Historical perspectives and their significant impact on the development of ethical standards governing research using human participants

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Medical Experiments- A legitimate concern of the German Air force was the survival of pilots at extremely high altitudes and determining the maximum safe altitude for bailing out of damaged aircraft. In one series of experiments, researchers placed victims in vacuum chambers that could duplicate the low air pressure and lack of oxygen at altitudes as high as 65,000 feet (about two to three times the maximum altitude that aircraft were flying). Approximately 200 internees at Dachau were used in these experiments, and about 40% died as a result. Some deaths were caused by extended anoxia; others were attributed to lungs rupturing from the low pressures in the chamber.

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