The Tuskegee Syphilis experiment Hundreds of poor African American men that had syphilis were left untreated by the US government. They weren't told they had syphilis, it was deliberately hidden from them, if they were told it could've been treated and many would've probably lived. Unlike later experiments in central America, the government didn't infect the men with syphilis, they just lied about the infection once the men had it. The government wanted to test how the disease spread when left untreated. Almost all died to the disease or complications from it. Of the original 399 men, only 74 of the victims were still alive in 1972 at the experiments conclusion. 59 of the men's family members (wives and children) ended up becoming infected with syphilis.
the San Quentin prison testicle human to human and animal to human transplantation experiments (it's as bad as it sounds). Dr. Leo Stanley, chief surgeon at the San Quentin Prison, performed a wide variety of experiments on hundreds of prisoners at San Quentin. Many of the experiments involved testicular implants, where Stanley would take the testicles out of executed prisoners and surgically implant them into living prisoners. In other experiments, he attempted to implant the testicles of rams, goats, and boars into living prisoners. Stanley also performed various eugenics experiments, and forced sterilizations on San Quentin prisoners. Stanley believed that his experiments would rejuvenate old men, control crime (which he believed had biological causes), and prevent the "unfit" from reproducing.
Project MKULTRA. The CIA conducts hundreds of experiments on American citizens in order to test various methods of mind control. CIA Director Helms destroyed most of the documents, but what we do know was bad. The unibomber was one of the victims of MKULTRA. The project also led to at least one suicide. Hundreds of people were given LSD without their consent. It's too much to go over here. Very interesting read if you have some time.
three Philadelphia researchers infected dozens of children with tuberculin at the St. Vincent's House orphanage in Philadelphia, causing permanent blindness in some of the children and painful lesions and inflammation of the eyes in many of the others. In the study they refer to the children as "material used"
Dr. Hideyo Noguchi of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research injected 146 hospital patients (some of whom were children) with syphilis.
US army infects Filipinos with the bubonic plague. U.S Army doctors in the Philippines infected five prisoners with bubonic plague and induced beriberi in 29 prisoners; four of the test subjects died as a result. In 1906, Professor Richard Strong of Harvard University intentionally infected 24 Filipino prisoners with cholera, which had somehow become contaminated with plague. He did this without the consent of the patients, and without informing them of what he was doing. All of the subjects became sick and 13 died.
at the University of Michigan, virologists Thomas Francis, Jonas Salk and other researchers deliberately infected patients at several Michigan mental institutions with the influenza virus by spraying the virus into their nasal passages (so the guy who created the Polio vaccine experimented on mentally ill patients. Won't see that in the history books).
Source: Meiklejohn, Gordon N., M.D. "Commission on Influenza." in Histories' of the Commissions Ed. Theodore E. Woodward, M.D., The Armed Forced Epidemiological Board, 1994
Unit 731. NOT CONDUCTED BY US. It was conducted by the empire of Japan unit 731 is quite possibly the most brutal, horrific chapter in the history of war. Over 3000 deaths. You can't make up the horrible things these "scientists" did to their chinese, korean, and American PoW victims. Their crimes are too numerous to go over here, ranging from vivisections on living subjects, to biological warfare experiments, to the body's tolerance for mutilation and torture. Read up on them if you want your day ruined. I've included them on this list because the US government pardoned the scientists that conducted the 731 experiments after the war, they wanted the information gained from the extremely unethical human experimentation. The victims of 731 saw no justice.
The Stateville Penitentiary Malaria Study was a controlled study of the effects of malaria on the prisoners of Stateville Penitentiary near Joliet, Illinois, beginning in the 1940s. The study was conducted by the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago in conjunction with the United States Army and the State Department. For reference on how unethical these types of studies were, the Nazi researchers on trial for war crimes at the Nuremberg trials used Statesville as part of their defense to point out the hypocrisy of the US trying them for experimenting on prisoners while we were conducting experiments on our own prisoners. (really the only difference between US government scientists in the 30s and 40s and Nazi government scientists in the 30s and 40s was that they got caught and put on trial for what they did. Our stuff was covered up until decades after the fact. Japan was on a higher level than everyone, but no country was innocent.)
(Annas & Grodon 1995 p267. Hornblum 1999 p76)
Guatemala syphilis experiments , U.S. researchers used prostitutes to infect prison inmates, insane asylum patients, and Guatemalan soldiers with syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases, in order to test the effectiveness of penicillin in treating the STDs. ~700 victims were infected because of the studies. In 2010 the US officially apologized to Guatemala for the studies.
