FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Please Contact: Lynn Weed,
Test Vets Win Medical Care and “Notice”
by Lynn Weed
November 19, 2013 California
U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken (CA), today issued an injunction in the case of Vietnam Veterans of America, et al. v. CIA, et al., directing that the Army inform this national class of veteran test subjects, of the details and health effects of experiments performed on them while, they served as active duty military. These vets, from across the country * sued based on tests performed on them, at the Edgewood Arsenal base in Maryland, using allegedly more than 400 different chemical and biological substances. The tests occurred over a span of more than fifty years (1938 – 86) and involved tens of thousands of active duty military. The substances these veterans were tested with, ranged from drugs or chemicals (sarin, LSD, BZ, mustard gas and a THC analog called “red oil”) to biological weapon agents such as tulaaremia and Q-Fever.
Judge Claudia Wilken granted summary judgment that the Army has “an ongoing duty to warn members of the class about newly acquired information that may affect their well-being now and in the future as it becomes available,” and enjoined the Army to inform veterans about the nature, duration and possible health effects of the biological or chemical experiments. The Army is required to provide the court with a plan for notifying veterans about the experiments, within 90 days. The court also found that Army Regulation 70-25 “entitles Plaintiffs to medical care for any disabilities, injuries or illnesses suffered. Through this ruling, the vets can get the medical coverage needed for their illnesses and disabilities suffered.
While these are important claims decided for the plaintiff veterans, their initial claims also sought resolution on other issues, including medical care from the Army, itself, instead of the Veterans Administration. This reflects a general belief among enlisted people that the Army provides better medical care than the Veterans Administration. The vets have appealed this Summary Judgment Order, seeking their additional claims to be reassessed by the Appellate Court.
Surviving vets deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, and a variety of other diseases or disabling ailments, associated with the test substances.
The Nuremberg Code, the Wilson Directive and 45 C.F.R. 46 prohibit against human experimentation without the informed consent of the human subject. No medical facility, doctor, contractor or military person may experiment on humans without their informed consent.
The first Appellate date for the vets is Wednesday, December 4, 2013 when mediative forms will be due.
The Philadelphia Inquirer exposed similar military intelligence experiments performed on Holmesburg Prison inmates in PA, during the same years. These “Experimentation Survivors” were exposed to and tested with similar substances as the Vets. Pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson and Johnson and others made millions on the test results, while these prisoners were often paid “a dollar a day”, for using their bodies for experimentation. They now suffer the same or similar, disabling diseases and illnesses as the vets. Author Allen Hornblum wrote about these human “experiments” in his best selling book, Acres of Skin.
For more information: http://www.edgewoodtestvets.org
Lynn Weed, Paralegal, NYC
Able, CIDNY Newspaper Writer