Horrific Medical Experiments On Prisoners And Mental Patients In U.S.

Dr. Jonas Salk, who led one of the studies.

Dr. Jonas Salk, who led one of the studies.

You really want to believe that America would be above this sort of thing, but I suppose for a nation that imported human vivisection experts from Nazi Germany after WW2, trying out dubious medical procedures on its own citizens should not be too much of a surprise. The broad scope of the experiments might be though: Mike Stobbe reports on a review by AP of over 40 medical “studies”:

Shocking as it may seem, U.S. government doctors once thought it was fine to experiment on disabled people and prison inmates. Such experiments included giving hepatitis to mental patients in Connecticut, squirting a pandemic flu virus up the noses of prisoners in Maryland, and injecting cancer cells into chronically ill people at a New York hospital.

Much of this horrific history is 40 to 80 years old, but it is the backdrop for a meeting in Washington this week by a presidential bioethics commission. The meeting was triggered by the government’s apology last fall for federal doctors infecting prisoners and mental patients in Guatemala with syphilis 65 years ago.

U.S. officials also acknowledged there had been dozens of similar experiments in the United States – studies that often involved making healthy people sick.

An exhaustive review by The Associated Press of medical journal reports and decades-old press clippings found more than 40 such studies. At best, these were a search for lifesaving treatments; at worst, some amounted to curiosity-satisfying experiments that hurt people but provided no useful results.

Inevitably, they will be compared to the well-known Tuskegee syphilis study. In that episode, U.S. health officials tracked 600 black men in Alabama who already had syphilis but didn’t give them adequate treatment even after penicillin became available.

These studies were worse in at least one respect – they violated the concept of “first do no harm,” a fundamental medical principle that stretches back centuries…

[continues at AP]

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20 Responses to Horrific Medical Experiments On Prisoners And Mental Patients In U.S.

  1. Anonymous February 28, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    This should be no surprise to anyone. The EPA was trying to pass regulations allowing pesticide experiments on orphans and pregnant women just a couple years ago. This is common. This has happened for at least most of a century (who knows just how far back it goes?)

    Here’s two stories and some regulations from 2005/2006 on the subject:
    http://www.organicconsumers.org/epa-alert.htm CHEERs project, where low income families were targeted specifically for testing the “exposure to toxic chemicals” in infants and its long term effects. I believe that ultimately CHEERS was dropped, but how many similar programs get through unnoticed?

    http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jan2006/2006-01-25-05.asp Wherein we learn that the EPA says it’s ok to test the effects of pesticides on pregnant women and orphans so long as the results are not “intended” to be sent to the EPA.

    http://www.organicconsumers.org/epa6.cfm Text from the EPA’s guidelines of some of the exceptions they were trying to allow, such as “Children who ‘cannot be reasonably consulted,’ such as those that are mentally handicapped or orphaned newborns, may be studied. With permission from the institution or guardian in charge of the individual, the child may be studied…. Parental consent forms are not necessary for studies with children who have been neglected or abused.”

    That’s just one recent example. This article doesn’t come close to presenting the scope of this problem.

  2. quartz99 February 28, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    This should be no surprise to anyone. The EPA was trying to pass regulations allowing pesticide experiments on orphans and pregnant women just a couple years ago. This is common. This has happened for at least most of a century (who knows just how far back it goes?)

    Here’s two stories and some regulations from 2005/2006 on the subject:
    http://www.organicconsumers.org/epa-alert.htm CHEERs project, where low income families were targeted specifically for testing the “exposure to toxic chemicals” in infants and its long term effects. I believe that ultimately CHEERS was dropped, but how many similar programs get through unnoticed?

    http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jan2006/2006-01-25-05.asp Wherein we learn that the EPA says it’s ok to test the effects of pesticides on pregnant women and orphans so long as the results are not “intended” to be sent to the EPA.

    http://www.organicconsumers.org/epa6.cfm Text from the EPA’s guidelines of some of the exceptions they were trying to allow, such as “Children who ‘cannot be reasonably consulted,’ such as those that are mentally handicapped or orphaned newborns, may be studied. With permission from the institution or guardian in charge of the individual, the child may be studied…. Parental consent forms are not necessary for studies with children who have been neglected or abused.”

    That’s just one recent example. This article doesn’t come close to presenting the scope of this problem.

  3. Fred February 28, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    http://www.wanttoknow.info/bluebird10pg

    It pretty much just gets worse and worse the deeper you look into it

  4. Fred February 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    http://www.wanttoknow.info/bluebird10pg

    It pretty much just gets worse and worse the deeper you look into it

    • quartz99 February 28, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

      And that’s just what we know for certain from FOIA and court cases. It makes you wonder how much worse it is/was, what documentation was shredded and what was so top secret that there was no paper documentation in the first place…

  5. Brentskinner5 February 28, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    And this means more government is better because…?

  6. Brentskinner5 February 28, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    And this means more government is better because…?

    • Andrew February 28, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

      Somebody’s got to stop corporations from doing it on a much wider scale.

    • Bud Bundy March 1, 2011 at 3:41 am #

      Sorry but you owe American Express INC. a debt of $34.57. You have been sold into medical testing, thank you for using American Express Credit Services.

  7. Andrew February 28, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Somebody’s got to stop corporations from doing it on a much wider scale.

  8. WhiteRose February 28, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    Bodies the exhibit….not much has changed…..

  9. WhiteRose February 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    Bodies the exhibit….not much has changed…..

  10. Anonymous February 28, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    And that’s just what we know for certain from FOIA and court cases. It makes you wonder how much worse it is/was, what documentation was shredded and what was so top secret that there was no paper documentation in the first place…

  11. Linus Robinson March 1, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    I mean the american psych (medical) industry only lobotimized like 50,000 people?? is america going to apoligize or bring attention to this??

  12. Linus Robinson February 28, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    I mean the american psych (medical) industry only lobotimized like 50,000 people?? is america going to apoligize or bring attention to this??

    • GregForest March 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

      I’m glad you brought attention to this issue. I was unsure where the Tea Party adherents came from. It is much clearer now. Thanks!

  13. Bud Bundy March 1, 2011 at 7:41 am #

    Sorry but you owe American Express INC. a debt of $34.57. You have been sold into medical testing, thank you for using American Express Credit Services.

  14. Anonymous March 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    I’m glad you brought attention to this issue. I was unsure where the Tea Party adherents came from. It is much clearer now. Thanks!

  15. Teilomsas March 3, 2011 at 12:25 am #

    “imported human vivisection experts from Nazi Germany after WW2″ And Japan too: http://etd-submit.etsu.edu/etd/theses/available/etd-0403105-134542/unrestricted/ByrdG042805f.pdf

  16. Teilomsas March 2, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    “imported human vivisection experts from Nazi Germany after WW2″ And Japan too: http://etd-submit.etsu.edu/etd/theses/available/etd-0403105-134542/unrestricted/ByrdG042805f.pdf

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