The Holocaust Dilemma
The Holocaust created many broken hearts and hardships that have left the world with a great scar in their history. This terrible event that occurred during WWII in Jewish concentration camps should not be taken lightly when speaking of it. Many scientists believe that good information came about of the Holocaust and although this can be accurate it is wrong to consider using information that was collected through pain, murders, injustices, and inhumane acts of cruelty to Jewish men, women, and children.
Heavy experimentation was conducted on unwilling patients in concentration camps during World War II. Experiments on hypothermia, hemorrhage, altitude sickness, air pollution, etc. were conducted on innocent Jewish people with the pretext that Jewish lives were nonetheless already condemned. Much information was obtained through this heavy experimentation thus many doctors and scientist today claim that this information should be used due to the accuracy of human testing compared to animal testing. Lives can be saved with this information; hence the lives of the murdered Jews will not be left in vain.
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There have been cases where Nazi data could have been relevant and justified to use because of multiple medical advances. Take the chilling/ freezing bodies experiments for consideration; Doctor John Hayward, a Biology Professor at the Victoria University in Vancouver, Canada conducted freezing experiments on willing candidates; however, he did not let the body temperature of his patients drop under 36 degrees. According to Peter Tyson in “The Experiments,” Hayward tested many methods to find the most efficient and fastest way to rewarm the frozen body.
Although he ethically conducted these experiments, they were not nearly as valuable as the experiments compared to the tests conducted by the Nazis in Dachau because they immersed victims in lower temperatures. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also questioned whether or not the data retained from the Holocaust should be utilized when testing air pollutants such as phosgene used in the manufacturing of pesticides and plastic. Phosgene is very dangerous, attacking mainly the lungs and creating a mucus build up leading to death of “drowning”.
EPA had information of phosgene because of animal testing but is not nearly as accurate as human testing. In this case, Nazi data could have been a good resource to help save lives of workers and commuters who were constantly in contact with the air pollutant phosgene. Although it seems logical to turn to the data obtained from Nazi experimentation obtained from tests held in multiple different concentration camps, there are several reasons why this information should not be utilized. First of all there are large physiological differences between malnourished tortured Jews versus the regular average Joe.
Second of all the scientific integrity of Nazis is questionable due to extreme prejudice and hate toward the Jewish; third of all the fact that the information attained after Nazi testing was never published creates misgivings in trusting that this data is correct. Scientists and doctors must consider the fact that all Jewish, gypsies, and people with disabilities were very unhealthy during experimentation. Dehydrated, hungry, poisoned, tortured, and so many other things were implemented on these innocent people.
How can these test results be primarily employed when these Holocaust victims do not have nearly the same health people do today? According to Doctor Jay Katz of the Yale University School of Law, “Those experiments revealed nothing which civilized medicine can use” and that, "gross violation of human standards that they are not to be trusted at all. " Malnourishment and abuse was inflicted to mass groups of concentration camp victims thus their health does not measure up causing information obtained during WWII inaccurate. There are different methods in finding cures for hypothermia, altitude sickness, infectious diseases, etc. hrough heavy scientific research and development. Skepticism is inevitable when the so called experiments conducted by the Nazis to Jews are not published. Maybe it is the fact that much of the data necessary such as: sex, weight, and age are missing in many of the documentations.
According to Baruch C. Cohen in the Jewsih Law Article, The Ethics Of Using Medical Data From Nazi Experiments, “The data was not recorded from scientific hypothesis and research, but rather, it was inspired and administered through racial ideologies of genocide. Although this abuse was inflicted with the justification that it was mere experimentation, it does not seem safe to use when vital information is absent. Experiments conduce important information; however scientific experimentation is recorded with different body ranges such as: sex, age, weight, medical history, etc. if this information is lacking then wouldn’t there be a large concern that Nazi data will not be accurate enough to help lives today but rather perpetrate medical patients.
Yes there is always a risk when surgeries are performed, but personally I would want the information to come from someone who was tested with the same disease to be in similar health than me. Not only was medical experimentation immoral in Nazi concentration camps but there was also other horrid experimentations inflicted on the victims of Holocaust concentration camps. In the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum there are pictures that prove human flesh was utilized for lamp shades and book bindings along with other preserved body parts such as hair and remaining organs from experimentation.
Soap made from human bones and flesh was also made from the testing in WWII Holocaust concentration camps. How can one imagine showering while the condensed body of a loved one melts on their skin? How can doctors today still believe it is ok to use all the information gathered through agony, pain, and unjust suffering of innocent Jews? How can a scientist be so lazy to morally and ethically make discoveries through heavy research? It is wrong to use information discovered through the abominable experiments inflicted in concentration camps during the Holocaust when there are other ways to find similar sightings.
The inhumane acts of violence and repulsive experiments tested on those who were victims of concentration camps during the Holocaust have created tinted data. Although it may be tempting to review the data discovered though human testing in German concentration camps, scientists and doctors need to find a different method to discover similar data because this information may be inaccurate. As mentioned in previous paragraphs it is unethical and immoral to use the information gathered from scientists in the Holocaust concentration camps because their tests were conducted by prejudice and hatred reasoning.
- Kor, Eva Mozes. "Nazi Experiments as Viewed by a Survivor of Mengele's Experiments. "
- Caplan, Arthur L. When Medicine Went Mad: Bioethics and the Holocaust. Totowa: Humana Press, 1992.
- 7. Book. Cohen, Baruch C. "The Ethics Of Using Medical Data From Nazi Experiments. " 1997.
- Jewish Law Articles. Web. 1 December 2011.
- Remember."Medical Experiments of the Holocaust and Nazi Medicine. " n. d. Remember. Web. 27 November 2011.
- Tyson, Peter. "The Experiments. " October 2000. NOVA Online. Web. 28 November 2011.
- "Nazi Propaganda. " 6 January 2011. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Web. 28 November 2011.
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