The question of whether or not scientists should use the data that was gathered from Nazi experiments in modern day science has been asked for decades. The Nazi’s gained useful information about how the human body reacts with certain chemicals as well as the limits of the human body but they did this through brutal torture and without the consent of many innocent Jews and Gypsies. These experiments were well conducted (although evil) and well documented and can indeed prove to be useful for many questions that scientists may have today. However, is it ethical? Many people that were affected by the events that took place during World War 2 oppose the idea of using this information for today’s science while at the same time many experts and scientists agree that this information is properly examined may be able to help save lives in the future.
The Nazi experiments began first with measurements of skulls that belonged to different cultural groups to compare and contrast the differences between the Aryan race and other races. However, it wasn’t long before simple skull measurements turned into atrocious medical experiments that ended many lives and led to a major resignation of both German and Nazi medical staff. These medical experiments that were conducted and tested were in favor of German forces. Medical experiments such as freezing, high altitude, artificial insemination, and even sterilization.
The point of Freezing and High Altitude Experiments was to better understand what would happen to a pilot (specifically a German pilot) if they were to go to high in the air or possibly crash in the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean. It was understood back then that the human body could not survive for more than two hours in freezing water but the experiments that were done on innocent people proved otherwise.
Artificial Insemination Experiments have proven to be useful today for helping couples who are trying to have a baby but are unable to. However, to better understand how to do this the infamous Nazi scientist Doctor Carl Clauberg was commissioned his own laboratory by Himmler entitled “Block 10.” Clauberg would choose Jewish and Gypsy infertile women between the ages of 20 and 40 and force them to undergo intercourse with specifically chosen prisoners. He would also taunt the women that he had impregnated them with animal semen and that they would be birthing monsters.
Sterilization Experiments done by the Nazi’s helped scientists of today to better understand and create stronger more efficient forms of birth control. During these experiments though both male and female prisoners were given injections in their testicles and uterus that would cause major pains, inflammation, and spasms that would eventually erupt. Male prisoners were also forced to lie in front of tons of radiation and even castrated so that scientists could examine what the radiation had done.
What the Nazi’s did during these events was truly evil and unforgivable but the innocent lives that were lost during this time did not ultimately die in vain. Although there are no experts that speak on the behalf of the deceased to end the adoption of Nazi information, their memories are honored with what today’s scientists can discover without evil experimentations. Cutting edge science is figuring out every day new ways to fight off cancer and other major diseases with the partial help of those that were sacrificed on those days.
“The Ethics of Using Medical Data From Nazi Experiments.” By Baruch C. Cohen