Whether or not we agree with the current health care legislation, all of us want our government to spend its money on healing, not hurting. But it turns out that secret US government experiments have hurt PLENTY of people, including children. The government once performed medical experiments on disabled people and prison inmates, in the same way that the Nazis experimented on Jews, intentionally exposing them to diseases. Was this inspired by the Paperclip Program, which brought Nazi scientists to the USA? (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to these shows).
A meeting that was held in Washington, DC by a government ethics commission to investigate this, during which committee members heard testimony from some of the few victims of this research who are still alive, as well as from specialists in medical ethics. The commission may have been inspired by the recent government apology for federal doctors infecting prisoners and mental patients in Guatemala with syphilis 65 years ago. Some of the other diseases that were intentionally given to people were flu viruses and malaria.
In AOL News, Mike Stobbe quotes bioethicist Arthur Caplan as saying, "When you give somebody a disease--even by the standards of their time--you really cross the key ethical norm of the (medical) profession." But not everyone who testified felt equally apologetic. Stobbe quotes sociologist Laura Stark as saying, "There was definitely a sense--that we don't have today--that sacrifice for the nation was important." But can you be said to be sacrificing for the nation when you don't KNOW that you're doing so?
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