Results of Death Camp Experiments: Should They Be Used????? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Results of Death Camp Experiments: Should They Be Used?????


... have next to it actual photos of Jews being tortured in the name of ... many of them children, ... Executive Director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Results of Death Camp Experiments: Should They Be Used?????

Results of Death Camp ExperimentsShould They
Be Used?????
Background Information
  • Nazi doctors conducted as many as 30 different
    types of experiments of concentration camp
  • They did these without consent of the victims who
    suffered indescribable pain, mutilation,
    permanent disability, or in the case of

  • High Altitude
  • Freezing
  • Sulfanilamide
  • Twins
  • Poison
  • Tuberculosis
  • Phosgene
  • Bone, Muscle, Joint Transplants
  • Seawater

High Altitude
  • In 1942, Sigmund Rascher and others conducted
    high-altitude experiments on prisoners at Dachau.
    Eager to find out how best to save German pilots
    forced to eject at high altitude, they placed
    inmates into low-pressure chambers that simulated
    altitudes as high as 68,000 feet and monitored
    their physiological response as they succumbed
    and died. Rascher was said to dissect victims'
    brains while they were still alive to show that
    high-altitude sickness resulted from the
    formation of tiny air bubbles in the blood
    vessels of a certain part of the brain. Of 200
    people subjected to these experiments, 80 died
    outright and the remainder were executed.

  • To determine the most effective means for
    treating German pilots who had become severely
    chilled from ejecting into the ocean, or German
    soldiers who suffered extreme exposure on the
    Russian front, Rascher and others conducted
    freezing experiments at Dachau. For up to five
    hours at a time, they placed victims into vats of
    icy water, either in aviator suits or naked they
    took others outside in the freezing cold and
    strapped them down naked. As the victims writhed
    in pain, foamed at the mouth, and lost
    consciousness, the doctors measured changes in
    the patients' heart rate, body temperature,
    muscle reflexes, and other factors. When a
    prisoner's internal body temperature fell to
    79.7F, the doctors tried rewarming him using hot
    sleeping bags, and scalding baths. Some 80 to 100
    patients perished during these experiments

  • For the benefit of the German Army, whose
    frontline soldiers suffered greatly from gas
    gangrene, a type of progressive gangrene, doctors
    at the Ravensbruck concentration camp performed
    studies to test the effectiveness of
    sulfanilamide and other drugs in curbing such
    infections. They inflicted battlefield-like
    wounds in victims, then infected the wounds with
    bacteria such as streptococcus, tetanus, and gas
    gangrene. The doctors aggravated the resulting
    infection by rubbing ground glass and wood
    shavings into the wound, and they tied off blood
    vessels on either side of the injury to simulate
    what would happen to an actual war wound. Victims
    suffered intense agony and serious injury, and
    some of them died as a result.

  • In an effort to find ways to more effectively
    multiply the German race, Dr. Josef Mengele
    performed experiments on twins at Auschwitz in
    hopes of plumbing the secrets of multiple births.
    After taking all the body measurements and other
    living data he could from selected twins, Mengele
    and his collaborators dispatched them with a
    single injection of chloroform to the heart. Of
    about 1,000 pairs of twins experimented upon,
    only about 200 pairs survived.

  • Researchers at Buchenwald concentration camp
    developed a method of individual execution by
    injecting Russian prisoners with phenol and
    cyanide. Experimenters also tested various
    poisons on the human body by secreting noxious
    chemicals in prisoners' food or shooting inmates
    with poison bullets. Victims who did not die
    during these experiments were killed to allow the
    experimenters to perform autopsies

  • To determine if people had any natural immunities
    to tuberculosis, and to develop a vaccine against
    the disease, Dr. Kurt Heissmeyer injected live
    tubercle bacilli (bacteria that are a major cause
    of TB) into the lungs of inmates at the
    Neuengamme concentration camp. About 200 adult
    subjects died, and Heissmeyer had 20 children
    from Auschwitz hung in an effort to hide evidence
    of the experiments from approaching Allied forces.