The U.S. Navy sprayed large quantities of the bacteria Serratia marcescens – considered harmless at this time – over the city of San Francisco. Numerous citizens contracted pneumonia-like illnesses, and at least one person died as a result. The experiment was meant to simulate a biological attack on a US city. Serratia tests were continued until at least 1969 (which means they knew for 19yrs it caused sickness, but were like "oh well")
The US army sprays poisionous zinc cadmium sulfide in poor black st louis neighborhoods as part of a biological contamination experiment to test how it'd react in a population. Confirmed in 1994 that St Louis was chosen because it was similar to a Russian city. Multiple children born during the timespan die due to strange outbreaks of cancer
Dr. Joseph Stokes of the University of Pennsylvania deliberately infected 200 female prisoners with viral hepatitis. (Hornblum 1998 p91)
CIA's Project Bluebird, later renamed Project Artichoke, whose stated purpose was to develop "the means to control individuals through special interrogation techniques", "way
to prevent the extraction of information from CIA agents", and "offensive uses of unconventional techniques, such as hypnosis and drugs". The purpose of the project was outlined in a memo dated January 1952 that stated, "Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature, such as self preservation?" The project studied the use of hypnosis, forced morphine addiction and subsequent forced withdrawal, and the use of other chemicals, among other methods, to produce amnesia and other vulnerable states in subjects. In order to "perfect techniques ... for the abstraction of information from individuals, whether willing or not", Project Bluebird researchers experimented with a wide variety of psychoactive substances, including LSD, heroin, marijuana, cocaine, PCP, mescaline, and ether. Project Bluebird researchers dosed over 7,000 U.S. military personnel with LSD, without their knowledge or consent, at the Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland. Years after these experiments, more than 1,000 of these soldiers suffered from several psychiatric illnesses, including depression and epilepsy. Many of them tried to commit suicide.
professional tennis player Harold Blauer died when injected by Dr. James Cattell with a fatal dose of a mescaline derivative at the New York State Psychiatric Institute of Columbia University. The United States Department of Defense, which sponsored the injection, worked in collusion with the Department of Justice and the New York State Attorney General to conceal evidence of its involvement for 23 years. Cattell claimed that he did not know what the army had given him to inject into Blauer, saying: "We didn't know whether it was dog piss or what we were giving him."
mentally disabled children at the Willowbrook State School in Staten Island, New York were intentionally infected with viral hepatitis, for research whose purpose was to help discover a vaccine. From 1963 to 1966, Saul Krugman of New York University promised the parents of mentally disabled children that their children would be enrolled into Willowbrook in exchange for signing a consent form for procedures that he claimed were "vaccinations." In reality, the procedures involved deliberately infecting children with viral hepatitis by feeding them an extract made from the feces of patients infected with the disease. (Hey look, it's the old "horrible human experimentation disguised as a vaccination" trick. Thankfully no one ever decided to use that again. Otherwise making vaccinations mandatory could be really bad)
Source: Frederick Adolf Paola, Robert Walker, Lois Lacivita Nixon, eds. (2009). Medical Ethics and Humanities. Jones & Bartlett Publishers. pp. 185–186. ISBN 978-0-7637-6063-2.
the CIA allegedly conducted a biological warfare experiment on Tampa Florida. They released whooping cough bacteria from boats outside of Tampa Bay, causing a whooping cough epidemic in the city, and killing at least 12 people (in the interest of fairness, there are some that doubt the CIAs whooping cough experiments caused the whooping cough outbreak in tampa. Pure coincidence that they happened at the same time.)
