In 2008 the Vatican published a list of new social sins that at the time gave the media something to talk about and a reason to laugh. The sins listed were bio-ethical violations, such as birth control; morally dubious experiments, such as stem cell research; drug abuse; environmental pollution; contributing to widening the divide between rich and poor; excessive wealth; and creating conditions for poverty. The Kyeongyang magazine has taken a close look at each of these offenses, separately and in detail. This month a professor at the Catholic University of Daegu discusses "morally dubious experiments."
he says, are like thorns on a rose bush, a two-edged sword, which under
the guise of scientific experiments causes a lot of trouble. The human
medical experiments run by Unit 731 of the Japanese army in China on
Koreans and the Chinese are well-known. They injected prisoners of war
with anthrax bacteria and small pox germs to follow the progress of the
contamination. There were other experiments but far too many to mention
and the barbarity of what was done even difficult to speak about.
professor also mentions the gruesome experiments performed by the Nazis
on their Jewish prisoners. Also mentioned were the experiments, in1932,
on Southern Blacks, by the U.S. Public Health Service, to determine the
progress of syphilis, and even though medicine for the disease was
available, it was not given to the patients. A similar experiment by the
U. S. was conducted on prisoners and the mentally sick in Guatemala;
here they were infected with syphilis to determine how useful penicillin
would be in curing the disease. There were also the experiments by the
CIA, until 1973, during which the government experimented on how to
control behavior by drugs, electric shock, radiation, supersonic waves,
and the like.
Denunciation of these immoral human experiments had
good results. Those that participated in these experiments during the
Second World War were given serious punishment. In 1947 a set of
guidelines, called the Nuremberg Principles, was proclaimed by the
United Nations, detailing what is permissible in medical experiments.
In1964, the Declaration of Helsinki was a means of governing
international research, providing guidelines for biomedical research
involving human subjects. Korea has also established, he says, what is allowed in clinical trials, as well as setting up other regulations in medical matters.
though there are international regulations governing these matters,
because of the sovereignty of each nation, unethical experiments are
still occurring, such as nuclear testing. From 1945 to 1998, there have
been 1,851 nuclear experiments. In 1963, because of the radioactive
nuclear fallout, Russia and the U. S. agreed to stop the atmospheric
experiments and to limit the experiments to the underground.
amount of plutonium in our atmosphere because of nuclear testing, the
professor surmises, is about 3.5 tons and its lethal effects will take
thousands of years to dissipate. Another likely destructive scenario,
but potentially more immanently catastrophic for humanity, the professor
believes, will be the nuclear fallout from our energy generating nuclear
plants, similar to what happened at Fukushima, Japan. The possible
destruction of nature and human life are not being considered as we
continue to experiment with nuclear energy. The professor would like to
see a Maginot Line put in place that would block any more experiments of
this type. If we don't heed the calls for stopping these experiments,
he's convinced that the future will be a perilous time for both humanity
and the planet.