  • In an attempt to find an antidote to phosgene, a
    toxic gas used as a weapon during World War I,
    Nazi doctors exposed 52 concentration-camp
    prisoners to the gas at Fort Ney near Strasbourg,
    France. Phosgene gas causes extreme irritation to
    the lungs. Many of the prisoners, who according
    to German records were already weak and
    malnourished, suffered pulmonary edema after
    exposure, and four of them died from the

Bone, Muscle, and Joint Transplantation
  • To learn if a limb or joint from one person could
    be successfully attached to another who had lost
    that limb or joint, experimenters at Ravensbruck
    amputated legs and shoulders from inmates in
    useless attempts to transplant them onto other
    victims. They also removed sections of bones,
    muscles, and nerves from prisoners to study
    regeneration of these body parts. Victims
    suffered excruciating pain, mutilation, and
    permanent disability as a result.

  • Dr. Hans Eppinger and others at Dachau conducted
    experiments on how to make seawater drinkable.
    The doctors forced roughly 90 Gypsies to drink
    only seawater while also depriving them of food.
    The Gypsies became so dehydrated that they
    reportedly licked floors after they had been
    mopped just to get a drop of fresh water. The
    experiments caused enormous pain and suffering
    and resulted in serious bodily injury.

  • Few today would disagree about denouncing the
    Nazi experimenters as barbaric and their
    experiments as little more than sadistic torture
    executed under the guise of science.
  • As such, many feel that findings from those
    studies should never be published or used.
    However, some of the research resulted in data
    that potentially could save lives today.
  • Nazi hypothermia studies, for instance, have been
    cited in the medical literature for decades, and
    recently several scientists have sought to use
    the data in their own work.

  • You will be asked the following question eight
    times "Based on what you now know, do you think
    doctors and scientists should be able to use data
    from Nazi death-camp experiments?"
  • Each time, you must answer Yes or No to that
    question, and each time you will get a different
    counterargument meant to challenge your decision.
  • Before answering the question for the eighth and
    final time, you may elect to read all 14
    counterargumentsseven for and seven against
    using the data.

  • "Based on what you now know, do you think doctors
    and scientists should be able to use data from
    Nazi death-camp experiments?"
  • YES NO

  • What if you knew that the medical competence
    of the Nazi doctors has been questioned?The
    Hippocratic Oath, penned by the father of
    medicine and held by medical professionals as a
    sacred tenet to this day, states in part "I will
    use treatment to help the sick according to my
    ability and judgment, but never with a view to
    injury and wrongdoing...." The Nazi experimenters
    not only violated the oath in the foulest way,
    causing them to relinquish forever all rights to
    be considered doctors, but their expertise has
    been called into question, even by their own
    countrymen in their own day.
  • YES NO Counterarguments

Counter 1A
  • "Of course I am a doctor and I want to preserve
    life. And out of respect for human life, I would
    remove a gangrenous appendix from a diseased
    body. The Jew is the gangrenous appendix in the
    body of mankind."
  • Dr. Fritz Klein, Nazi physician, responding to a
    concentration-camp inmate who asked, while
    pointing to smoking chimneys in the distance,
    "How can you reconcile that with your
    Hippocratic oath as a doctor?"

Counter 1B
  • "I wouldn't trust the man who produced the data
    from the Nazi experiments how can you trust a
    man who would do that?"
  • Seymour Siegel, Executive Director of the U.S.
    Holocaust Memorial Council
  • "Their actions were clear, direct violations of
    both the Hippocratic Oath as well as the public's
    belief that doctors always look after their
    patients' well-being."  
  • Lauren Howell, in "Nazi Medical Experiments
    Murder or Research?"

Counter 1C
  • "One characteristic feature of Heissmeyer's
    experiment is his extraordinary lack of concern,
    add this to his gross and total ignorance in the
    field of immunology, in particular bacteriology.
    He did not then, nor does he now, possess the
    necessary expertise demanded in a specialist on
    TB diseases ... He does not own any modern
    bacteriology textbook. He is also not familiar
    with the various work methods of bacteriology ...
    According to his own admission, Heissmeyer was
    not concerned about curing the prisoners who were
    put at his disposal. Nor did he believe that his
    experiments would produce therapeutic results,
    and he actually counted on there being
    detrimental, indeed fatal, outcomes to the
  • Dr. Otto Prokop, Germany's forensic authority,
    on the competence of Dr. Kurt Heissmeyer.
    Heissmeyer conducted tuberculosis experiments on
    20 Jewish children from Auschwitz whom he later
    had hung so they could not bear witness.

