The Benefits Of Dr. Josef Mengele’s Research

1282 words - 5 pages

The Benefits of Dr. Josef Mengele's Research Humanity has prospered for years because of the discoveries of the medical community. Many of the discoveries have been results of laboratory experiments on animals. While some of this research has not always been pleasant for the animals, the discoveries uncovered significantly compensate for the countless lives lost during the research. During the Holocaust at the concentration camp at Auschwitz different kinds of subjects were used for experimentation. Dr. Josef Mengele, the camp doctor, focused his work on living humans. The results found during the experimentation by Dr. Mengele helped lead to advancements in the modern medical field despite the numerous lives lost and discomfort inflicted on the test subjects.Before Dr. Mengele was assigned to Auschwitz he led a distinguished career in genetic research. For his doctorate, Mengele did genetic research dealing with oral fissures. This genetic research seems "like a precursor to his later work in Auschwitz" (Lifton Doctors 339). He volunteered to go to Auschwitz in 1943 so he could perform medical and anthropological experiments to further his studies. Mengele's belief that the Aryan race is superior to all other races significantly shaped his scientific view. One of Mengele's assistants stated that he wanted to use his research "to find the cause of multiple pregnancies" so that he could utilize the information to cause Aryan women to have an increased chance of having twin births. This would allow the Aryan race to multiply at a quicker rate. The main intent was to extract the "bad" genes from the population to create a superior human race, specifically Germanic ("Angel").Research was conducted at Auschwitz with subjects above two years old and centered mainly around twins and people with the genetic disorder know as dwarfism. Every patient was subject to questions about medical and family history (especially twins), clinical examinations, x-rays, mandatory daily blood tests, and anthropological measurements. Normal medical precautions for patients were not used; for example, anesthesia was not administered, protective coverings during x-rays were not required, and consideration of blood loss was not a concern in the daily withdrawing of samples.Mengele studied maternal and fraternal twins. He was fascinated most by identical twins. Robert Lifton states in his book The Nazi Doctors, "Measurements were taken of the twin's skulls and bodies and various characteristics of the nose, lips, ears, hair and eyes". An anonymous patient said, "It was like a laboratory […] there isn't a piece of body that wasn't measured and compared" (Lifton "Mengele"). Spinal taps were given to some of the subjects to test reactions. Mengele would also take one twin's blood sample and inject it into the other twin's blood stream. Some twins and other people that Mengele studied had their limbs and organs removed, while others were castrated or sterilized. He...

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