Operation Big Itch . Tests were conducted with mosquitoes and fleas to test their usefulness as bio weapons loaded into munitions. In may 1955 300,000 uninfected mosquitoes are dropped over Georgia to test if air dropped mosquitoes could still be reliable to feed on human blood. (The weapon would be where you infect the mosquitoes with a biological agent, and drop them over enemy cities. This is similar to experiments 731 worked on in China)
Project Shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD), the U.S. Army performed tests which involved spraying several U.S. ships with various biological and chemical warfare agents, while thousands of U.S. military personnel were aboard the ships. The personnel were not notified of the tests, and were not given any protective clothing. Chemicals tested on the U.S. military personnel included the nerve gases VX and Sarin, toxic chemicals such as zinc cadmium sulfide and sulfur dioxide, and a variety of biological agents
Source: Blum, William (2006). Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower. Zed Books. pp. 152–154
The US government releases the harmless bacteria Bacillus globigii in the new york and Chicago subway systems to test the spread of a biological outbreak. (Even if it's allegedly harmless, it's still the government infecting citizens without their knowledge or consent)
University of Washington researchers irradiated the testes of 232 prisoners to determine the effects of radiation on testicular function. When these inmates later left prison and had children, at least four of them had offspring born with birth defects. The exact number is unknown because researchers never followed up on the status of the subjects (Goliszek, 2003: Ch. 4)
operation "Green Run " radiation experiments. the AEC released iodine-131 and xenon-133 to the atmosphere near the Hanford site in Washington, which contaminated a 500,000-acre (2,000 km2) area containing three small towns
(Sources for the next few things are The Plutonium files and the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce report entitled American Nuclear Guinea Pigs : Three Decades of Radiation Experiments on U.S. Citizens)
The US atomic energy commission (AEC) runs tests at the University of Iowa on pregnant women and newborns using radioactive isotopes of Iodine. In one of the studies they gave 25 newborn babies (who were under 36 hours old and weighed from 5.5 to 8.5 pounds (2.5 to 3.9 kg)) iodine-131, either by oral administration or through an injection, so that they could measure the amount of iodine in their thyroid glands, as iodine would go to that gland. (Goliszek, 2003: pp. 132–134)
28 infants are experimented on at the University of Nebraska similar to the University of Iowa tests. (Goliszek, 2003: pp. 132–134)
the AEC sponsored a study to discover if radioactive iodine affected premature babies differently from full-term babies. In the experiment, researchers from Harper Hospital in Detroit orally administered iodine-131 to 65 premature and full-term infants who weighed from 2.1 to 5.5 pounds (0.95 to 2.49 kg).
Sonoma State Hospital in northern California served as a permanent drop-off location for mentally handicapped children diagnosed with cerebral palsy or lesser disorders. The children subsequently underwent painful experimentation without adult consent. Many were given irradiated milk, some spinal taps "for which they received no direct benefit." Reporters of 60 Minutes learned that in these five years, the brain of every cerebral palsy child who died at Sonoma State was removed and studied without parental consent. According to the CBS story, over 1,400 patients died at the clinic.
100 Alaskan citizens are exposed to radioactive iodine
researchers at the University of Rochester injected uranium-234 and uranium-235 in dosages ranging from 6.4 to 70.7 micrograms per kilogram of body weight into six people to study how much uranium their kidneys could tolerate before becoming damaged
Albert Stevens, a man misdiagnosed with stomach cancer, received "treatment" for his "cancer" at the U.C. San Francisco Medical Center in 1945. Dr. Joseph Gilbert Hamilton, a Manhattan Project doctor in charge of the human experiments in California had Stevens injected with Pu-238 and Pu-239 without informed consent. Stevens never had cancer; a surgery to remove cancerous cells was highly successful in removing the benign tumor, and he lived for another 20 years with the injected plutonium.Since Stevens received the highly radioactive Pu-238, his accumulated dose over his remaining life was higher than anyone has ever received: 64 Sv (6400 rem). Neither Albert Stevens nor any of his relatives were told that he never had cancer; they were led to believe that the experimental "treatment" has worked.
Source: advisory committee on human radiation experiments
researchers at Vanderbilt University gave 829 pregnant mothers in Tennessee what they were told were "vitamin drinks" that would improve the health of their babies. The mixtures contained radioactive iron and the researchers were determining how fast the radioisotope crossed into the placenta. At least three children are known to have died from the experiments, from cancers. Four of the women's babies died from cancers as a result of the experiments, and the women experienced rashes, bruises, anemia, hair/tooth loss, and cancer
Source: LeBaron, Wayne D. (1998). America's nuclear legacy. Nova Publishers. pp. 97–98.
at the Walter E. Fernald State School in Massachusetts, in an experiment sponsored by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and the Quaker Oats corporation, 73 mentally disabled children were fed oatmeal containing radioactive calcium and other radioisotopes, in order to track "how nutrients were digested". The children were not told that they were being fed radioactive chemicals; they were told by hospital staff and researchers that they were joining a "science club" (Quaker Oats just forever lost my business)
(Source same as vandy one above)
The University of California Hospital in San Francisco exposed 29 patients, some with rheumatoid arthritis, to total body irradiation (100-300 rad dose) to obtain data for the military
Source: Perni, Holliston (2005). A Heritage of Hypocrisy. Pleasant Mount Press, Inc. p. 79.
