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Project V. T. : Paul Martini, Kurt Gutzeit and "Comparative Therapy", 1939–1949 Projekt V. T. : Paul Martini, Kurt Gutzeit und die “Vergleichende Therapie", 1939–1949 1

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In medical historiography, clinical-therapeutic research is usually presented as an Anglo-American success story that only began after the Second World War. However, Paul Martini, who headed clinics in Berlin and Bonn, had already outlined the methods and virtues of an experimentally controlled research of clinical efficacy in 1932. This article seeks to fathom the resonances and implementation initiatives that Martini's methodological reform program experienced during the Nazi era. The article focuses on a research project called Comparative Therapy ( Vergleichende Therapie – V. T.), conceived by Martini and developed at the beginning of the war in cooperation with the Breslau (Wroclaw) internist Kurt Gutzeit. This large-scale project, which was carried out between 1940 and 1944 within the framework of military medical institutions, was intended to identify effective and efficient therapies. Under wartime conditions, the project increasingly encountered difficulties that could not be overcome. Moreover, the ethical implications of the conflict between research and treatment became apparent. In the end, V.T. achieved the opposite of what had been intended: in the post-war period, the failed project added to the scepticism about schematic clinical research controlled by statistical methods, which could only be established in Germany with delay.

In der Medizinhistoriographie wird die klinisch-therapeutische Forschung zumeist als eine erst nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg einsetzende anglo-amerikanische Erfolgsgeschichte dargestellt. Dabei hatte der in Berlin und Bonn wirkende Internist Paul Martini bereits 1932 Methoden und Tugenden einer therapeutischen Wirkungsforschung skizziert. Vor diesem Hintergrund sucht der vorliegende Aufsatz zu ergründen, welche Resonanzen und Umsetzungsinitiativen Martinis Methodenlehre in der NS-Zeit erfahren hat. Im Mittelpunkt steht hierbei ein von Martini erdachtes, zu Kriegsbeginn in Kooperation mit dem Breslauer Internisten Kurt Gutzeit entwickeltes Forschungsvorhaben, das den Namen Vergleichende Therapie (V. T.) trug. Das zwischen 1940 und 1944 im militärmedizinischen Institutionengefüge durchgeführte Großprojekt sollte effektive und effiziente Therapien identifizieren. In der Praxis erwies sich die vergleichende Therapieforschung als kaum zu bewältigendes Unterfangen. Zudem wurden die ethischen Implikationen des Zielkonflikts von Forschen und Behandeln augenscheinlich. Die V. T. erreichte damit das Gegenteil des Intendierten: Das gescheiterte Projekt stärkte in der Nachkriegszeit die Skepsis gegenüber einer mit statistischen Methoden kontrollierten, schematischen klinischen Forschung, die sich in Deutschland erst mit Verspätung etablieren konnte.
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Language: German

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2020

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  • Medizinhistorisches Journal, founded in 1966, provides an international and well-established forum for research into the history of medicine and health in their scientific, social, political, and cultural contexts. Publishing original, refereed articles, it includes intellectual history of science as well as social history of medicine and gives also space to specialist fields, such as history of dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy and biology. In addition, readers benefit from its international, up-to-date bibliographic sections, which cover new monographs and books, recent contributions to other relevant periodicals, and pertinent articles published elsewhere.
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