The Elephant of Forgetfulness extends its benign trunk to the Nuremberg trial in 1946. The public and, it appears, Mary Harney the Minister for Health and Children, have forgotten the trials (there was more than one) and especially have forgotten “The Doctors Trial”?.
Many victims of the Holocaust had been the subject of medical experiments in the concentration camps.
Against the odds, some of the medical personnel responsible for the terrible injuries inflicted on the victims were brought to trial before the Nuremberg Tribunal.
The Tribunal, in addition to finding these acts of the defendants offences under International law, promulgated “The Nuremberg Code”?.
The Code was a clear exposition of the only legal basis on foot of which a medical experiment could be lawfully carried out on a human being. The free consent of the subject of the experiment was the key to the Code.
In 1949 the Geneva Conventions (ratified by Ireland) stipulated that no medical experiments could be carried out on prisoners of war. See Article 13.
Durng the 1960s and 1970s a number of babies and children in Ireland were the subjects of medical experiment by the administering of a vaccine to them. They were not of an age to consent and the available evidence shows no adult gave a consent for them or was even asked to do so.
The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse was investigating these trials in “Institutional Settings”?
On 28th November 2006 the Minister announced there would be no more inquiries into these vaccine trials . (She told the Commission to stop its inquiry).
a) These trials were clearly a breach of the Nuremberg Code;
b) They would have been a war crime if they involved prisoners of war.
c) They were a trespass to the person.
d) They were a breach of the constitutional rights of the children, one of the rights comprising the State obligation âto defend the “life, person, good name and property rights of every citizen” (Article 40.2)
Time to think again.