What if you knew that many in the medical and
scientific communities consider the Nazi
experiments bad science?
  • Those who judge the Nazi experiments poor science
    cite several reasons. First, drawn as they were
    from the death camps, experimentees were usually
    malnourished, emaciated, and severely weakened,
    and thus their physiological responses to the
    experiments would likely be different from those
    of normal, healthy people. Second, Nazi doctors
    had political aspirations and sought results that
    supported Nazi racial theories. Third, the data
    were never replicated and, in an ethical world,
    can never be replicated. Finally, soaked with the
    blood of their victims, the experiments were
    morally tainted, which renders them
    scientifically invalid. For these reasons, many
    dismiss the experiments as pseudoscience.

To test how to treat phosphorus burns, a mixture
of phosphorus and rubber to inmates' skin,
ignited it, and let it burn for 20 seconds
Counter 2A
  • "The experiments were a ghostly failure as well
    as a hideous crime ... They revealed nothing
    which civilized medicine could use."
  • Brigadier General Telford Taylor, chief counsel
    for the prosecution at Nuremberg "Doctors Trial,"
  • "Injecting a half-starved young girl with phenol
    to see how quickly she will die or trying out
    various forms of phosgene gas on camp inmates in
    the hope of finding cheap, clean, and efficient
    modes of killing so the state can effectively
    prosecute genocide is not the sort of activity
    associated with the term research."
  • Dr. Arthur Caplan, bioethicist now at the
    University of Pennsylvania

Counter 2B
  • "I don't see how any credence can be given to the
    work of unethical investigators. Given the source
    of the information and the way in which it was
    obtained, how can anyone believe it? How can
    anyone want to believe it?"
  • Dr. Arnold S. Relman, editor of the New England
    Journal of Medicine, on the Nazi hypothermia work

Counter 2C
  • "The Dachau hypothermia experiments were
    conducted without an orderly experimental
    protocol and with inadequate methods and an
    erratic execution. ... There is also evidence of
    data falsification and suggestions of
    fabrication. Many conclusions are not supported
    by the facts presented. The flawed science is
    compounded by evidence that the director of the
    project showed a consistent pattern of dishonesty
    and deception in his professional as well as his
    personal life, thereby stripping the study of the
    last vestige of credibility. On analysis, the
    Dachau hypothermia study has all the ingredients
    of a scientific fraud, and rejection of the data
    on purely scientific grounds is inevitable."
  • Dr. Robert L. Berger, New England Deaconness
    Hospital and Harvard Medical School

What if using the Nazi data could set a
dangerous precedent, sanctioning unethical human
experiments and possibly encouraging similarly
deplorable acts?
  • A brief review of history indicates that the evil
    perpetrated by the Nazi doctors is one of degree,
    not of type. White South African physicians
    falsified medical reports of blacks tortured or
    killed in prison. From the mid-1950s to the early
    1970s, New York University researchers infected
    mentally retarded children with hepatitis in
    order to track the course of the disease and
    search for a cure. In 1963, doctors at the Jewish
    Chronic Disease Hospital in Brooklyn, New York,
    injected 'live' cancer cells into 22 chronically
    ill and debilitated patients they did not inform
    the patients that they were participating in an
    experiment completely unrelated to treatment of
    the disease for which they were hospitalized.
    These cases may not be as heinous as the Nazi
    experiments, but if researchers cite and use
    results from the latter, might that not give
    tacit encouragement to further unethical studies
    using human beings?

