The Holocaust. During the Holocaust, the Nazis gave thousands of people to the Nazi doctors. These doctors conducted cruel experiments on the innocent people. They conducted human experiments to test the effects of poisons, bombs, high altitudes, typhus, and hundreds of other dastardly experiments. These doctors conducted thousands of unethical procedures and experiments under the guise of medical research. As a consequence many of the doctors went on trial for their actions and the Nuremberg Code was created to prevent future atrocities from occurring. Years after the experiments, people have debated the legitimacy, validity, and ethical use of the experiments conducted by the Nazis. Many survivors have voiced their opinions on many of the issues surrounding the Nazi experiments and have told the public about their experiences at the Nazi labs and the medical issues they face today as a result of the experimentation conducted on them. In conclusion, these Nazi experiments are cruel and killed and affected thousands of innocent people.
As stated before, these experiments were dangerous and unorthodox. The experiments had horrible end results. The doctors put people in high altitude simulators and tested the effects of it on people. The people inside spasmed uncontrollably, screamed in pain, looked as though the person had gone insane, stopped responding to anything whatsoever, and blacked out. The victim took 24 hours to regain normal movements and they had forgotten everything that had occurred in the experiment. In the incendiary bomb experiments, the victims were exposed to phosphorus bombs and then lit on fire, the doctors measured how long it took for the flames to extinguish themselves. It took 30-60 seconds for the flames to burn out. The doctors experimented on which method was the most efficient at sterilizing people. They conducted experiments with x-rays, surgery, injections into the uterus, and many other methods. The doctors experimented with the effects of poison on the human body. They would either inject them with poison, or poison the food and watch what happened. The patients usually started to salivate uncontrollably and foam at the mouth. Then the body attempted to remove the poison by vomiting uncontrollably and the victims began to choke on the saliva and vomit. Eventually, the patients could not continue to vomit and would die within 2 hours of taking the poison. The doctors then tested mustard gas on the victims in order to find some treatment for soldiers. They first inflicted open wounds on the victims and either injected, inhaled, or drank mustard gas. Everything the mustard gas touched caused extreme amounts of pain and inflammation. The victims’ organs and body had begun to be eaten away also. During the typhus experiments, the victims were injected with Typhus infected blood or introduced to Typhus infected lice. “90% the victims died from this experiment” (Spitz 5). Euthanasia was also conducted. They killed off “undesirables” like the mentally retarded, physically deformed, the diseased, the old, and thousands of other people. Hundreds of other experiments occurred by the hands Dr. Mengle or “the Angel of Death”. He had a significant interest in twins so he arranged to get around 3,000 twins to experiment on. He sewed twins together attempting to make Siamese twins, who then died of gangrene. He injected the twins with various types of germs, chemicals, and a plethora of other fatal substances. Most of these twins died. Thousands of other experiments were conducted and thousands of other experiments ended in fatalities. These experiments had killed thousands of people and affected thousands more. That is why these experiments were so fatal and unorthodox. (Spitz 0-250).
Next are the ethics behind the Nazi experiments. The opening statement of the prosecution at the Nuremberg trial sums up what the doctors faced because of their unethical procedures and behaviors towards the victims. The following statement was made by Brigadier General Telfold Taylor:
The defendants in this case are charged with murders, tortures, and other atrocities in the name of medical science. The victims to those crimes number in the hundreds of thousands. A handful are still alive; a handful of survivors will appear in this courtroom. But most of these miserable victims were slaughtered outright or died in the course of the tortures to which they were subjected. For the most part they are nameless dead. To their murderers, these wretched people were not individuals at all. They came in wholesale lots and were treated worse than animals. (Annas and Grodin 6)
That statement sums up what the doctors were charged with: murder, torture, unethical procedures. The list could go on and on and on. The doctors faced extremely harsh judgement and sentences. The leaders were sentenced to death, life in prison, or an extremely long jail sentence. They SS men got a jail sentence determined by the amount of their involvement. After the trials, the Nuremberg Code was developed to prevent this type of incident from ever happening again. The Nuremberg Code basically states that there must be voluntary consent of the human subject. The human subject also has the ability to stop the experiment whenever he or she wants. The results should also have a benefit to society. The results of the experiment should not have a predictable result that includes injury or death unless the physician also becomes a subject. It also states many more things, but these are the main points.This code has been used to convict many other people of unethical experimentation. This code has prevented other unethical procedures related to this from ever occurring.
Lastly, there is the legitimacy and validity of these Nazi experiments. There is a huge debate in the science world over this issue. Can people cite the Dachau Hypothermia Nazi experiments? This experiment is where human subjects were placed in ice water and measured at what temperatures the subjects died and then some were then treated with various types of treatments to see, which method helped the most. There are very big arguments on both sides. The side against the use of the experiments says,”[the experiments] are such a gross violation of human standards that they are not to be trusted at all” (Michalczyk 87). They say this because so many ethic violations were broken. Also, because if the experiments were cited, society would be aligning itself with Nazi ideology. Then on the other side of the argument, it is believed that it can further scientific research on hypothermia studies and the overall treatment and understanding of it. The main argument against it is that the recorded information is very inconsistent. Sometimes the people would die at 25 degrees Celsius sometimes 28 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the people in the concentration camps were already diseased, malnourished, weak, and on the verge of death already. Tossing them into ice water would most probably kill them much faster than the average healthy person. This argument can be transferred over to all of the Nazi experiments. They took diseased, weak, feeble, and skin and boned victims and conducted experiments (Michalczyk 87-100). That is obviously going to do something to the outcome of the overall experiment. Overall, that is the debate over the legitimacy and validity of the Nazi experiments.
Nazi Experiment Documentary
- Nazi Auschwitz The Deadly Experiment 1/5
- Nazi Auschwitz The Deadly Experiment 2/5
- Nazi Auschwitz The Deadly Experiment 3/5
- Nazi Auschwitz The Deadly Experiment 4/5
- Nazi Auschwitz The Deadly Experiment 5/5