1932: The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis

Photo: National Archive

 
From 1932-1972, the U.S. Public Health Service conducted a study of the effects of untreated syphilis in Black men in Macon County, Alabama where Tuskegee is the county seat. Early in the study, 399 men with late latent syphilis, and 201 men without syphilis were initially enrolled. As the study evolved, additional participants were added, so the number of men in the study varies according to the source. The poor Black men in the study were told they were receiving free health care from the United States government and were not given full informed consent. The study was limited to black men 25 years of age or older, however as a result of lack of treatment, some women contracted syphilis from men who participated in the study’s syphilitic group and some women gave birth to babies with congenital syphilis. No women were included in the study.
 
Local African American and white physicians were recruited not to treat the men. Autopsy and physician assessments were done at local hospitals. A number of Tuskegee Institute (now known as Tuskegee University) faculty and staff were involved in the study. The study became unethical in the 1940s when penicillin became the recommended drug for treatment of syphilis and researchers did not offer it to the subjects. The last study participant, Mr. Ernest L. Hendon, died at age 97 on January 16, 2004.

 

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1976: Government admits unauthorized sterilization of Indian Women

Photo: National Library of Medicine

 

A study by the U.S. General Accounting Office finds that 4 of the 12 Indian Health Service regions sterilized 3,406 American Indian women without their permission between 1973 and 1976. The GAO finds that 36 women under age 21 were sterilized during this period despite a court ordered moratorium on sterilizations of women younger than 21.

 

Two years earlier, an independent study by Dr. Connie Pinkerton-Uri, Choctaw/Cherokee, found that one in four American Indian women had been sterilized without her consent. PInkerton-Uri’s research indicated that the Indian Health Service had “singled out full-blooded Indian women for sterilization procedures.” 

 

“Over the six-year period that had followed the passage of the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act of 1970, physicians sterilized perhaps 25% of Native American women of childbearing age, and there is evidence suggesting that the numbers were actually even higher. Some of these procedures were performed under pressure or duress, or without the women’s knowledge or understanding. The law subsidized sterilizations for patients who received their health care through the Indian Health Service and for Medicaid patients, and black and Latina women were also targets of coercive sterilization in these years.”

 

 

 

The Title X Family Planning Program (officially known as Public Law 91-572 or “Population Research and Voluntary Family Planning Programs”) is the only federal grant program dedicated to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services. It was enacted under President Richard Nixon in 1970 as part of the Public Health Service. 

 

And for those who attempt to negate the government’s participation in these instances, what is the IHS?

 

 

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1906: American Eugenics Movement

The American eugenics movement received extensive funding from various corporate foundations including the Carnegie Institution, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Harriman railroad fortune. In 1906 J.H. Kellogg provided funding to help found the Race Betterment Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan.
 
The first state law requiring sterilization was passed in Indiana in 1907.  Thirty-one U.S. states would soon follow their lead.  The Eugenics Record Office (ERO) was founded in Cold Spring Harbor, New York in 1911 by the renowned biologist Charles B. Davenport, using money from both the Harriman railroad fortune and the Carnegie Institution.
 
Both its founder, Charles Benedict Davenport, and its director, Harry Hamilton Laughlin, were major contributors to the field of eugenics in the United States. Its mission was to collect substantial information on the ancestry of the American population, to produce propaganda that was made to fuel the eugenics movement, and the promotion of the idea of race-betterment.
 
During the early 20th century, Harry H. Laughlin, director of the Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor, New York, became concerned that states were not enforcing their eugenics laws. In 1922, he published his book, Eugenical Sterilization in the United States, which included a “MODEL EUGENICAL STERILIZATION LAW” in Chapter XV.
 

 
Although the first eugenics-based compulsory sterilization law was overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court in 1921, in the 1927 case Buck v. Bell, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Virginia Sterilization Act of 1924, allowing for the compulsory sterilization of patients of state mental institutions.
 
California led the country in the number of sterilization procedures performed on men and women, often without their full knowledge and consent. Approximately 20,000 sterilizations took place in state institutions, comprising one-third of the total number performed in the 32 states where such action was legal.
 
Adolf Hitler closely modeled his Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring on Laughlin’s “Model Law”. The Third Reich held Laughlin in such regard that they arranged for him to receive an honorary doctorate from Heidelberg University in 1936. At the Nuremberg trials after World War II, Nazi doctors explicitly cited Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’s opinion in Buck v. Bell as part of their defense.
 
For a disturbing history lesson, check out this comprehensive database for your state’s eugenics history. You can find out more information on state-by-state sterilization policies, the number of victims, institutions where sterilizations were performed, and leading opponents and proponents.

 

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1927: Buck v. Bell

Case of Buck v. Bell: In 1927, Carrie Buck, a poor white woman, was the first person to be sterilized in Virginia under a new law. Carrie’s mother had been involuntarily institutionalized for being “feebleminded” and “promiscuous.” Carrie was assumed to have inherited these traits, and was sterilized after giving birth. This Supreme Court case led to the sterilization of 65,000 Americans with mental illness or developmental disabilities from the 1920s to the ’70s. The court ruling still stands today.
 