Counterargument 3A
  • "Using information from the death camps might
    be seen as sanctioning the use of results from
    current unethical research and thus encourage
    more of it."
  • Marcia Angell, M.D. 9
  • "Doctors in general, it would seem, can all too
    readily take part in the efforts of fanatical,
    demagogic, or surreptitious groups to control
    matters of thought and feeling, and of living and
  • Robert Jay Lifton, author of The Nazi Doctors
    Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide,
    after listing numerous instances of cases in
    which doctors throughout the world have conducted
    evil acts in the name of nationalism or racism

Counter 3B
  • "To declare the use of the Nazi data ethical, as
    some of the American scientists and doctors
    advocate, would open a Pandora's box and could
    become an excuse for any of the Ayatollahs,
    Kadafis, Stroessners, and Mengeles of the world
    to create similar circumstances whereby anyone
    could be used as their guinea pig."
  • Eva Mozes Kor, survivor of Dr. Josef Mengele's
    twins experiments at Auschwitz 11
  • "While using such data could save lives in some
    situations ... in a much larger context it could
    lead to a way of thinking that would condone
    taking some lives in order to save others."  
  • A reporter paraphrasing comments made by Dr.
    Judith Bellin, an Environmental Protection Agency
    toxicologist, about using data from Nazi phosgene
    experiments 12 

What if you knew that many feel that using the
data would make us the Nazi experimenters' moral
  • Many hold that making use of the data wrenched so
    brutally from helpless victims would not only
    validate the Nazi doctors' unthinkable acts, but
    also make us the victims' "retrospective
    torturers" and them our "retrospective guinea
    pigs" . Indeed, Lord Immanuel Jakobovits, Chief
    Rabbi of the British Commonwealth of Nations and
    an expert in Jewish medical ethics, felt use
    would only serve to further dishonor the victims
    while the late Harvard Medical School professor
    Dr. Henry Beecher believed publishing unethically
    obtained medical data would cause a "far-reaching
    moral loss to medicine."

Rudolf Brandt, an SS officer and aide to Himmler,
was found guilty of a host of war crimes,
including conducting medical experimentation and
killing tuberculosis-infected people. Sentenced
to death, he was hanged on June 2, 1948
Counter 4A
  • "The idea behind the negative reaction now is
    that the Nazis were criminals we are decent.
    That's not true. What we've done is not as evil,
    but it's in the ballpark."
  • Dr. Arthur Caplan, bioethicist now at the
    University of Pennsylvania, commenting about
    uproar surrounding physiologist Robert Pozos'
    proposed use of Nazi data on hypothermia
  • "The conduct of Nazi physician-scientists was
    barbarous, revolting, monstrous, devoid of any
    decency. Their research defiled human beings,
    medicine, science, and humanity. They dragged
    through bloody mud an honorable profession to
    which contemporary physician-scientists who now
    wish to make use of these results belong."
  • Jay Katz, M.D., Yale University School of Law

Counter 4 B
  • "Today some doctors want to use the only thing
    left by these victims. They are like vultures
    waiting for the corpses to cool so they could
    devour every consummable part. To use the Nazi
    data is obscene and sick. One can always
    rationalize that it would save human lives the
    question should be asked, at what cost?"
  • Eva Mozes Kor, survivor of Dr. Josef Mengele's
    twins experiments at Auschwitz
  • "We must not add our numbers to the multitudes
    of onlookers who slept peacefully through the
    nights of anguished cries while dreaming their
    sweet dreams of a better tomorrow."
  • Dr. Willard Gaylin, psychiatrist and former
    president of The Hastings Center, a biomedical
    ethics thinktank

What if you knew that many survivors of the Nazi
experiments feel strongly that the data should
never be used?
  • Among the small minority of those experimented
    upon who survived to bring shocking details of
    the atrocities to the outside world are a vocal
    group who would consign the data to oblivion.
    Many make the same arguments that modern doctors
    and scientists opposed to the data's use make,
    namely, that using the information would
    legitimize the Nazi experimenters and their
    damnable undertakings, make us moral accomplices,
    further demean the victims, etc. Responses from
    survivors asked whether the data should be used
    ranged from the calm and reasoned to the
    incredulous "No! No! No! I (we) suffered, and it
    is no 'medical data' or 'information'

Counter 5A
  • "As much as I am for scientific research for the
    betterment of humanity, I do feel that the
    scientific data collected from experiments done
    on inmates of Nazi concentration camps should not
    be used. If I would agree, I feel I would give
    a stamp of approval to the ways and means these
    experiments have been conducted and
    quasi-legalize them."  
  • Anonymous survivor of Dr. Josef Mengele's twins
    experiments at Auschwitz

