Human medical experimentation in the United States:
The shocking true history of modern medicine and psychiatry (1833-1965)
Introduction by the Health Ranger: The United States claims to be the world leader in medicine. But there’s a dark side to western medicine that few want to acknowledge: The horrifying medical experiments performed on impoverished people and their children all in the name of scientific progress. Many of these medical experiments were conducted on people without their knowledge, and most were conducted as part of an effort to seek profits from newly approved drugs or medical technologies.
Today, the medical experiments continue on the U.S. population and its children. From the mass drugging of children diagnosed with fictitious behavioral disorders invented by psychiatry to the FDA’s approval of mass-marketed drugs that have undergone no legitimate clinical trials, our population is right now being subjected to medical experiments on a staggering scale. Today, nearly 50% of Americans are on a least one prescription drug, and nearly 20% of schoolchildren are on mind-altering amphetamines like Ritalin or antidepressants like Prozac. This mass medication of our nation is, in every way, a grand medical experiment taking place right now.
But to truly understand how this mass experimentation on modern Americans came into being, you have to take a close look at the horrifying history of conventional medicine’s exploitation of people for cruel medical experiments.
WARNING: What you are about to read is truly shocking. You have never been told this information by the American Medical Association, nor drug companies, nor the evening news. You were never taught the truth about conventional medicine in public school, or even at any university. This is the dark secret of the U.S. system of medicine, and once you read the true accounts reported here, you may never trust drug companies again. These images are deeply disturbing. We print them here not as a form of entertainment, but as a stern warning against what might happen to us and our children if we do not rein in the horrifying, inhumane actions of Big Pharma and modern-day psychiatry.
Now, I introduce this shocking timeline, researched and authored by Dani Veracity, one of our many talented staff writers here at Truth Publishing.
Read at your own risk. – The Health Ranger
The true U.S. history of human medical experimentation
Human experimentation — that is, subjecting live human beings to science experiments that are sometimes cruel, sometimes painful, sometimes deadly and always a risk — is a major part of U.S. history that you won’t find in most history or science books. The United States is undoubtedly responsible for some of the most amazing scientific breakthroughs. These advancements, especially in the field of medicine, have changed the lives of billions of people around the world — sometimes for the better, as in the case of finding a cure for malaria and other epidemic diseases, and sometimes for the worse (consider modern “psychiatry” and the drugging of schoolchildren).
However, these breakthroughs come with a hefty price tag: The human beings used in the experiments that made these advancements possible. Over the last two centuries, some of these test subjects have been compensated for the damage done to their emotional and physical health, but most have not. Many have lost their lives because of the experiments they often unwillingly and sometimes even unwittingly participated in, and they of course can never be compensated for losing their most precious possession of all: Their health.
As you read through these science experiments, you’ll learn the stories of newborns injected with radioactive substances, mentally ill people placed in giant refrigerators, military personnel exposed to chemical weapons by the very government they served and mentally challenged children being purposely infected with hepatitis. These stories are facts, not fiction: Each account, no matter how horrifying, is backed up with a link or citation to a reputable source.
These stories must be heard because human experimentation is still going on today. The reasons behind the experiments may be different, but the usual human guinea pigs are still the same — members of minority groups, the poor and the disadvantaged. These are the lives that were put on the line in the name of “scientific” medicine.
Dr. William Beaumont, an army surgeon physician, pioneers gastric medicine with his study of a patient with a permanently open gunshot wound to the abdomen and writes a human medical experimentation code that asserts the importance of experimental treatments, but also lists requirements stipulating that human subjects must give voluntary, informed consent and be able to end the experiment when they want. Beaumont’s Code lists verbal, rather than just written, consent as permissible (Berdon).
(1845 – 1849) J. Marion Sims, later hailed as the “father of gynecology,” performs medical experiments on enslaved African women without anesthesia. These women would usually die of infection soon after surgery. Based on his belief that the movement of newborns’ skull bones during protracted births causes trismus, he also uses a shoemaker’s awl, a pointed tool shoemakers use to make holes in leather, to practice moving the skull bones of babies born to enslaved mothers (Brinker).
New York pediatrician Henry Heiman infects a 4-year-old boy whom he calls “an idiot with chronic epilepsy” with gonorrhea as part of a medical experiment (“Human Experimentation: Before the Nazi Era and After”).
Dr. Arthur Wentworth turns 29 children at Boston’s Children’s Hospital into human guinea pigs when he performs spinal taps on them, just to test whether the procedure is harmful (Sharav).
U.S Army doctors working in the Philippines infect five Filipino prisoners with plague and withhold proper nutrition to create Beriberi in 29 prisoners; four test subjects die (Merritte, et al.; Cockburn and St. Clair, eds.).
Under commission from the U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Walter Reed goes to Cuba and uses 22 Spanish immigrant workers to prove that yellow fever is contracted through mosquito bites. Doing so, he introduces the practice of using healthy test subjects, and also the concept of a written contract to confirm informed consent of these subjects. While doing this study, Dr. Reed clearly tells the subjects that, though he will do everything he can to help them, they may die as a result of the experiment. He pays them $100 in gold for their participation, plus $100 extra if they contract yellow fever (Berdon, Sharav).
Harvard professor Dr. Richard Strong infects prisoners in the Philippines with cholera to study the disease; 13 of them die. He compensates survivors with cigars and cigarettes. During the Nuremberg Trials, Nazi doctors cite this study to justify their own medical experiments (Greger, Sharav).
