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The nazi scientific experiments - Unethical experiments?

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  1. The Nazi's experiments
    1. Improving survival rates for the German military personnel
    2. Developing and testing pharmaceuticals for injury and illness treatment
    3. Advancing Nazi racial ideology
  2. Is it ethical to use such data?

During World War II, the Nazis were responsible for some of the worst crimes that humanity has ever witnessed. Their actions were so horrendous that this period was called the Holocaust, or the "killing of the whole". The Nazis not only killed millions of innocent Jews with abandon, but they likewise tortured thousands of Jews, and other victims, to attain medical research that would benefit them and their cause. The ethical and moral ramifications of the use of Nazi experimental data make it necessary to take a strong stand against the use of such information. Any useful data that was obtained by the Nazis through unethical means should not be used in current research as it would set a dangerous precedent for future collection of data.

[...] We ?need to keep the past alive, especially in the face of strong forces of forgetfulness, revisionist history, or repression? (Mostow, 1993), and a memorial will do just that. Not using Nazi data would create a memorial more physical than thousands of tons of marble can with more profoundness than architecture can capture. Of course every memorial does have its costs; both physical and otherwise. By foregoing the limited scientific data that might be of little use, we can gain greater rewards. We can show solidarity with the group of people who were most affected to ensure such events do not occur. [...]


[...] The environmental consulting firm that was hired kept on defending the data usage, even though it proved to be scientifically flawed on multiple levels: fortunately the data was not used (Cohen, 1997). The use of unethical data such as this is undesirable from a scientific standpoint as it degrades science and methodology. Many scientists have the stated opinions that unethical experiments are often biased and not necessarily productive for the advancement of science. So strong is their conviction that they have called most of the Nazi experiments ?mere sadism? and ?pseudoscience?, even Brigadier General Telford Taylor stated that these experiments ?revealed nothing which civilized medicine can (Cohen, 1997). [...]


[...] With all the reasons for not using the Nazi data, including the lack of scientific credibility and lack of morality and ethics in data collection, we should stop trying to use the ill-gotten data and work towards solving the problems that have arisen from that mess. We should be more cognizant of the genocides that are still occurring and should try to intervene before it is too late to save others from the same mistreatment. We cannot let it seem that we condone such actions by choosing a quick solution to our problems. Simply put; to use this data would be unethical itself. Bibliography Moe, K. [...]


[...] Writing that we ?should [not] let the inhumanity of the experiments blind us to the possibility that some good may be salvaged from the ashes? (Moe, 1984). She even compares the Nazi data with the notes on malnutrition and starvation taken by Jewish doctors imprisoned in the Warsaw ghetto, in addition to the information collected from the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb explosions (Moe, 1984). Her view is inherently flawed, as the Jewish doctors would have been forced by the Nazis to be in the ghettos and could not help the starving people, nor were they the cause of the people's starvation. [...]


[...] Today there are regulations that impose peer review on researcher's experiments to make sure that unethical behavior is not present (Veatch, 1989). The reviews take into account many factors that are currently deemed unethical, and as such, fellow researchers must follow several guidelines: making sure that experimental subjects know of any possible dangers and are informed of all procedures to be implemented, in addition, they must be mentally able to consent, and should give consent to any experimentation before it begins (Veatch, 1989). [...]

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