Undue Risk: Secret State Experiments on Humans
- By: Adrian M Viens
Any fan of science fiction knows that movies and television series such as the X-Files often incorporate stories about top secret government medical research projects. While one may reasonably dismiss the plausibility of projects involving aliens or cyborgs, the existence of secret government experiments on unwitting citizens is well documented.
There is a long and varied history of medical experimentation in the United States by government operated or sanctioned institutions in the mid to late 20th century. Soldiers, prisoners, mentally ill children, and ethnic minorities were used as guinea pigs for various medical studies. As the most vulnerable people in society, they were often included in studies without their proper consent, in secrecy, or under coercion. These studies included everything from testing the efficacy of contraceptives and anti-wrinkle cosmetics to examining the natural course of disease processes such as hepatitis and cancer by deliberately infecting healthy individuals.
In Undue Risk