The ruling was written by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. In support of his argument that the interest of “public welfare” outweighed the interest of individuals in their bodily integrity, he argued:
 

 
In 2002, the Virginia Legislature passed a resolution specifically recognizing the mistreatment of Carrie Buck. That year Lombardo paid more than $1,200 for the posting of a historical marker in front of a Charlottesville community center to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Buck v. Bell.
 

Photo by Paul A. Lombardo, circa July, 2002

 
Excerpt from the documentary Fixed to Fail: Buck vs. Bell:

 

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1977: Lengthy Mind-Control Research by CIA Is Detailed

The Washington Post – August 3, 1977

“Senate committees have previously uncovered various aspects of the CIA’s drug testing and behaviour research, but details are coming to light as the result of newly discovered documents cited in a July 16 announcement by CIA Director Stanfield Turner.
 
More than 400 heavily sanitized pages were made public yesterday in response to Freedom of Information Act requests. Turner is scheduled to joint hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate sub-committee on health.Three former CIA officials with knowledge of the behavior research also will be called.
 
The mind-control efforts first started in 1949 under the name of Project Blubird as a defensive reaction to the “bizarre conduct of (Joszel) Cardinal Mindzenty” at his trial in Budapest when he confessed to treason.”

 
“Under international standards formulated at the Nuremberg war crimes trials and subsequently adopted by the United States, medical experiments on humans were supposed to be for the good of mankind and carried out only with the full and informed consent of the subjects.
 
The mind-control program turned into Project Artichoke in 1951 and several years later it became MK/Ultra. In 1954, a team was dispatched overseas to perform tests on individuals “representing a Communist-bloc country.”

 
PROJECT MKULTRA, THE CIA’S PROGRAM OF RESEARCH IN BEHAVIORAL MODIFICATION, JOINT HEARING BEFORE THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE

 

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1994: Is Military Research Hazardous to Veterans’ Health? Lessons Spanning Half a Century.

Is Military Research Hazardous to Veterans’ Health? Lessons Spanning Half a Century.

 
1994 U.S. Senate report authored by Dr. Diana Zuckerman and published by U.S. Senator John D. Rockefeller

 
During the last 50 years, hundreds of thousands of military personnel have been involved in human experimentation and other intentional exposures conducted by the Department of Defense (DOD), often without a servicemember’s knowledge or consent. In some cases, soldiers who consented to serve as human subjects found themselves participating in experiments quite different from those described at the time they volunteered. For example, thousands of World War II veterans who originally volunteered to ‘test summer clothing’ in exchange for extra leave time, found themselves in gas chambers testing the effects of mustard gas and lewisite. Additionally, soldiers were sometimes ordered by commanding officers to “volunteer” to participate in research or face dire consequences. For example, several Persian Gulf War veterans interviewed by Committee staff reported that they were ordered to take experimental vaccines during Operation Desert Shield or face prison. The goals of many of the military experiments and exposures were very appropriate. For example, some experiments were intended to provide important information about how to protect U.S. troops from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons or other dangerous substances during wartime. In the Persian Gulf War, U.S. troops were intentionally exposed to an investigational vaccine that was intended to protect them against biological warfare, and they were given pyridostigmine bromide pills in an experimental protocol intended to protect them against chemical warfare.

 

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1990: Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)

The program is an outgrowth of the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA), which requires health care providers to report:

 

  • Any event listed by the vaccine manufacturer as a contraindication to subsequent doses of the vaccine.
  • Any event listed in the Reportable Events Table that occurs within the specified time period after vaccination. The data are stored electronically by the CDC in the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD).
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    VAERS was established in 1990 and is managed jointly by the FDA and the CDC. It is meant to act as a sort of “early warning system”—a way for physicians and researchers to identify possible unforeseen reactions or side effects of vaccination for further study.

     

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    1977: Abuses in Testing Of Drugs by C.I.A. To Be Panel Focus

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 1977—A Senate subcommittee reportedly has concluded that of the scores of scientific projects undertaken by the Central Intelligence Agency in its 25‐year quest for control of the human mind none represented a greater potential abuse of governmental authority or medical ethics than the agency’s testing of LSD‐25 and other psychochemicals on unsuspecting subjects.

     

    After an examination of the sparse public record and a score of interviews with past and present Federal officials and others, some new details have emerged of the agency’s highly secretive and long‐running drug‐testing program, the advisibility of which seemed uncertain to the agency itself at times.

     

    The new details include an unusual relationship between the C.I.A. and a senior narcotics official—a relationship that was not known to at least one Commissioner of Narcotics.

     

    Senate Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research hearing was September 20-21, 1977 regarding CIA Non-consentual Human Experimentations.
     
     

     

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    1973: THE HMO ACT

    The HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) Act is a pharmaceuticals business monopoly that was created, mandated by law to never cure. Profits from disease management drugs and protocols. Natural medicine, natural immunity, wellness, no longer allowed.

     

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