'To their murderers these wretched people were not individuals at all. They came in wholesale lots and were treated worse than animals.' This was Telford Taylor, beginning the presentation of the 'Medical Case' at the Nuremberg Trials after the Second World War. The 'Medical Case' was not about genocide or war or the conduct of war. It was about experimentation on human beings; and it was this trial that produced the 'Nuremberg Code', the first control of such treatment of human beings by one another. The word 'individual' came naturally to Taylor the lawyer as a starting point, and with it the contrast with animals. The connection between what kind of treatment these units of flesh and blood might receive, and whether they were individuals 'at all', came naturally to him too.
Publication Information & Recommended Citation
Vining, Joseph. "Dignity as Perception: Recognition of the Human Individual and the Individual Animal in Legal Thought." In Understanding Human Dignity, edited by C. McCrudden, 573-90. Proceedings of the British Academy, 192. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.