Dachau Hypothermia Experiment Unethical Essay

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Imagine being thrown, naked, into a tub of 35 degree water, developing hypothermia, and then being tossed into another tub, this time, into boiling water. Imagine being infected with a disease such as tuberculosis, and then being forced to work in the fields as a slave. Imagine being studied throughout the longevity of your disease and suffering by those who could care less about your well being and comfort. The ethics of historical human medical experiments, such as these, have been in question for a long while, and rightly so. We as humans have put our own race through extremely cruel and terrible things, and in no way is it ethical or correct to say that the hypothermia experiments of the Holocaust or the electroconvulsive therapy experiments on…show more content…
Medical experimentation is never going to go away, but we need to recognize just how wrong and unethical some of our history of human medical experimentation has been, examine what happened, and learn from it. Terrible experiments went on during the Holocaust. One of the major experiments that went on was the Dachau Hypothermia experiment. The Dachau Hypothermia Experiment was a series of experimental testings to find the best treatment for victims suffering from hypothermia, primarily led by Air Force Field Marshal Erhard Milch, Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler, Dr. Ernst Holzloehner, Dr. Sigmund Rascher, and Dr. Erich Finke (Berger, 1990). One of the methods they tested for rewarming the victims was throwing them into a bath of hot water after they had been submerged in a cold bath with temperatures ranging anywhere from two to twelve degrees celsius (thirty-five to fifty-three degrees fahrenheit) (Berger, 1990). Typically, the victims’ core body temperatures lowered to a temperature of twenty-five degrees celsius (seventy-seven degrees fahrenheit) (Berger, 1990). The
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