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To what extent is it morally wrong to continue using the medical information and knowledge that was gained in Nazi experiments?

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Introduction

To what extent is it morally wrong to continue using the medical information and knowledge that was gained in Nazi experiments? In the second half of World War 2 the Nazi scientists performed brutal medical experiments upon helpless concentration camp inmates as a form of torture. Much of the information, which was obtained from these experiments, is still relevant in studies, however it is constantly debated whether it is morally justifiable to use this knowledge to benefit the people of today. The inmates were forced to become subjects in very dangerous studies against their will and almost all were subjected to incredible suffering, mutilation, and indescribable pain. The experiments often were deliberately designed to have a fatal outcome for their victims. Hitler's regime sponsored a series of inhumane experiments for alleged ideological, military and medical purposes. The Nazi doctors considered "military necessity" adequate justification for their horrific experiments. They justified their acts by saying that the prisoners were condemned to death anyway. One experiment consisted of prisoners being immersed into tanks of ice water for hours at a time, often shivering to death, to discover how long German pilots downed by enemy fire could survive the frozen waters of the North Sea. ...read more.

Middle

Whether any act or cause of action is fight or wrong, depends on its consequence. Clearly, what the Nazis did was wrong, as the consequence was death for innocent people. Recently, there has been a dispute regarding the scientific validity of the experiments and whether data gathered from lethal experiments on unwilling subjects could be used in any way by the scientific community. It is doubtful that physiological responses of the tortured and maimed victims represents the responses of the people for whom the experiments were meant to benefit. The fact that the Nazi experiments were never officially published or replicated raises doubts about the data's scientific accuracy. Also we must remember to consider the scientific and medical competence of the Nazi doctors when discussing the validity of their knowledge. Ultimately, the arguments as to whether the experiments were scientific or not, or whether the doctors were medically competent or not, leaves one with the impression that had such experiments been "good" science and the doctors medical professionals, these facts would somehow change our impression of the doctors and their experiments. This is not true as the sadistic evil, which was performed by Nazis in concentration camps, is in no way lessened by its scientific value. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is fair to say that the Nazis acted from an egoistic point of view as they wanted the information for their own benefit to help them win the war and to discover the secrets of genetics to help them produce the Aryan race and they were willing to trample on the Jews in doing this. The argument of whether it is morally wrong to use the information which was obtained from the Nazi experiments is still relevant to today as research is still needed for medical reasons. After reviewing the graphic descriptions of how the Nazis conducted the experiments, it has become increasingly difficult to remain objective and unbiased when analysing whether it is right or wrong to use the knowledge gained from the experiments. In our opinion it is wrong for scientists to use the information gained from the horrific experiments to find purpose in the victims' deaths, as this would suggest that what the Nazi scientists did was not entirely wrong. However we do believe that if the information will help to save lives then using it should not be objected to as it is human instinct to want to save lives, and the knowledge can then by of some benefit to future generations. ...read more.

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