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Ethics of Using Medical Data From Nazi Experiments
#1
It looks like the thread I was going to respond to has disappeared.

For those interested in the issue posed, the following might be of interest.

http://jlaw.com/Articles/NaziMedExNotes.html
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#2
Here is the original post from the introduction section:

Quote:What Price Knowledge? A hypothetical case

The XYZ Pharmaceutical Corporation spends millions on drug research and development. The Corporation’s development strategy is to isolate an illness or disease whose treatment requires specialized drugs, assemble a research team and then allow them free rein to develop a drug that will treat the disease or its symptoms. In the past this strategy has been quite successful, both in medical and financial terms.
XYZ's recent focus has been on HIV and the other illnesses that it either leads to or causes. On a recent research trip to Europe a head researcher on the HIV team, came upon a medical archive that appears to have experimental information that will be invaluable in the fight against HIV. In particular, it provides data that should make it possible to create a drug that, while it will not reverse or remove the virus, will keep the HIV virus dormant, and so prevent the secondary illnesses that often kill HIV patients.
At the researchers recommendation, XYZ arranges, at great expense, to duplicate the entire medical archive and transport it to their U.S. laboratories.
As the researchers at XYZ catalog and examine the archive one researcher discovers information that raises uncomfortable questions. The experimental data, it appears, is due to medical experiments that Nazi doctors and scientists carried out during World War II.
Additional research reveals that throughout the war, Nazi doctors carried out systematic and comprehensive medical experiments on Jewish concentration camp prisoners. While the results were invaluable the means were cruel and brutal. Prisoners were made to endure the most barbarous experiments without anesthetic or attempts to relieve pain. In most experiments the patient’s death was the end result.
Unable to decide what to do, the researcher goes to the CEO, with the information. The CEO suggests that the information be presented to the Trustees.
The researcher explains that the experimental data will be invaluable in their research and will allow dramatic cuts in research time and production costs in addition to the huge medical benefits the drug represents. This drug will save countless lives and millions in medical costs. Moreover, even at a modest price, the potential profits are enormous. The problem is that the experimental data’s sources are questionable. The data is reliable but it is the manner in which the data was determined that might cause some concerns. The researcher then explains the information’s origins.
It is obvious that the revelation has upset some board members. An Israeli corporation that owns substantial shares in XYZ argues that, given the information’s source, it would be immoral to use the data, no matter the potential benefits. The information’s moral price is too high. To use it would be to suggest that its source was justifiable or at least excusable. Were it known, the Israeli business man poses, that another Holocaust would lead to cancer’s final cure and that no one would ever develop cancer again, our actions here would seem to sanction such unconscionable practices. So long as the ends are acceptable, are the means immaterial?

In response the CEO argues that, while the information does have a certain moral taint, since it is reliable and since the final outcome will be beneficial to the public, then the research should continue. While, the source is unfortunate and lamentable, the CEO suggests that it would be a testament to the Nazi’s victims to use the information to save lives. Otherwise their sacrifice was useless. Moreover, there is also the financial obligation to the shareholders to consider. To fail to develop this drug could open the board, perhaps even the corporation, to legal reprisals.
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#3
(06-04-2019, 12:50 AM)Chavak wrote: I'm not sure what happened to the post. I don't think any of the mods deleted it. Perhaps the original poster did.

Actually found the post in the Introductions section so I also posted the link there.
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#4
I mean, if we ask that question, we might ask what the ethics are of civilizations that have been built on slavery and prejudice. Basically, every society has benefited from the exploitation of others. You look at India to Africa, and closer to home--here in the United States--you find that the path toward the comforts of a lot of our now-modern civilisation are built along a path laden with examples of man's inhumanity to man.

Some bits of medical knowledge only became known because--and this is true, though I can't remember the specific example--the Japanese performed vivisection on certain prisoners of war that were held during the Second World War. The Nazis were but one stone in a larger narrative that paints a very ugly picture of humanity. I mean, the very land on which the United States and other counties in the Americas were built was just out-and-out stolen from the Native American after the Spanish and other Europeans caused a mass extinction and then actively took to slaughtering them.

None of it is ethical. Not a single bit of it. We just have to learn to live with certain societal guilt about these sorts of things. It is a sort of ill-gotten-gains where the people who might have protested the sacrifice forced upon them are dead. I would say that it isn't ethical--not for me--to use the medical advances that were brought about by Nazis experimentation. I wonder if it's like the "fruit from a poisonous tree" analogy.

Or maybe the good that has been wroght by these awful experiments are HaShem's way of turning evil into good and working to repair the world in some measure. I can only pray that this latter is so.
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#5
In reply to the last Query US POWS were treated excessly badly by the japanese see the following account (Warning graphic language is used)
http://mansell.com/pow_resources/camplis...Page05.htm

POWS in Europe under the Nazis was not much better..Lynching....slave labor..starvation..death marches...Jewish POWS were subject to their own KZ Slave Labor camp BErga {only a few years ago was their story...brought out)...as regarding Nazi Medical experiments..years ago there was a expose in Time Magazine about a well known Austrian Doctor who during the war participated in Human experimsnts on gypies...
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#6
(04-10-2021, 07:23 PM)Nooone wrote: In reply to the last Query  US POWS were treated excessly badly by the japanese see the following account (Warning graphic language is used)
http://mansell.com/pow_resources/camplis...Page05.htm

POWS in Europe under the Nazis was not much better..Lynching....slave labor..starvation..death marches...Jewish POWS were subject to their own KZ Slave Labor camp BErga  {only a few years ago was their story...brought out)...as regarding Nazi Medical experiments..years ago there was a expose in Time Magazine about a well known Austrian Doctor who during the  war participated in Human experimsnts on gypies...


The horrors during WWII committed by Nazis were beyond imagination. My own grandfather was an active member of the NSDAP and the Sturmabteilung (SA). Even my 80 year old mother still defends the murderers.
 
And the crimes go on, in different countries, with other people.

When I read your posts I have a feeling that it is not the best thing for you to read all this (at least now). I wish you could let in some light. There are good things out there, too.
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