By William R. LaFleur, Gernot Böhme, Susumu Shimazono

The trial of the "German medical professionals" uncovered atrocities of Nazi scientific technological know-how and resulted in the Nuremberg Code governing human experimentation. In Japan, Unit 731 performed hideous experiments on captured chinese language and downed American pilots. within the usa, tales linger of organic experimentation throughout the Korean struggle. This number of essays appears on the darkish clinical learn performed in the course of and after global conflict II. members describe this examine, the way it used to be dropped at mild, and the rationalizations of these who perpetrated and benefited from it.

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What are the consequences for how we discuss and do bioethics? When we do that we have to stress ¤rst of all that, according to this analysis, the formulation of the title for this volume, namely Rationalizing Unethical Medical Research, falls somewhat short of what we need. After all, we are here dealing with bioethical rationalizations of a certain manner of dealing with human beings, a manner that at that time was not recognized as unethical by the physicians and scientists in question. The most unsettling aspect of their actions precisely is this: These physicians and scientists, by and large, had no sense of perpetrating injustices.

If this is so, the question is that of a self-cultivation, of an ethical development such that individuals would become able to stand ¤rm in comparable situations. Morality between Askesis and Rhetoric The terms “ethics” and “morality” are often used synonymously. However, some, Hegel for example, place importance on their distinction. I do not want to provide here an account of the different uses of these terms, but rather posit for the purposes of our discussion the point that ethics denotes the comprehensive area of normative regulations of human behavior, while morality denotes only a subset thereof.

Equally irreconcilable with medical ethics are experiments whose sole purpose is to con¤rm the results of an animal experiment in humans, without there being any prospect of a bene¤cial effect on any condition for the individual who is the subject of the experiment, there rather being the probability of a greater or lesser degree of harm. (Abderhalden 1928, 12) Referring to the cases repeatedly held up to opprobrium in the journal Biological Medicine, Abderhalden makes his fundamental position clear: There remain, however, and this must be stated with complete frankness, enough cases which must unreservedly be condemned both from the medical and the general ethical standpoint.

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