When Medicine Went Mad: Bioethics and the Holocaust / Edition 1

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In When Medicine Went Mad, one of the nation's leading bioethicists an d an extraordinary panel of experts and concentration camp survivorsye xamine problems first raised by Nazi medical experimentation that rema in difficult and relevant even today. The importance of these issues t o contemporary bioethical disputesyparticularly in the thorny areas of medical genetics, human experimentation, and euthanasiayare explored in detail and with sensitivity.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Nazis performed monstrous biomedical experiments on concentration camp prisoners, compiling racial and other information while slowly killing them. Should the data from these experiments be banned, or mined for their possible potential benefit? This set of papers from a 1989 symposium at the University of Minnesota (where Caplan directs the Center for Biomedical Ethics) opens with the testimonies of camp survivors, who urge that the data be shredded. Another contributor argues that the data are scientifically worthless; others agonize over the issue and conclude that the Nazi data ought to be published. Of broader interest is an essay showing how the science of racial hygiene, which supported forced sterilization of undesirable racial groups, among other policies, took hold in Germany long before the Nazis came to power. One contributor compares Nazi euthanasia to the current practice of withdrawing life-support systems from patients whose continued treatment is not ``costworthy.'' The closing paper thoughtfully looks at ethical dilemmas surrounding the Human Genome Project, an attempt to map human genes which, critics charge, could open the door to Nazi-like abuses. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Despite its fiery and garish title, When Medicine Went Mad is a sober and scholarly analysis of the Nazi physicians who--in the name of science--carried out unspeakable atrocities upon countless victims. Caplan, a national leader in bioethics, has assembled outstanding experts on the subject, including actual research subjects of this ghastly experimentation. Contributors include well-known bioethicists such as George Annas, Ronald Cranford, Benjamin Freedman, Jay Katz, Ruth Macklin, and Caplan himself. Personal testimonies by Eva Kor, Susan Vigorito, and Gisela Konopka are particularly meaningful, forming an ideal background for vexing questions about why these atrocities happened and how to insure that they never recur. Of particular value to researchers are the essays by Katz and Annas, who boldly confront the implications of Nazi medicine for today's research into the Human Genome and various other fields of study. Recommended for academic and medical school libraries.-- David A. Buehler, Charlton Memorial Hosp., Fall River, Mass.
From the Publisher
"Many of the essays are excellent: informative, persuasive, and foundational to any debate about the Holocaust's relevance to contemporary bioethical concerns. "-Choice
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Nazi Experiments as Viewed by a Survivor of Mengele's Experiments 3
A Profile of Nazi Medicine: The Nazi Doctor--His Methods and goals 9
The Meaning of the Holocaust for Bioethics 15
Medicine, Bioethics, and Nazism
Nazi Biomedical Policies 23
Eugenics: The Science and Religion of the Nazis 43
How Did Medicine Go So Wrong? 53
The Use of Information from Nazi "Experiments": the Case of Hypothermia
Scientific Inquiry and Ethics: The Dachau Data 95
Nazi Science: Comments on the Validation of the Dachau Human Hypothermia Experiments 109
The Dachau Hypothermia Study: An Ethical and Scientific Commentary 135
Moral Analysis and the Use of Nazi Experimental Results 141
Can Scientists Use Information Derived from the Concentration Camps? Ancient Answers to New Questions 155
Medical Killing and Euthanasia: Then and Now
Which Way Down the Slippery Slope? Nazi Medical Killing and Euthanasia Today 173
The Contemporary Euthanasia Movement and the Nazi Euthanasia Program: Are There Meaningful Similarities? 201
The Way They Were, The Way We Are 211
The Abuse of Medicine and the Legacy of the Holocaust
Abuse of Human Beings for the Sake of Science 233
"Medspeak" for Murder: The Nazi Experience and the Culture of Medicine 271
Twin Research at Auschwitz-Birkenau: Implications for the Use of Nazi Data Today 281
The Human Genome Project in Perspective: Confronting Our Past To Protect Our Future 301
Bibliography 321
Notes and References 331
Index 355
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2000

    If You are Interested in Ethics or the Holocaust, don't miss this one!

    This book is an excellent source of information of students or teachers interested in discussing the ethics of using data from victims of Nazi concentration camps. If you are a student of history and interested in the Holocaust, you should add this one to your booklist. Or if you are studying bioethics, this book is needed to give you insight into the debate...even among bioethicists themselves. I highly recommend this one.

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