Is it ethical to use data from Nazi medical experiments?

By: Mario Garibay-Hernandez

You maybe asking if it’s alright to use nazi data for medical experiments, and I say that shouldn’t be done. This is true because during World War II, Nazi doctors had unfettered access to human beings they could use in medical experiments in any way they chose. In one way, these experiments were just another form of mass torture and murder so our moral judgement of them is clear. To add on, the author explains thoroughly, “It’s tempting to deflect the question by saying the data are useless – that the bad behaviour must have produced bad science, so we don’t even have to think about it”. This explains how they don’t feel like it’s necessary to use the Nazi data because they murdered the person, which means that their data isn’t good enough to see what’s inside the body. They could of died stressed because they were going to get murdered and in that case the stressed person may not be good enough to be used in the experiment. To conclude, people shouldn’t use the nazi data because the people that are dead, their family might not want to get approved on using their family to get tested. 


Annotated bibliography

Gillam, Lynn. “Is It Ethical to Use Data from Nazi Medical Experiments?” The Conversation, 1 Oct. 2017,

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October 2, 2018 2:12 am

Hey, Mario. I am very interested in this topic and just wanted to ask a question about a statement you made. If the person was stressed when they died would it be detrimental to the data? Would someone who is accidentally submerged into freezing water going to panic as well? I would be very interested in seeing more information from you on this subject. The article you have a link to seems credible and I learned things I had not known like the work the Nazis did on hypothermia. Another article on what the Nazis researched and why it should not be used would be helpful, especially if it had specific examples of studies or families being upset about data being used.

May 9, 2018 12:38 pm


I think this is a great question that will certainly generate a lot of debate, as it has for years. I’ll keep my answer short and say, as long as the data is credible, it’s worth considering for medical purposes.

From a human perspective, it’s hard to separate objectivity from our emotions and what we feel is right, however, history has proven, in some areas, that Nazi Germany did lead several technological breakthroughs, whether it was through their military airfare or the making of Volkswagen. As Volkswagen continues to be one of the more efficient brands, it’s fair to say the global market hasn’t shy’d away from selling a product created during Nazi Germany by Nazi engineers.

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