Counter 5B
  • "The scientist who reuses these data aligns
    himself with the values and methods of the Nazi
    scientists/doctors by extending their work into
    contemporary research, thereby giving it
    credibility and sanction. He too is saying first
    and foremost, 'for the sake of science' and for
    the sake of 'progress,' ignoring the case for
  • Sara Vigorito, survivor of Mengele's twins
    experiments at Auschwitz. Just three years old
    when she arrived, Vigorito spent a year in a
    wooden cage a yard and a half wide with her twin
    sister, who died from repeated injections to her
    spinal column

Counter 5 C
  • "In the case of the Mengele Twins, copies of the
    data should be given to those twins who are still
    alive. The data of the victims who are dead
    should be shredded and placed in a transparent
    monument, as evidence that they exist but cannot
    be used. It should be a lesson to the world that
    human dignity and human life are more important
    than any advance in science and medicine."
  • Eva Mozes Kor, survivor of Dr. Josef Mengele's
    twins experiments at Auschwitz

Counter 5 D
  • "I consider it inexcusable to dignify those
    murderers with the word 'scientist' or dignify
    what they did with the word 'research' ... The
    data should be thrown to the winds and
  • Gisela Konopka, concentration-camp survivor

What if you knew just how much victims of the
experiments suffered?
  • "One cannot fully confront the dilemma of using
    the results of Nazi experiments," the attorney
    and ethicist Baruch Cohen has written, "without
    sensitizing one's self to the images of the
    frozen, the injected, the inseminated, and the
    sterilized." 26 One could add without
    sensitizing oneself to eyewitness testimony.
    Obviously, the hundreds who died at the hands of
    Nazi death-camp doctors cannot tell their story
    of unfathomable fear, unbearable pain, and
    senseless death. One must rely on those who
    survived and those who witnessed the execrable
    atrocities that occurred in the concentration
    camps. Here is some of that testimony

prisoner during low-pressure experimentation at
Dachau, 1942.
Counter 6A
  • "The third experiment ... took such an
    extraordinary course that I called an SS
    physician of the camp as witness, since I had
    worked on these experiments all by myself. It was
    a continuous experiment without oxygen at a
    simulated height of 12 kilometers 39,283 feet
    conducted on a 37-year-old Jew in good general
    condition. Breathing continued up to 30 minutes.
    After four minutes the experimental subject began
    to perspire and wiggle his head, after five
    minutes cramps occurred, between six and ten
    minutes breathing increased in speed and the
    experimental subject became unconscious from 11
    to 30 minutes breathing slowed down to three
    breaths per minute, finally stopping altogether."
  • From a report by Dr. Sigmund Rascher to Heinrich
    Himmler dated April 5, 1942 concerning his
    high-altitude experiments on prisoners at Dachau
    concentration camp

Counter 6 B
  • "It was the worst experiment ever made. Two
    Russian officers were brought from the prison
    barracks. Rascher had them stripped and they had
    to go into the vat naked. Hour after hour went
    by, and whereas usually unconsciousness from the
    cold set in after 60 minutes at the latest, the
    two men in this case still responded fully after
    two and a half hours. All appeals to Rascher to
    put them to sleep by injection were fruitless.
    After the third hour one of the Russians said to
    the other, 'Comrade, please tell the officer to
    shoot us.' The other replied that he expected no
    mercy from this Fascist dog. The two shook hands
    with a 'Farewell, Comrade' ... These words were
    translated to Rascher by a young Pole, though in
    a somewhat different form. Rascher went to his
    office. The young Pole at once tried to
    chloroform the two victims, but Rascher came back
    at once, threatening us with his gun ... The test
    lasted at least five hours before death
  • Testimony given at the "Doctors Trial" at
    Nuremberg by Walter Neff, an Auschwitz prisoner
    who served as Dr. Sigmund Rascher's medical
    orderly during hypothermia experiments