Dr. Hideyo Noguchi of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research publishes data on injecting an inactive syphilis preparation into the skin of 146 hospital patients and normal children in an attempt to develop a skin test for syphilis. Later, in 1913, several of these children’s parents sue Dr. Noguchi for allegedly infecting their children with syphilis (“Reviews and Notes: History of Medicine: Subjected to Science: Human Experimentation in America before the Second World War”).
Medical experimenters “test” 15 children at the children’s home St. Vincent’s House in Philadelphia with tuberculin, resulting in permanent blindness in some of the children. Though the Pennsylvania House of Representatives records the incident, the researchers are not punished for the experiments (“Human Experimentation: Before the Nazi Era and After”).
Dr. Joseph Goldberger, under order of the U.S. Public Health Office, produces Pellagra, a debilitating disease that affects the central nervous system, in 12 Mississippi inmates to try to find a cure for the disease. One test subject later says that he had been through “a thousand hells.” In 1935, after millions die from the disease, the director of the U.S Public Health Office would finally admit that officials had known that it was caused by a niacin deficiency for some time, but did nothing about it because it mostly affected poor African-Americans. During the Nuremberg Trials, Nazi doctors used this study to try to justify their medical experiments on concentration camp inmates (Greger; Cockburn and St. Clair, eds.).
In response to the Germans’ use of chemical weapons during World War I, President Wilson creates the Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) as a branch of the U.S. Army. Twenty-four years later, in 1942, the CWS would begin performing mustard gas and lewisite experiments on over 4,000 members of the armed forces (Global Security, Goliszek).
(1919 – 1922) Researchers perform testicular transplant experiments on inmates at San Quentin State Prison in California, inserting the testicles of recently executed inmates and goats into the abdomens and scrotums of living prisoners (Greger).
Cornelius Rhoads, a pathologist from the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, purposely infects human test subjects in Puerto Rico with cancer cells; 13 of them die. Though a Puerto Rican doctor later discovers that Rhoads purposely covered up some of details of his experiment and Rhoads himself gives a written testimony stating he believes that all Puerto Ricans should be killed, he later goes on to establish the U.S. Army Biological Warfare facilities in Maryland, Utah and Panama, and is named to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, where he begins a series of radiation exposure experiments on American soldiers and civilian hospital patients (Sharav; Cockburn and St. Clair, eds.).
(1931 – 1933) Mental patients at Elgin State Hospital in Illinois are injected with radium-266 as an experimental therapy for mental illness (Goliszek).
(1932-1972) The U.S. Public Health Service in Tuskegee, Ala. diagnoses 400 poor, black sharecroppers with syphilis but never tells them of their illness nor treats them; instead researchers use the men as human guinea pigs to follow the symptoms and progression of the disease. They all eventually die from syphilis and their families are never told that they could have been treated (Goliszek, University of Virginia Health System Health Sciences Library).
Scientists at Cornell University Medical School publish an angina drug study that uses both placebo and blind assessment techniques on human test subjects. They discover that the subjects given the placebo experienced more of an improvement in symptoms than those who were given the actual drug. This is first account of the placebo effect published in the United States (“Placebo Effect”).
In order to test his theory on the roots of stuttering, prominent speech pathologist Dr. Wendell Johnson performs his famous “Monster Experiment” on 22 children at the Iowa Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home in Davenport. Dr. Johnson and his graduate students put the children under intense psychological pressure, causing them to switch from speaking normally to stuttering heavily. At the time, some of the students reportedly warn Dr. Johnson that, “in the aftermath of World War II, observers might draw comparisons to Nazi experiments on human subjects, which could destroy his career” (Alliance for Human Research Protection).
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).
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 “cocktails” including radioactive iron in order to determine the iron requirements of pregnant women (Pacchioli).
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 (Cockburn 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).
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).
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).
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 component rather than the T 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).
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).
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).
Human test subjects are given one to four injections of arsenic-76 at the University of Chicago Department of Medicine. Researchers take tissue biopsies from the subjects before and after the injections (Goliszek).
Col. E.E. Kirkpatrick of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) issues a top-secret document (707075) dated Jan. 8. In it, he writes that "certain radioactive substances are being prepared for intravenous administration to human subjects as a part of the work of the contract" (Goliszek).
A secret AEC document dated April 17 reads, "It is desired that no document be released which refers to experiments with humans that might have an adverse reaction on public opinion or result in legal suits," revealing that the U.S. government was aware of the health risks its nuclear tests posed to military personnel conducting the tests or nearby civilians (Goliszek).
The CIA begins studying LSD's potential as a weapon by using military and civilian test subjects for experiments without their consent or even knowledge. Eventually, these LSD studies will evolve into the MKULTRA program in 1953 (Sharav).
(1947 - 1953) The U.S. Navy begins Project Chatter to identify and test so-called "truth serums," such as those used by the Soviet Union to interrogate spies. Mescaline and the central nervous system depressant scopolamine are among the many drugs tested on human subjects (Goliszek).
Based on the secret studies performed on Newburgh, N.Y. residents beginning in 1945, Project F researchers publish a report in the August 1948 edition of the Journal of the American Dental Association, detailing fluoride's health dangers. The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) quickly censors it for "national security" reasons (Griffiths and Bryson).
(TO BE CONTINUED)