The Experiments Version
Keep The Ethical Light Burning, Inc.
Kelb News, Newsletter Oct. 9 ’10
Non-Profit Organization Dedicated to Advocacy for
Nonconsensual Experimentation and Harassment
“We intend that men shall be free to live by no man’s leave under the sun.” Statement from the Nuremberg Trials
Guatamalan Nonconsensual Experiments Revealed
U. S. Unearths A Horror and Apologizes for Syphilis Guatamalan Experiments (‘46 – ‘48)
Stephen Smith, Globe Staff
October 2, 2010
Picking through musty files in a Pennsylvania archive, a Wellesley College professor made a heart-stopping discovery: US government scientists in the 1940s deliberately infected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis and gonorrhea in experiments conducted without the subjects’ permission.
Medical historian Susan M. Reverby happened upon the documents four or five years ago while researching the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study and later shared her findings with US government officials.
The unethical research was not publicly disclosed until yesterday, when President Obama and two Cabinet secretaries apologized to Guatemala’s government and people and pledged to never repeat the mistakes of the past — an era when it was not uncommon for doctors to experiment on patients without their consent.
Even so, Reverby found in the files a story of almost singular exploitation and deception, conducted in a foreign land because, the nation’s surgeon general at the time acknowledged, it could not have been done in the United States.
Susan M. Reverby
Education: Bachelor’s from Cornell University in industrial and labor relations, 1967; master’s from New York University, 1973; doctorate from Boston University in American studies, 1982.
Professional: Professor of women’s and gender studies at Wellesley College; first professor hired in women’s studies in 1982.
Research interests: History of medicine, nursing, and American women; two books on the Tuskegee syphilis study.
Other work: Community organizer in New York and women’s health activist; health policy analyst; consumer representative on the Food and Drug Administration’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices advisory panel from
1993-1997; ACLU of Massachusetts board, 1998-2007.
SOURCE: Wellesley College
Remembering The Tuskegee Experiments
Syphilis Study Still Provides Disbelief, Sadness
by Tuskegee Legacy Committee Chair Dr. Vanessa Gamble.
Listen to Alex Chadwick’s report.
July 25, 2002 –Thirty years ago today, the Washington Evening Star newspaper ran this headline on its front page: “Syphilis Patients Died Untreated.” With those words, one of America’s most notorious medical studies, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, became public.
“For 40 years, the U.S. Public Health Service has conducted a study in which human guinea pigs, not given proper treatment, have died of syphilis and its side effects,” Associated Press reporter Jean Heller wrote on July 25, 1972. “The study was conducted to determine from autopsies what the disease does to the human body.”
. . . But it wasn’t until 1997 that the government formally apologized for the unethical study. President Clinton delivered the apology, saying what the government had done was deeply, profoundly and morally wrong:
“To the survivors, to the wives and family members, the children and the grandchildren, I say what you know: No power on Earth can give you back the lives lost, the pain suffered, the years of internal torment and anguish.
“What was done cannot be undone. But we can end the silence. We can stop turning our heads away. We can look at you in the eye and finally say, on behalf of the American people: what the United States government did was shameful.
More NPR stories on the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.
Denver-based journalist Eileen Welsome reveals how as a reporter for the tiny Albuquerque Tribune (circulation 35,000) she uncovered one of the country’s great Cold War secrets: the U.S. government had knowingly exposed thousands of human Guinea pigs with radiation poisoning including 18 Americans who had plutonium injected directly into their bloodstream. [includes rush transcript]
In a Massachusetts school, seventy-three disabled children were spoon-fed oatmeal laced with radioactive isotopes.
No these are not acts of terrorism by common criminals.
These are just some of the secret human radiation experiments that the U.S. government conducted on unsuspecting Americans for decades as part of its atom bomb program.
In a gruesome plot that spanned 30 years, doctors and scientists working with the US atomic weapons program, exposed thousands of unwilling and unknowing Americans to radiation poisoning to study its effects.
For years, the experiments by the U.S. government and the identities of their human guinea pigs were covered up.
Then after a six-year investigation, investigative reporter Eileen Welsome uncovered the names of 18 people who were injected with plutonium in the 1940s without their knowledge by federal government scientists. In 1993, she published her finding in The Albuquerque Tribune and later received the Pulitzer Prize for her work.
Another six years later, Welsome published “The Plutonium Files: America’s Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War.”
The book gives a detailed account of the unspeakable scientific trials conducted by the U.S. government that reduced thousands of American men, women, and even children to nameless specimens. . . .
Secretary of Energy with Courage and Strength Dealt with Nonconsensual Testing
. . . The Committee had its origins when public controversy developed surrounding human radiation experiments that were conducted half a century ago. In November 1993, the Albuquerque Tribune published a series of articles that, for the first time, publicly revealed the names of Americans who had been injected with plutonium, the man-made material that was a key ingredient of the atom bomb. Reporter Eileen Welsome put a human face to what had previously been anonymous data published in official reports and technical journals.
As World War II was ending, she wrote, doctors in the United States injected a number of hospitalized patients with plutonium, very likely without their knowledge or consent. The injections were part of a group of experiments to determine how plutonium courses through the human body. The experiments, and the very existence of plutonium, were shrouded in secrecy.
They were conducted at the direction of the U.S. government, with the assistance of university researchers in Berkeley, Chicago, and Rochester (New York), with the expectation that the information gained could be used to limit the hazards to the thousands of workers laboring to build the bomb.
On reading the articles, Secretary of Energy Hazel O’Leary expressed shock, first to her staff, and then in response to a question posed at a press conference. She was particularly concerned because the Department of Energy had its earliest origins in the agencies responsible for building the atomic bomb and sponsoring the plutonium experiments.
During the Cold War, these agencies had continued to do much of their work in the twilight zone between openness and secrecy. Now, the Cold War was over. The time had come, Secretary O’Leary determined, to make public anything that remained to be told about the plutonium experiments.
Subsequent press reports soon noted that the plutonium injections were not the only human radiation experiments that had been conducted during the war and the decades that followed.
Rosemary Johnson in North Carolina is moving. She needs help and donations for moving expenses. The move is unexpected and the need is urgent. Please contact Lynn at LynnandMarie@live.com, Judy at Jstingfield@comcast.net or Michael at Mshaney@charter.net to transmit donations.
Kathy in Georgia is looking for a housemate. The sharing rent will be low and there may be a small exchange for some light chores upon mutual agreement. Potential housemates, please contact Lynn, Judy or Michael.
Stephen Naghdi is back at home in San Francisco, without any negative consequences. He is still in need of small donations of $5 or $10 for survival for this upcoming month. Please contact any of us to help.
Kelb Publishes In this edition of Kelb’s Newsletter, we are providing articles to our membership, about experiments, the federal government performed on unwitting U.S. citizens, 1946 – 1990 and later.
We open with the current article exposing the Guatamalan experiments, revealed by Wellesley researcher, Susan Reverby. We believe her findings are very important and again, put the spotlight on a time period when our federal government experimented on vulnerable and unwitting subjects, without their consent, including children. These children are now adults. They are MKUltra Project survivors. Please read these articles.
They are part of the larger group of experiences, history, and unauthorized acts, Kelb deals with and is acting on. And as always, we urge you to continue surviving.
Kelb Newsletter March 26 11
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