Click HERE for the final question
What if the Nazi experiments had been conducted
on your mother, your brother, your child?
  • "I offer this challenge to the hypothermia
    researchers. As you page through the research,
    have next to it actual photos of Jews being
    tortured in the name of research and see how long
    you are able to analyze data. Better yet, think
    of your mother or father floating in that tank
    and see if your beliefs about this subject hold

Nazi doctors immerse a prisoner in ice water
during hypothermia experiments at Dachau.
Make your decision
Click On Your Final Decision
  • YES
  • NO

What if you knew that not publishing and/or using
the data could strengthen the arguments of those
who say the Holocaust never happened?
  • So-called Holocaust deniers maintain that the
    Holocaust itself never took place. Many who find
    such arguments absurd and detestable feel that
    failing to cite or use the Nazi data might only
    fan the flames of Holocaust denial. As such, most
    scholars, whether or not they advocate using the
    Nazi data, hold that the fact that the
    experiments happened should never be forgotten,
    lest such atrocities recur. Thus, Dr. Jay Katz of
    Yale Law School, who opposes use, would publish
    the data in full detail, then condemn them to
    oblivion 31, while Ronald Banner of the Jewish
    Ethical Medical Study Group in Philadelphia, who
    does not oppose citation of the data,
    nevertheless feels "chagrined that someone would
    refer to those experiments without mentioning
    something about the way the information was
    gained. It shows a lack of conscience. There are
    times that something, morally, stinks so bad that
    you have to hold your nose even while you refer
    to it."

Counter 1A
  • It sends a chill down every normal human beings
    spine to think of the horrible things the Nazis
    did there, but Im separating the results and the
    circumstances. Actually, if the U.S. doctor
    Pozos dedicated his study to the memory of
    those victims of the Nazis, it would serve as a
    nice way of reminding people about the horrible
  • Ephraim Zuroff, Israeli representative to the
    Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles

Counter 1 B
  • I submit that we must put the Holocaust and the
    Nazi experiments directly under the floodlights
    and on center stage even if some of us and our
    past and present are partly illuminated by the
    glare. Instead of banning the Nazi data or
    assigning it to some archivist or custodial
    committee, I maintain that it be exhumed,
    printed, and disseminated to every medical school
    in the world along with the details of
    methodology and the names of the doctors who did
    it, whether or not they were indicted, acquitted,
    or hanged. ... Let the students and the residents
    and the young doctors know that this was not
    ancient history or an episode from a horror movie
    where the actors get up after filming and prepare
    for another role. It was real. It happened
    yesterday. ... They tried to burn the bodies and
    to suppress the data. We must not finish the job
    for them.
  • Dr. Velvl W. Greene, professor of medical ethics
    at Ben Gurion University in Beersheba, Israel

Counter 1 C
  • The best argument Ive heard for preserving
    the Nazi data is to keep evidence that those
    experiments were carried out. As long as the data
    are available, evidence that at least some people
    did some bad things in Nazi Germany cannot be
  • Howard M. Spiro, M.D., Department of Internal
    Medicine, Yale University

What if you knew that such data could not be
obtained today?
  • Hypothermia expert Dr. Robert Pozos had immersed
    hundreds of volunteers into ice water in the
    years after he founded the University of
    Minnesota's Hypothermia Laboratory in 1977. (He
    is no longer affiliated with the university.) But
    he never let a participant's temperature drop
    more than 3.6F (i.e., below 95F). Unburdened by
    even the slightest sense of humanity, the Nazi
    hypothermia experimenters, , on the other hand,
    let their victims' interior body temperatures
    drop to 79.7F before attempting to revive them.
    Most died an excruciatingly painful death as a
    result. However, some did revive, and the Nazis
    found that rapid rewarming in hot water proved
    the most effective way to revive them. In an
    ethical world, such data would not exist, but
    they do exist and could benefit humanity. Should
    they simply be lost to science?

