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Nazi Experiments during World War II: Dismal Period for Bioethics

Authors: Catharina O. Vianna Dias da Silva, Amanda F. Batista, Ana Clara C. Burgos Lessa, Carolina S. Lucchesi Ramacciotti, Maria Clara B. de Andrade, Roberto de B. Silva

Abstract:

This article aims to analyze the bioethical aspects related to the historical practices of experiments on humans that occurred in Nazi Germany during the period of World War II (1939-1945). The method was based on the bibliographic review of articles published in databases such as SciELO and Pubmed. In the discussion, historical and humanistic aspects that contributed to the construction of a genocidal culture practiced during this period were analyzed. Additionally, an ethical question arises: should the information acquired during this dark period be used by science? After analysis, it was found that these Nazi experiments went over medical and ethical principles, being a deplorable milestone in history. It was also concluded that, although they generated potentially 'useful' results in the scientific field, they should be discarded as an ethical question of principle, of never daring to validate such a deplorable way of obtaining knowledge.

Keywords: Nazism, bioethics, human experimentation, human rights, genocide, torture, medicine

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