The west's dismissal of the khabarovsk trial as 'communist propaganda': Ideology, evidence and international bioethics [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 1 (1):32-42 (2004)
In late 1949 the former Soviet Union conducted an open trial of eight Japanese physicians and researchers and four other military servicemen in Khabarovsk, a city in eastern Siberia. Despite its strong ideological tone and many obvious shortcomings such as the lack of international participation, the trial established beyond reasonable doubt that the Japanese army had prepared and deployed bacteriological weapons and that Japanese researchers had conducted cruel experiments on living human beings. However, the trial, together with the evidence presented to the court and its major findings — which have proved remarkably accurate — was dismissed as communist propaganda and totally ignored in the West until the 1980s. This paper reviews the 1949 Khabarovsk trial, examines the West's dismissal of the proceedings as mere propaganda and draws some moral lessons for bioethics today. As an important historical case, set in the unique socio-political context of the Cold War, the West's dismissal of the trial powerfully illustrates some perennial ethical issues such as the ambivalence of evidence and the power of ideology in making (or failing to make) cross-national and cross-cultural factual and moral judgments.
|Keywords||Human experimentation Japanese war crimes Khabarovsk Trial ideology cross-cultural bioethics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Jeremy Snyder (2010). Exploitations and Their Complications: The Necessity of Identifying the Multiple Forms of Exploitation in Pharmaceutical Trials. Bioethics 26 (5):251-258.
R. Macklin (2010). Intertwining Biomedical Research and Public Health in HIV Microbicide Research. Public Health Ethics 3 (3):199-209.
Mona Gupta (2007). Does Evidence-Based Medicine Apply to Psychiatry? Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (2):103.
Joseph Millum (2011). Post-Trial Access to Antiretrovirals: Who Owes What to Whom? Bioethics 25 (3):145-154.
Alexander Zahar, Commentary on Trial Judgments of the East Timor Special Panels in the Cases of Jose Cardoso Ferreira and Agustinho Atolan.
Vin-Kim Nguyen (2011). Trial Communities: HIV and Therapeutic Citizenship in West Africa. In Wenzel Geissler & Catherine Molyneux (eds.), Evidence, Ethos and Experiment: The Anthropology and History of Medical Research in Africa. Berghahn Books. 429.
Thom Brooks (2004). The Right to Trial by Jury. Journal of Applied Philosophy 21 (2):197–212.
Kirsten Hansen & Klemens Kappel (2012). Pre-Trial Beliefs in Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Whose Pre-Trial Belief Should Be Considered? Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (1):15-21.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads11 ( #141,141 of 1,099,541 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #186,306 of 1,099,541 )
How can I increase my downloads?