistakes in order for progress to happen.