Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Experiments on elderly echo Nazis

JERUSALEM: Three Israeli doctors are under arrest over illegal experiments on thousands of patients, including an elderly concentration camp survivor who narrowly escaped being a victim of the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele.

These human trials involving mostly old and mentally disturbed patients - some of whom died - echo those in the Auschwitz concentration camp in World War II.

Berta Wiesel, 83, was among the dead. She was sent to Auschwitz from Ukraine and forced to part from her twin sister to escape Mengele's experiments.

The doctors include the deputy director of a prominent geriatric facility. Among the experiments conducted for several years until 2004 were invasive procedures on the stomach and bladder.

During one with an appetite stimulant, patients in a "control group" were left underfed for several weeks. Some on whom experiments were conducted gave permission only with a thumbprint.

Joseph Barel, the director of Kaplan Hospital, one of two hospitals at the centre of the inquiry, said: "The doctors say that patients gave consent, and these things are being checked by the police."

SOURCE: Sydney Morning Herald

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