SocraticGadfly: Coronavirus week 94: About that Nuremberg Code

January 27, 2022

Coronavirus week 94: About that Nuremberg Code

First, antivaxxers, given that last week today was the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, where the Final Solution was formalized, it's offensive as hell, odious and disgusting to be comparing immunologists, virologists and vaccine administering doctors and nurses to Josef Mengele, which is essentially what you're doing.

Second, it's a lie, twice over.

First of all, none of the above modern health care professionals is deliberately harming anybody.

Secondly, as the US, and I believe all other major countries backing the Nuremberg Code, had some sort of vaccine (and quarantine) mandates in their laws, the Nuremberg Code obviously doesn't include that. Burden of proof is on you to show me wrong, per what I just stated above.

In fact, it's probably mis-cited in general. And, with that, I'll tackle all 10 points.

  • First, it applies to research. Administration of a vaccine is NOT research. That said? The vaccine trials? All subjects were willing and informed. 
  • Second, hells yes it yielded fruitful research. COVID is real, and the vaccines are helpful. (No, not perfect, but I'm not going to argue with antivaxxers who claim Pfizer said its was, who strawman #COVIDZero, etc. GFY.)
  • Third, the vax development and trials were based on just such knowledge.
  • Vax trials avoided unnecessary suffering.
  • There was no a priori reason to believe the vaccines would cause death or disablement. When the Johnson and Johnson vax showed an increased risk of some blood clots, in fact it was put on hold for further study.
  • Sixth, the degree of risk was not out of proportion to the obvious humanitarian impulse.
  • Seventh, vax trials were conducted in ways such that medical intervention was ready if needed.
  • Yes, the development, and the trials, were conducted by scientifically qualified people, as compared to most the antivaxxers being unqualified.
  • Yes, test subjects had the right to leave a vax trial, as they do on research trials in general.
  • Tenth, scientists were indeed ready to terminate the trials if necessary.

Oh, by the way, it's codified into Health and Human Services regulations.

Beyond THAT? Vaccine administration is NOT research. And, there was no mandate on any vaccine until after the Pfizer vax moved past EUA to full authorization.

Related to that, whether you're a MAGAt, a Greenwald-type libertarian, or a horseshoe theory Green? Bodily autonomy is NOT absolute, and it exists only in the constraints of society. That's why the old joke about how your rights end when your fist meets my nose (or in states with separate assault and battery laws, when your fist comes too close to my nose) is not just an old joke, it's the truth.

Per this Atlantic story, your right to smoke in a public place ended decades ago, for example. Related? Politico notes that low levels of conscientiousness, especially among people who tilt conservative politically (and I'm lumping L/libertarians there) is a leading marker of spreading fake news, including but not limited to COVID vaccines, of course.

Oh, also? Antisemitism still exists, just as it does in antivaxxers wearing Stars of David and trivializing the Holocaust. A person assuming I am a Jew engaged in it when I raised the Wannsee issue a week ago. And, it was a horseshoer.

Meanwhile, RFK Jr., although not mentioning the Nuremberg Code, did do the more general Nazis = vaccination claim at his DC rally over the weekend, and tried to piggyback on Anne Frank. AND? Maybe he didn't mention it, but signs at the rally DID say "Nuremberg Code."

And horseshoe theorizers among Greens (more and more, I realize that the Venn diagram overlap between "Green" and "lefist" is not huge, and is fuzzy, but Noah Berlatsky is still wrong on denying horseshoe theory exists) are more odious than wingnuts on this issue.

Besides, none of this is based on science. Antivaxxer groups were talking blather about COVID vaccines even before the first was created, or even before we had an idea we could create one.

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