At the Nuremberg "Doctors Trial," Dr. Alexander
points at scars on the leg of Polish survivor who
endured sulfanilamide experiments at Ravensbruck
concentration camp.
Counter 2 A
  • "Dr. Rascher, although he wallowed in blood ...
    and in obscenity ... nevertheless appears to have
    settled the question of what to do for people in
    shock from exposure to cold ... The final report
    satisfies all the criteria of objective and
    accurate observation and interpretation ... The
    method of rapid and intensive rewarming in hot
    water ... should be immediately adopted as the
    treatment of choice by the Air-Sea Rescue
    Services of the United States Armed Forces."  
  • Maj. Leo Alexander, U.S. Army doctor who served
    as aide to the chief counsel of the Nuremberg
    war-crimes trial and authored an oft-cited 1945
    report on the Dachau hypothermia experiments.
    While Alexander later concluded the results were
    undependable, other medical experts, most
    recently hypothermia researchers Robert Pozos and
    John Hayward, have claimed that the data are
    useful NEXT SLIDE

Counter 2 B
  • "The goal of science is to produce new knowledge.
    If, during unethically conducted experiments, one
    valid scientific fact is produced, should that
    information be used as it has been, referenced in
    the literature as it has been, or just
  • Jay Katz (Yale University School of Law) and
    Robert S. Pozos (hypothermia expert)
  • "I don't want to have to use this data, but
    there is no other and will be no other in an
    ethical world."
  • Dr. John S. Hayward, hypothermia expert at
    University of Victoria University, Vancouver,
    B.C., Canada, on why he used Nazi hypothermia
    data in his research

Counter 2 C
  • "To justify the use of Nazi data in a research
    article, I would expect scientists to use the
    findings only in circumstances where the
    scientific validity is clear and where there is
    no alternative source of information."
  • Kristine Moe, journalist

If you feel that the Nazi results are tainted
because of the way they were obtained, what if
you knew that many deem information morally
  • Many scientists might argue that while the Nazi
    experiments were nothing short of bestial, their
    results can only be judged scientifically, not
    morally data are neither good nor bad, they are
    just data. Even if scientists, journal editors,
    and others were to judge results on moral
    grounds, Dr. Eleanor Singer, editor of Public
    Opinion Quarterly, considers it "nonsense to talk
    about 'enforcing ethical standards' as though
    these were clear and agreed-upon." Until the
    scientific community reaches a consensus on the
    degree to which ethical concerns should govern
    the spread of scientific knowledge, Singer
    maintains, "I would argue that open
    dissemination, not censorship, affords the best
    chance for developing agreed-upon principles of
    what constitutes ethical research procedures, and
    of how potential conflicts among ethical
    principles, and between such principles and
    scientific goals, are to be resolved."

Counter 3 A
  • "The most powerful argument in defense of the use
    of the data gathered by unethical methods is that
    the information gathered is independent of the
    ethics of the methods and that the two are not
    linked together. In essence, data are neither
    evil nor good."
  • Dr. Robert Pozos, hypothermia expert

Counter 3 B
  • "Perhaps the most intriguing question on which
    the issue of proper use turns is whether or not
    scientific data can acquire a moral taint. Common
    sense seems to indicate that a parcel of
    information about the physical world is morally
  • Brian Folker and Arthur W. Hafner

Counter 3 C
  • "We are talking of the use of the data, not
    participation in these heinous studies, not
    replication of atrocities. The wrongs perpetrated
    were monstrous those wrongs are over and done.
    How could the provenance of the data serve to
    prohibit their use?"
  • The late Dr. Benjamin Freedman, formerly a
    bioethicist at McGill University in Montreal

What if you knew that the data might help save
lives today?
  • Hypothermia expert Robert Pozos believes Nazi
    data on rapid rewarming could save lives, while
    Dr. John Hayward, also a specialist in
    hypothermia, has used Nazi cooling curves to
    determine how long cold-water survival suits
    would safeguard people at near-fatal
    temperatures. As journalist Kristine Moe has
    pointed out, scientists and physicians have
    gained valuable insights from other horrific
    events in history. Jewish doctors locked inside
    the Warsaw Ghetto took copious clinical notes on
    how their compatriots, many of them children,
    perished from starvation smuggled out of the
    ghetto, those notes were later published as a
    landmark study on hunger disease. Survivors of
    the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    offered a valuable, albeit tragic, opportunity
    for specialists to learn more about radiation
    sickness. With human lives at stake, should we
    consider the Nazi data any differently?