researchers at the Medical College of Virginia performed experiments on severe burn victims, most of them poor and black, without their knowledge or consent, with funding from the Army and in collaboration with the AEC. In the experiments, the subjects were exposed to additional burning, experimental antibiotic treatment, and injections of radioactive isotopes. The amount of radioactive phosphorus-32 injected into some of the patients, 500 microcuries (19 MBq), was 50 times the "acceptable" dose for a healthy individual; for people with severe burns, this likely led to significantly increased death rates
advisory committee on human radiation experiments
Walter E. Fernald State School researchers gave mentally disabled children radioactive calcium orally and intravenously. They also injected radioactive chemicals into malnourished babies and then pushed needles through their skulls, into their brains, through their necks, and into their spines to collect cerebrospinal fluid for analysis.
(Same as above)
Ten Utah State Prison inmates had blood samples taken which were mixed with radioactive chemicals and reinjected back into their bodies.
Source: LeBaron, Wayne D. (1998). America's nuclear legacy. Nova Publishers. p. 105.
atmospheric nuclear explosions in Nevada , which were part of Operation Plumbbob were later determined to have released enough radiation to have caused from 11,000 to 212,000 excess cases of thyroid cancer among U.S. citizens who were exposed to fallout from the explosions, leading to between 1,100 and 21,000 deaths
Project GABRIEL and Project SUNSHINE. Tests on human subjects to help figure out how much nuclear fallout it'd take to destroy earth.
the Department of Defense funded non-consensual whole body radiation experiments on poor, black cancer patients , who were not told what was being done to them. Patients were told that they were receiving a "treatment" that might cure their cancer, but the Pentagon was trying to determine the effects of high levels of radiation on the human body.
Source: LeBaron, Wayne D. (1998). America's nuclear legacy
Dr. Eugene Saenger, funded by the Defense Atomic Support Agency , performed whole body radiation experiments on more than 90 poor, black, terminally ill cancer patients with inoperable tumors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He forged consent forms, and did not inform the patients of the risks of irradiation. The patients were given 100 or more rads (1 Gy) of whole-body radiation, which in many caused intense pain and vomiting
1963 to 1973,
a leading endocrinologist, Dr. Carl Heller, irradiated the testicles of Oregon and Washington prisoners. In return for their participation, he gave them $5 a month, and $100 when they had to receive a vasectomy upon conclusion of the trial. The surgeon who sterilized the men said that it was necessary to "keep from contaminating the general population with radiation-induced mutants". Dr. Joseph Hamilton, one of the researchers who had worked with Heller on the experiments, said that the experiments "had a little of the Buchenwald touch"
Source: Cockburn, Alexander; Jeffrey St. Clair (1998). Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press. New York: Verso. pp. 157–159.
the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service conducted experiments which exposed thousands of U.S. military personnel to mustard gas, in order to test the effectiveness of gas masks and protective clothing
the U.S. Army sprayed chemicals over six cities in the United States and Canada, in order to test dispersal patterns of chemical weapons. ( is Canada even sovereign at this point, I mean really. Unless the Canadian government was okay with it that's a bit fucked up. I can understand Guatemala, we don't even try to hide our expiration of latin and central America, but Canada gets it too. When you add in the agent orange that Dow and Monsanto sprayed in Canada well after it was known to cause defects, and we aren't that nice to our northern neighbours. Could be worse, the north neighbour gets birth defects. The south one gets the US government arming cartels and perpetuating a war that has killed 106,000 mexicans since 2006)
To test whether or not sulfuric acid, which is used in making molasses, was harmful as a food additive, the Louisiana State Board of Health commissioned a study to feed "Negro prisoners" nothing but molasses for five weeks. One report stated that prisoners didn't "object to submitting themselves to the test, because it would not do any good if they did". (Anyone ever read about those old studies where they found if you hurt and torture a creature long enough, eventually the despair will get so great that they won't even try to fight back after a certain point, but rather accept their fates? Yeah.)
