Posted: July 20th, 2022
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The goal of this Essay is to examine historical wrongdoings committed in the name of Science. Throughout history, people have attempted to justify cruel and illegal acts in the name of the advancement of science and the “common good”. There are always victims in this approach and those who are harmed or viewed as expendable in the eyes of science.
Below is the essay question and a list of sources that examine historical incidents of scientific abuse. Doctors are in privileged positions where patients are largely vulnerable to their orders, and it is their duty to be responsible.
Please examine and discuss each of these instances discussed in the sources and how they were wrongs committed in the name of science. Please examine the affects they had on their victims and how each of these abuses relates to each other and is derived from similar justifications and motivations.
Also, in the essay, please examine individually and as a whole whether appropriate steps have been taken to honor those affected by these medical abuses and to ensure these wrongdoings never occur again… Or does more need to be done to memorialize the affected and ensure the safety of future patients?
As a result of the Nuremberg Doctors Trial (AKA United States vs. Brandt et al.) informed voluntary consent became a cornerstone of the Nuremberg code(https://www.ushmm.org/information/exhibitions/online-exhibitions/special-focus/doctors-trial/nuremberg-code) guidelines for experimentation on human beings.
Unfortunately, many infractions of this foundational element have been documented from Beecher’s landmark publication(See attached source #1-Beecher) in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1966, to the publicizing( https://apnews.com/article/business-science-health-race-and-ethnicity-syphilis-e9dd07eaa4e74052878a68132cd3803a) of the notorious Tuskegee experiments (https://www.cdc.gov/tuskegee/timeline.htm)
to the use of “HeLa” cells in cancer research(See Attached Source #2- Hela chapter).
We have read about how brain specimens from victims of T4 program were discovered to be still in use and subsequently buried in a memorial site (https://www.mpg.de/956456/35_event24-1990)
And more recently, a story( See Attached source #3-Bones…) detailing the discovery of the unauthorized use of remains of black children killed in a police action in Philadelphia.
—-For this essay, you should bring as many of these elements together in a comprehensive response that highlights the wrongs committed in the name of science. You should also assess if these wrongs have been righted, and if not, what else should be done to honor the victims.
Added note to question: In composing your response, you should aim to use all of the sources given in the prompt. Be careful, however, not to simply string together summaries from each of these sources. I am looking for a response that integrates all of these sources.
For Conclusion, please say something to the idea that the wrongdoings committed have not and can never be righted as they have caused irreparable damage. However, steps have been taken to improve informed consent laws and to ensure these kinds of abuses never occur again. However, things are still not perfect, and we must remain highly vigilant within medical practices going into the future.
Please view this essay as a kind of storyline of medical abuses since the Holocaust. While many things have changed and improved, it has been a long road, and many abuses have still occurred decades after the Holocaust.
Please reach out and let me know if you have any questions.
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