Medical Experiments During Ww2 Essay

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The experiments performed by German physicians during World War II were torturous, unethical, and unreasonable when considering better ways in which the research could have been conducted. Experiments were performed on non-consenting camp prisoners by physicians attempting to improve soldier survival rates and further knowledge in lesser-explored medical fields (Coleman et al. 16). Experimentation to find a cure for Malaria was performed from February 1942 to April 1945, during which time prisoners were infected with malaria and treated with different drugs in order to find the best cure. Coleman notes, “Over 1,000 involuntary subjects were used in these experiments. Many of the victims died and others suffered from severe pain and disability…”…show more content…
The Nuremberg Trial was the moment in history when sixteen German physicians were found guilty of crimes of war, crimes against humanity, and conspiracy for their actions during World War II. The trial led to the implementation of the Nuremberg code: a set of principles created to improve the ethical and moral treatment of research participants. Multiple criminal actions were taken by physicians during the war. Coleman quotes the trial transcripts when stating the physicians, “…took a consenting part in… medical experiments without the subjects’ consent…in the course of which experiments the defendants committed murders, brutalities, cruelties, tortures, atrocities, and other inhuman acts.” (Coleman et al. 17). The Nuremberg Code was created in response to the Nuremberg Trial; it is a set of ten standards which must be followed when experimenting on humans and involves the necessity of voluntary consent, the avoidance of participant suffering during the experiment, proper preparation, and other decisive rules which stand as the basis for modern ethical review. Freyhofer notes, “The code protects human subjects from abuse by guaranteeing certain safeguards…” (Freyhofer 103). Medical critics agree the Nuremberg Code has led to more secure medical practices and
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