On the first of September, 1939 World War II began. Hitler is in power of Nazi Germany and is wanting to cleanse the German people of racially unsound elements. He enacts a program that will aim to eliminate the so called “lives unworthy of life” called the T4 program (History Place). Over the next six years throughout Germany, many people are experimenting with and euthanized to help Nazi Germany reach a “pure” state. Was this program that was enacted ethical and what has happened since then to stop something like this from happening again? What kind of medical advances and data did we achieve from it and is it ethical today to use what they learned in today’s medical trials?
The T4 program was not the beginning of Germany’s effort to reach a super race. Leading up to the war Hitler enacted the “Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases” in the year of 1933. The law called for the sterilization of anyone that had any hereditary illnesses. The list of hereditary illnesses included: “schizophrenia, epilepsy, senile disorders, therapy resistant paralysis and syphilitic diseases, retardation, encephalitis, Huntington’s chorea and other neurological conditions.” (History Place) This law was enforced by opening 200 genetic health courts that would analyze the medical records of individuals and decide if they were to be sterilized or not. The sterilization of people usually involved the use of drugs, x-rays, or uterine irritants. Dr. Horst Schumann did a lot of these experiments with sterilization at Auschwitz, where he would take a group of men/women and would expose them to x-rays. Most of his experiments with x-rays were disappointing but he kept using this method. After he subjected his subjects to x...
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...at the expense of the brutally murdered test subjects. I have only highlighted a couple of experiments that they conducted that the data collected from these could be extremely helpful to the humankind. Instead of calling it all bad we can find some good that can be salvaged from the victim’s ashes.
Georgetown University "Chapter 5 the Nazi Eugenics Programs." Chapter 5 the Nazi Eugenics Programs. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.
"Nazi Medical Experimentation: The Ethics Of Using Medical Data From Nazi Experiments." The Ethics Of Using Medical Data From Nazi Experiments. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2013.
"T4 Program (Nazi Policy)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.
"The History Place - Holocaust Timeline: Nazi Euthanasia." The History Place - Holocaust Timeline: Nazi Euthanasia. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.
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