Nuclear And Biological Warfare During The Cold War

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Throughout the Cold War, the United States Government purposely risked the lives of American citizens by funding and performing hundreds of nonconsensual experiments on humans. Such experiments ranged from injections of plutonium into citizens’ bloodstream to releasing harmful bacteria over the city of San Francisco. Motivated by the threat of nuclear and biological warfare from the Soviet Union, these experiments were performed to gain a scientific superiority over the USSR and protect citizens from the effects of possible foreign attacks. One graduate student doing research in MIT’s biology department, Dr. Constantine Maletskos, was selected to work on one of the government funded experiments. He said, “There were no rules in those days.…show more content…
The experimentation was then accelerated due to the growing scientific advances of the Soviet Union. And while the experimentation was unethical, it proved to save many lives through the use of the standards that were developed. During World War II, the United States Government facilitated a growth in government-sponsored biomedical research to aid the United States military forces and establish a scientific superiority over the USSR. When World War II began, so did the expansion of federally funded medical research in the United States to protect military personnel against injuries, disease, exposure, and fatigue. This new funding and expansion led to great medical advancements including vaccines for typhus, cholera, and forms of influenza, treatment for measles and malaria, and most importantly, penicillin. These advancements established the United States’ scientific superiority as newly developed treatments were made available for both civilian and military use. Such superiority was crucial in ending the war because it was the United States’ superior innovation and extensive research that inspired the creation of an the atomic bomb that brought about the end of World War II. Along with the great medical advancements, the Nuremberg Trials brought forth ethical issues regarding scientific experimentation during World War II. These trials provided the world with a new code of ethics for experimentation on humans, known as the Nuremberg Code. This
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