Scientist Who Planned To Use Nazi Studies Resigns
Oct. 14, 1988
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ A scientist involved in research based on Nazi experiments that deliberately froze to death concentration camp prisoners has resigned from the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Robert Pozos said Thursday that he plans to continue the hypothermia studies at his new post at the University of Washington. He said his resignation was not prompted by the criticism surrounding the research.
''I'm just changing where I'm doing my research. The work will continue,'' said Pozos, 45, director of the hypothermia research laboratory at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
Pozos, whose resignation takes effect Oct. 25, said he will become vice president of minority affairs at the University of Washington. He also will teach as a professor of physiology and biophysics at the Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.
''Seattle is a very nice part of the world to live in ... but I'm going to regret leaving northeastern Minnesota,'' said Pozos, who's been at the University of Minnesota for 18 years.
Earlier this year, Pozos sparked debate over how science should approach data obtained during the Holocaust. He said he planned to use Nazi studies of World War II concentration camp prisoners imprisoned at Dachau.
The plan was criticized by some scientists and Jewish leaders, but some medical ethicists contend the study of Nazi research could save lives.
Pozos and Dr. Arthur Caplan, a University of Minnesota medical ethicist, plan to address a conference in Minneapolis next May on the ethical questions raised by using the Nazi studies, Pozos said.
''Caplan and I are using what happened in Nazi Germany more so as a model to discuss and to show what can happen with a society when it feels that it needs to get data to protect itself,'' Pozos said.
''We're not saying it's good or bad. This is what happened,'' he added.
Earlier this year, Pozos said he plans to analyze and republish a little- known World War II text, ''The Treatment of Shock from Prolonged Exposure to Cold.''
The study, conducted by doctors at Dachau, includes observations and physiological measurements of human subjects placed in vats of freezing liquid, often to the point of death, according to those familiar with the study.
''You had some of the world's experts doing research in these areas,'' Pozos said. ''It doesn't make them correct in terms of ethics.''
Pozos will continue to consult the University of Minnesota, Duluth on research projects he helped start. Those projects came from $1 million in grants from government and corporate sources.