Dark Medicine: Rationalizing Unethical Medical Research

Dark Medicine: Rationalizing Unethical Medical Research

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Indiana University Press


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Dark Medicine: Rationalizing Unethical Medical Research

The trial of the "German doctors" exposed atrocities of Nazi medical science and led to the Nuremberg Code governing human experimentation. In Japan, Unit 731 carried out hideous experiments on captured Chinese and downed American pilots. In the United States, stories linger of biological experimentation during the Korean War. This collection of essays looks at the dark medical research conducted during and after World War II. Contributors describe this research, how it was brought to light, and the rationalizations of those who perpetrated and benefited from it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780253220417
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 07/17/2008
Series: Bioethics and the Humanities Series
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 3 Months

About the Author

William R. LaFleur is the E. Dale Saunders Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Liquid Life: Abortion and Buddhism in Japan.

Gernot Böhme recently retired as Professor of Philosophy at the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany. His books in English include Coping with Science and Ethics in Context: The Art of Dealing with Serious Questions.

Susumu Shimazono is Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Tokyo and serves on the Japanese prime minister’s advisory panel on bioethics.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Knowledge Tree and Its Double Fruit William R. LaFleur

Part 1. The Gruesome Past and Lessons Not Yet Learned
1. Rationalizing Unethical Medical Research: Taking Seriously the Case of Viktor von Weizsäcker Gernot Böhme
2. Medical Research, Morality, and History: The German Journal Ethik and the Limits of Human Experimentation Andreas Frewer
3. Experimentation on Humans and Informed Consent: How We Arrived Where We Are Rolf Winau
4. The Silence of the Scholars Benno Müller-Hill
5. The Ethics of Evil: The Challenge and the Lessons of Nazi Medical Experiments Arthur L. Caplan
6. Unit 731 and the Human Skulls Discovered in 1989: Physicians Carrying Out Organized Crimes Kei-ichi Tsuneishi
7. Biohazard: Unit 731 in Postwar Japanese Politics of National "Forgetfulness"
Frederick R. Dickinson
8. Biological Weapons: The United States and the Korean War G. Cameron Hurst III
9. Experimental Injury: Wound Ballistics and Aviation Medicine in Mid-century America Susan Lindee
10. Stumbling Toward Bioethics: Human Experiments Policy and the Early Cold War Jonathan D. Moreno

Part 2. The Conflicted Present and the Worrisome Future
11. Toward an Ethics of Iatrogenesis Renée C. Fox
12. Strategies for Survival versus Accepting Impermanence: Rationalizing Brain Death and Organ Transplantation Today Tetsuo Yamaori
13. The Age of a "Revolutionized Human Body" and the Right to Die Yoshihiko Komatsu
14. Why We Must Be Prudent in Research Using Human Embryos: Differing Views of Human Dignity Susumu Shimazono
15. Eugenics, Reproductive Technologies, and the Feminist Dilemma in Japan Miho Ogino
16. Refusing Utopia's Bait: Research, Rationalizations, and Hans Jonas William R. LaFleur

List of Contributors

What People are Saying About This

Nie Jing-Bao

"By identifying and analyzing how the unethical was justified and rationalized, the authors draw moral and political lessons from this disturbing history that we have not yet really learned."--(Nie Jing-Bao, author of Medical Ethics in China)

author of Medical Ethics in China - Bao

By identifying and analyzing how the unethical was justified and rationalized, the authors draw moral and political lessons from this disturbing history that we have not yet really learned. —Nie Jin

Director, International Program, The Hastings Center - Daniel Callahan

A great deal has been written in recent years about human subject research. This book is different and invaluable. Its focus is at once historical and international, bringing together commentators and scholars from a number of countries and a variety of disciplines. Human subject research raises one of the basic moral problems of modern medicine: in trying to do research to save the lives of the sick, how do we protect those whom we must use to carry out the research? This book deals richly and directly with a history of human subject research that has had many dark moments. This book will help us remember what many would prefer to forget.

Steven H. Miles

"This collection of essays examines the past and future of evil state-sponsored research. It's multinational authors bring fresh perspectives on twentieth century experiments by Germany, Japan and United States. The book's second half looks to the future. Diverse authors reflect on how an un-self critical acceptance of medical risks; new concepts of body, death and embryos; and utopian visions of the cornucopia of science may be obscuring lessons from bitter experiences that we believe would deliver us from evil."--(Steven H Miles, MD, Professor of Medicine and Bioethics, University of Minnesota)

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