Detailed notes kept by Jewish doctors on children
and adults who starved to death in the Warsaw
ghetto were later published as a seminal study on
hunger disease.
Counter 4 A
  • "The argument that the information from the
    Dachau hypothermia experiments could be used to
    save human lives is a powerful one...."
  • Dr. Robert Pozos, hypothermia expert
  • "I'm trying to make something constructive out
    of it. I use it with my guard up, but it's
  • Dr. John S. Hayward, hypothermia expert at
    University of Victoria University, Vancouver,
    B.C., Canada, on why he used Nazi hypothermia
    data in his research

Counter 4 B
  • "We won't argue that the experiments were well
    reported or well designed, but compared to what
    we had, they offered a measure of improvement.
    They obviously had a lot of flaws. But we felt
    compelled to use it because it provided
    dose-response data."
  • John Vandenberg, EPA project manager in charge
    of regulatory review of phosgene gas, on why he
    condoned citing data from the Nazi phosgene

If the data have a chance to benefit people
today, are we not morally obligated to use them?
  • The United States produces about one billion
    pounds of phosgene gas a year for use in
    manufacturing plastics and pesticides. Yet
    phosgene causes lung irritation and fluid
    build-up and can making breathing difficult if
    not impossible. To assess the risks to factory
    workers and those living nearby, the
    Environmental Protection Agency thought of using
    Nazi data on phosgene-gas experiments, but
    decided it was immoral. As one writer commented,
    "Is it fair to those people currently being
    exposed to the chemical to pretend that
    applicable data do not exist? Can the ethical
    questions be so compelling that we ignore
    information that might conceivably reduce the
    amount of human suffering and misery currently
    being experienced?"

Counter 5 A
  • "We cannot imply any approval of the methods.
    Nor, however, should we let the inhumanity of the
    experiments blind us to the possibility that some
    good may be salvaged from the ashes."
  • Kristine Moe, journalist
  • "Perhaps justice would ultimately be served if we
    were to allow life to emerge from the Nazi
  • Baruch Cohen, attorney and ethicist

Counter 5 B
  • "As a child of survivors of the Holocaust, I have
    strong empathy for those opposed to the data's
    use. Nevertheless, as a physician who deals with
    children and has seen them comatose, brain
    damaged, and dead from hypothermia, my sense is
    that to save one child through the use of this
    information is worthwhile."
  • Anonymous medical doctor

What if you knew that many survivors of the
medical experiments feel that the data should be
  • The first three opinions given below come from
    survivors of Dr. Josef Mengele's twins
    experiments at Auschwitz. Dr. Nancy L. Segal, a
    psychologist, quoted the survivors in her article
    "Twin Research at Auschwitz-Birkenau
    Implications for the Use of Nazi Data Today."

Counter 6 A
  • "If these experiments will be of any help to
    humanity, then I am in favor of them being used
    as needed.""I think that the data collected in
    experiments conducted on us should by all means
    be used, since there were a variety of methods
    used, and I am certain that the data can be very
    beneficial to today's doctor.""It appears that,
    at least in some cases, there was an attempt to
    induce illness by injecting bacteria and then an
    attempt to cure these illnesses, that is to say,
    we served as laboratory animals in the hands of
    the criminal, Mengele, and this type of research
    should of course be made available to the
    world.""I wore a number in Dachau. I have two
    Belgian friends who went through the procedures
    of Dr. Rascher ... I see no reason why the
    results obtained should not be used for further
  • Unnamed concentration-camp survivor

Might not using the data lend a belated dignity
to the victims, so that their lives were not lost
for nothing?
  • "Of course, nobody in their right mind condones
    the experiment. The question is, Given that this
    fiendish thing was done, what do you do with the
    information that exists. ... I suspect that the
    prisoners would have wanted to have the
    information used to help somebody."
  • Todd Thorslund, vice president of ICF-Clement,
    an environmental consulting company that wrote a
    risk-assessment report for the Environmental
    Protection Agency that cited Nazi phosgene
  • "The suffering is donelet someone benefit from
    all the pain."
  • Lucien A. Ballin, member of a military
    intelligence assault force that helped unearth
    Nazi medical-experiments data in 1945

A Dachau prisoner during a high-altitude experiment.
Final Decision
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