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Human medical experimentation in the US Pt.3

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    (1941)
    Dr. William C. Black infects a 12-month-old baby with herpes as part of a medical experiment. At the time, the editor of the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Francis Payton Rous, calls it "an abuse of power, an infringement of the rights of an individual, and not excusable because the illness which followed had implications for science" (Sharav).
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    An article in a 1941 issue of Archives of Pediatrics describes medical studies of the severe gum disease Vincent's angina in which doctors transmit the disease from sick children to healthy children with oral swabs (Goliszek).
    Drs. Francis and Salk and other researchers at the University of Michigan spray large amounts of wild influenza virus directly into the nasal passages of "volunteers" from mental institutions in Michigan. The test subjects develop influenza within a very short period of time (Meiklejohn).

    Researchers give 800 poverty-stricken pregnant women at a Vanderbilt University prenatal clinic "****tails" including radioactive iron in order to determine the iron requirements of pregnant women (Pacchioli).

    (1942)
    The United States creates Fort Detrick, a 92-acre facility, employing nearly 500 scientists working to create biological weapons and develop defensive measures against them. Fort Detrick's main objectives include investigating whether diseases are transmitted by inhalation, digestion or through skin absorption; of course, these biological warfare experiments heavily relied on the use of human subjects (Goliszek).
    U.S. Army and Navy doctors infect 400 prison inmates in Chicago with malaria to study the disease and hopefully develop a treatment for it. The prisoners are told that they are helping the war effort, but not that they are going to be infected with malaria. During Nuremberg Trials, Nazi doctors later cite this American study to defend their own medical experiments in concentration camps like Auschwitz (****burn and St. Clair, eds.).

    The Chemical Warfare Service begins mustard gas and lewisite experiments on 4,000 members of the U.S. military. Some test subjects don't realize they are volunteering for chemical exposure experiments, like 17-year-old Nathan Schnurman, who in 1944 thinks he is only volunteering to test "U.S. Navy summer clothes" (Goliszek).
    In an experiment sponsored by the U.S. Navy, Harvard biochemist Edward Cohn injects 64 inmates of Massachusetts state prisons with cow's blood (Sharav).
    Merck Pharmaceuticals President George Merck is named director of the War Research Service (WRS), an agency designed to oversee the establishment of a biological warfare program (Goliszek).

    (1943)
    In order to "study the effect of frigid temperature on mental disorders," researchers at University of Cincinnati Hospital keep 16 mentally disabled patients in refrigerated cabinets for 120 hours at 30 degrees Fahrenheit (Sharav).
    (1944)
    As part of the Manhattan Project that would eventually create the atomic bomb, researchers inject 4.7 micrograms of plutonium into soldiers at the Oak Ridge facility, 20 miles west of Knoxville, Tenn. ("Manhattan Project: Oak Ridge").
    Captain A. W. Frisch, an experienced microbiologist, begins experiments on four volunteers from the state prison at Dearborn, Mich., inoculating prisoners with hepatitis-infected specimens obtained in North Africa. One prisoner dies; two others develop hepatitis but live; the fourth develops symptoms but does not actually develop the disease (Meiklejohn).

    Laboratory workers at the University of Minnesota and University of Chicago inject human test subjects with phosphorus-32 to learn the metabolism of hemoglobin (Goliszek).

    (1944 - 1946) In order to quickly develop a cure for malaria -- a disease hindering Allied success in World War II -- University of Chicago Medical School professor Dr. Alf Alving infects psychotic patients at Illinois State Hospital with the disease through blood transfusions and then experiments malaria cures on them (Sharav).

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    A captain in the medical corps addresses an April 1944 memo to Col. Stanford Warren, head of the Manhattan Project's Medical Section, expressing his concerns about atom bomb component fluoride's central nervous system (CNS) effects and asking for animal research to be done to determine the extent of these effects: "Clinical evidence suggests that uranium hexafluoride may have a rather marked central nervous system effect ... It seems most likely that the F [code for fluoride] component rather than the T [code for uranium] is the causative factor ... Since work with these compounds is essential, it will be necessary to know in advance what mental effects may occur after exposure." The following year, the Manhattan Project would begin human-based studies on fluoride's effects (Griffiths and Bryson).
    The Manhattan Project medical team, led by the now infamous University of Rochester radiologist Col. Safford Warren, injects plutonium into patients at the University's teaching hospital, Strong Memorial (Burton Report).

    (1945)
    Continuing the Manhattan Project, researchers inject plutonium into three patients at the University of Chicago's Billings Hospital (Sharav).
    The U.S. State Department, Army intelligence and the CIA begin Operation Paperclip, offering Nazi scientists immunity and secret identities in exchange for work on top-secret government projects on aerodynamics and chemical warfare medicine in the United States ("Project Paperclip").

    Researchers infect 800 prisoners in Atlanta with malaria to study the disease (Sharav).

    (1945 - 1955) In Newburgh, N.Y., researchers linked to the Manhattan Project begin the most extensive American study ever done on the health effects of fluoridating public drinking water (Griffiths and Bryson).

    (1946)
    Gen. Douglas MacArthur strikes a secret deal with Japanese physician Dr. Shiro Ishii to turn over 10,000 pages of information gathered from human experimentation in exchange for granting Ishii immunity from prosecution for the horrific experiments he performed on Chinese, Russian and American war prisoners, including performing vivisections on live human beings (Goliszek, Sharav).
    Male and female test subjects at Chicago's Argonne National Laboratories are given intravenous injections of arsenic-76 so that researchers can study how the human body absorbs, distributes and excretes arsenic (Goliszek).
    Continuing the Newburg study of 1945, the Manhattan Project commissions the University of Rochester to study fluoride's effects on animals and humans in a project codenamed "Program F." With the help of the New York State Health Department, Program F researchers secretly collect and analyze blood and tissue samples from Newburg residents. The studies are sponsored by the Atomic Energy Commission and take place at the University of Rochester Medical Center's Strong Memorial Hospital (Griffiths and Bryson).

    (1946 - 1947) University of Rochester researchers inject four male and two female human test subjects with uranium-234 and uranium-235 in dosages ranging from 6.4 to 70.7 micrograms per one kilogram of body weight in order to study how much uranium they could tolerate before their kidneys become damaged (Goliszek).

    Six male employees of a Chicago metallurgical laboratory are given water contaminated with plutonium-239 to drink so that researchers can learn how plutonium is absorbed into the digestive tract (Goliszek).

    Researchers begin using patients in VA hospitals as test subjects for human medical experiments, cleverly worded as "investigations" or "observations" in medical study reports to avoid negative connotations and bad publicity (Sharav).

    The American public finally learns of the biowarfare experiments being done at Fort Detrick from a report released by the War Department (Goliszek).

    (1946 - 1953) The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission sponsors studies in which researchers from Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Boston University School of Medicine feed mentally disabled students at Fernald State School Quaker Oats breakfast cereal spiked with radioactive tracers every morning so that nutritionists can study how preservatives move through the human body and if they block the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Later, MIT researchers conduct the same study at Wrentham State School (Sharav, Goliszek).


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