(Hornblum, 1998: pp. 76–77)
Operation Top Hat . Military personnel exposed to chemical weapons. The experiments used Chemical Corps personnel to test decontamination methods for biological and chemical weapons, including sulfur mustard and nerve agents. The personnel were deliberately exposed to these contaminants, were not volunteers, and were not informed of the tests.
The Holmesburg Program (this should be a movie. agent orange, corrupt chemical companies, a mad scientist, and good old fashioned government exploitation of prisoners) 1951 to 1974, the Holmesburg Prison in Pennsylvania was the site of extensive dermatological research operations, using prisoners as subjects. Led by Dr. Albert M. Kligman of the University of Pennsylvania, the studies were performed on behalf of Dow Chemical Company, the U.S. Army, and Johnson & Johnson. In one of the studies, for which Dow Chemical paid Kligman $10,000, Kligman injected dioxin — a highly toxic, carcinogenic compound found in Agent Orange, which Dow was manufacturing for use in Vietnam at the time — into 70 prisoners, most of them black (wow didn't see that coming /s). The prisoners developed severe lesions which went untreated for seven months. Dow Chemical wanted to study the health effects of dioxin and other herbicides, and how they affect human skin, because workers at their chemical plants were developing chloracne. In the study, Kligman applied roughly the same amount of dioxin as that to which Dow employees were being exposed.
Kligman later continued his dioxin studies, increasing the dosage of dioxin he applied to the skin of 10 prisoners to 7,500 micrograms of dioxin, which is 468 times the dosage that the Dow Chemical official Gerald K. Rowe had authorized him to administer. As a result, the prisoners developed inflammatory pustules and papules.
The Holmesburg program paid hundreds of inmates a nominal stipend to test a wide range of cosmetic products and chemical compounds, whose health effects were unknown at the time. Upon his arrival at Holmesberg, Kligman is claimed to have said, "All I saw before me were acres of skin ... It was like a farmer seeing a fertile field for the first time". A 1964 issue of Medical News reported that 9 out of 10 prisoners at Holmesburg Prison were medical test subjects. In 1967, the U.S. Army paid Kligman to apply skin-blistering chemicals to the faces and backs of inmates at Holmesburg to, in Kligman's words, "learn how the skin protects itself against chronic assault from toxic chemicals, the so-called hardening process."
researchers began performing experiments in which they tested diethylstilbestrol, a synthetic estrogen, on pregnant women at the Lying-In Hospital of the University of Chicago. The women experienced an abnormally high number of miscarriages and babies with low birth weight (LBW). None of the women were told that they were being experimented on.
researchers at the Laurel Children's Center in Maryland tested experimental acne medications on children. They continued their tests even after half of the children developed severe liver damage from the medications (Goliszek, 2003: pp. 223–225)
University of Minnesota research participant Dan Markingson committed suicide while enrolled in an industry-sponsored pharmaceutical trial comparing three FDA-approved atypical antipsychotics: Seroquel (quetiapine), Zyprexa (olanzapine), and Risperdal (risperidone). Writing on the circumstances surrounding Markingson's death in the study, which was designed and funded by Seroquel manufacturer AstraZeneca, University of Minnesota Professor of Bioethics Carl Elliott noted that Markingson was enrolled in the study against the wishes of his mother, Mary Weiss, and that he was forced to choose between enrolling in the study or being involuntarily committed to a state mental institution. (Either let us experiment on you, or we'll throw you in a mental institution and they'll experiment on you for us)
the Harvard University biochemist Edward Cohn injected 64 Massachusetts prisoners with cow blood, as part of an experiment sponsored by the U.S. Navy. (Cow blood? Sure why the fuck not. Go big or go home)
Source: Dober, Gregory "Cheaper than Chimpanzees: Expanding the Use of Prisoners in Medical Experiments"
researchers at the Cleveland City Hospital ran experiments to study changes in cerebral blood flow: they injected people with spinal anesthesia, and inserted needles into their jugular veins and brachial arteries to extract large quantities of blood and, after massive blood loss which caused paralysis and fainting, measured their blood pressure.
The San Antonio Contraceptive Study was a clinical research study about the side effects of oral contraceptives . Women coming to a clinic in San Antonio to prevent pregnancies were not told they were participating in a research study or receiving placebos. 10 of the women became pregnant while on placebos
artificial blood was transfused into research subjects across the United States without their consent by Northfield Labs. Later studies showed the artificial blood caused a significant increase in the risk of heart attacks and death
Still trust your government?