Would you take an immortality serum made from victims?

Discuss the February 2017 Book of the Month, The Diary of an Immortal by David J Castello.
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David Nash
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Would you take an immortality serum made from victims?

Post by David Nash » 02 Feb 2017, 13:33

There was a great deal of "medical research" performed by the doctors in Buchenwald and Dachau during WWII. When confronted with the results, many doctors refused to even review the findings because they felt it violated their Hippocratic oath.

They argued that by even looking at the research data they would be giving validity to the techniques used to obtain the research. Others felt that they were salvaging some good from the horror of the occupation camps.

In any event, much of the research into cancer treatments and cancer drugs actually dates to early Nazi experiments on prisoners.

So, if you were offered a drug that conferred immortality, but you knew it was based on research that involved torturing, killing, and maiming thousands - would you take it?

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Post by Sarah_Khan » 02 Feb 2017, 16:07

That is a very interesting question, personally I would never want to be immortal so I would never take it regardless of how it was made. But your question makes me think about if a loved one of mine was suffering from a life-threatening disease and I had to make the choice of whether to save them by giving them a cure that was made by testing on prisoners.
I would like to say I would not use something that was made by killing thousands but I am not quite sure I would actually make that choice if I was in that situation.
It is certainly a lot to think about.

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Post by Wasif Ahmed » 02 Feb 2017, 17:18

I don't agree with @Sarah_Khan here. Personally, I don't want to become immortal so taking the serum is out of the question. However, if one of my loved ones was dying because of a life threatening disease I would give them something to cure them regardless of what it was made of. ?
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Post by kandscreeley » 02 Feb 2017, 19:20

That's definitely a tough one. I guess if I had absolutely nothing to do with the research details then I probably would take it if I really wanted it.
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Post by srm628 » 02 Feb 2017, 19:42

I wouldn't, based only on the fact I don't want immortality. If I wanted immortality, I would take it. They died anyway, someone is going to use it. It doesn't help them for you to be on too high of a horse to take it. They would have suffered regardless of who took it.
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Post by Jennifer Allsbrook » 02 Feb 2017, 22:10

I would not take the drug for a variety of reasons. First, I believe that scientists and scientific research must occur within the constraints of ethics. It is wrong to conduct experiments on humans. Medical trials do use humans, however, the medicines that are being put through clinical trials have undergone animal studies and rigorous examination and quality controls. Also, individuals involved in these trials have given informed consent. Experimenting on a person without their consent and without considering the ramifications is unacceptable. Secondly, I see no value to immortality. Let me live my life to its fullest and contribute as much as possible in the one natural life that I have been given.

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Post by gali » 02 Feb 2017, 22:48

Jennifer Allsbrook wrote:I would not take the drug for a variety of reasons. First, I believe that scientists and scientific research must occur within the constraints of ethics. It is wrong to conduct experiments on humans. Medical trials do use humans, however, the medicines that are being put through clinical trials have undergone animal studies and rigorous examination and quality controls. Also, individuals involved in these trials have given informed consent. Experimenting on a person without their consent and without considering the ramifications is unacceptable.
Ditto!

I also won't take it, as I don't feel it is right to benefit from the suffering of others.
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Post by dhwanis » 03 Feb 2017, 00:28

No. Even if it were something that I would have wanted...the way in which it was made would have made it not ok for me to be near. As it is what is the point of long life, if the price was the suffering of others?
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Post by MarisaRose » 03 Feb 2017, 08:51

I really like this topic!! I'd have to say no, I think I would be plagued by guilt and for that reason, it would be incredibly difficult to enjoy the immortal life. Even now, it is hard to think that any good could have come from such horrendous experiments.
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Post by greenstripedgiraffe » 03 Feb 2017, 08:59

It is hard to know what I would be tempted to do, if I were really in that position! However, I have zero desire to have immortality on earth - yikes! So, no serum for me. It is enough to believe in an afterlife, no need to worry about living forever here on this earth with a bunch of wicked people, not to mention watching everyone I know and love die =D
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Post by Jasmine M Wardiya » 03 Feb 2017, 19:59

I think it's fine to say studies should be done within the constraints of ethics and that's definitely something that should be done going forward, but saying that after the fact isn't going to save the victims of the time. Should we disregard research because it wasn't done ethically? Yes, it's a moral outcry but throwing away anything that was discovered by that feels like wasting what they lost. I wouldn't like it, certainly, but if it could potentially help the people of today I'd probably still consider it.

In regards to immortality, I'd like to say no, but who knows how I'd feel having it physically in front of my face. But don't want immortality with a clear, rational mind, at least. Then again, I've read books where they don't until they're dying - and then immortality dances in front of their face. A very different situation then.
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Post by papaya12 » 04 Feb 2017, 14:43

Firstly I do not want to be immortal. But, for the sake of discussion I will pretend that I do. At first I think I would be revolted by it and not want anything to do with it. Then I will think of all of the people who were tortured and, assuming that immortality will help in some way, I will not want them to have been tortured in vain. So in the end, I would probably take the drug if my doing so would benefit mankind somehow.

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Post by Julie Ditton » 04 Feb 2017, 21:29

The author dances around this issue. Early on we learn that the Dr who developed the drug did not do "human research". But I answer your question, I would not be able to avail myself of anything developed in the midst of the war camps.
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Post by Gravy » 05 Feb 2017, 04:16

This is a brilliant (and difficult) question!

I would be disturbed, especially at first, but I think I would have to take it.
To explain my reasoning I'll pretend that, instead of immortality, it was a drug or treatment that would save my life, say from cancer, or something of the sort. If I were to refuse it, I feel that I would not be respecting their lives, and their suffering.

I don't see much of a difference (not including the circumstances of death) between this and organ donation, except the dead individuals permission.
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Post by gali » 05 Feb 2017, 04:23

Gravy wrote:
I don't see much of a difference (not including the circumstances of death) between this and organ donation, except the dead individuals permission.

There is a big difference as not only they had no say in the matter, they were tortured and maimed while alive.
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