Document Detail

Too hard to face.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16186207     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
While the Holocaust is often placed at the genesis of bioethics, this relatively young field has not yet seriously explored the conduct of German scientists and physicians involved in the human subjects experiments of the Holocaust. We comfort ourselves with the beliefs that the individuals involved in the events of the Holocaust were mad or evil and unlike other scientists and physicians. Yet the evidence is that these professionals were educated and capable members of a technologically sophisticated society who believed they were somehow behaving morally within the context of their social-political situation. The first defendants at Nuremberg were physicians and public health officials. An examination of the trial transcripts provides data about what motivated these medical scientists to engage in human experimentation and mass murder and the extent to which ethics rationales were given for unparalleled moral wrong-doing in biomedicine. Bioethics must still address these beliefs and subject them to close scrutiny.
Arthur L Caplan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Historical Article; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law     Volume:  33     ISSN:  1093-6793     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Am. Acad. Psychiatry Law     Publication Date:  2005  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-09-27     Completed Date:  2005-11-21     Revised Date:  2006-07-13    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9708963     Medline TA:  J Am Acad Psychiatry Law     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  394-400     Citation Subset:  E; IM    
Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania, 3401 Market Street, Suite 320 Philadelphia, PA 19104-3308, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Bioethics / history*,  trends
Biomedical Research / ethics,  history,  standards
Concentration Camps / history,  statistics & numerical data
Ethics, Professional / history
Ethics, Research
Forensic Psychiatry*
History, 20th Century
Holocaust / ethics,  history*
Homicide / ethics,  history,  statistics & numerical data
Human Experimentation / ethics,  history*,  legislation & jurisprudence
National Socialism
Physicians / ethics,  history,  legislation & jurisprudence
United States
World War II

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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