The Surgeon Had a Dilemma Only a Nazi Medical Text Could Resolve. Was It Ethical to Use It?

June 3, 2019

(STAT News) – The moral dilemma for surgeons is that, even now, the Pernkopf illustrations are unsurpassed in their accuracy and detail, especially their depiction of peripheral nerves. “I hate to say it, but the illustrations are beyond spectacular,” said bioethicist and Rabbi Joseph Polak of Boston University, whom the Washington University team consulted. “They are really world-class.” Other anatomy atlases pale by comparison, Yee said, and although a few journal papers may have an equally good, single illustration, finding the right paper takes time that Mackinnon did not have as she stood over her patient.

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