Human Experimentation


Medical Research and Human Experimentation Law.  Laws, codes, cases, international, US state and federal documents.

United States’ Holocaust Memorial Museum’s bibliography on medical experimentation.

Wellness Directory of Minnesota: A Brief History of Human Experiments.


Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, (1996) “The Human Radiation Experiments.” Oxford University Press, NY, NY.
NOTE: From the publisher: “Based on a review of hundreds of thousands of heretofore unavailable or classified documents, this Report tells a gripping story of the intricate relationship between science and the state. Under the thick veil of government secrecy, researchers conducted experiments that ranged from the mundane to such egregious violations as administering radioactive tracers to mentally retarded teenagers, injecting plutonium into hospital patients, and intentionally releasing radiation into the environment.”

Annas, George J., Ed. (1992) “The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code: Human Rights in Human Experimentation.” Oxford University Press, NY, NY.
Preview in Google Books.
TABLE OF CONTENTS (partial): Primary Documents – Nazi Doctors, Racial Medicine and Human Experimentation – Nazi Doctors, German Medicine and Historical Truth – The Doctors’ Trial and the Nuremberg Code – Opening Statement of the Prosecution December 9 1946 – Judgment and Aftermath – Historical Origins of the Nuremberg Code – American Medical Association Code – An International Overview – The Nuremberg Principles in International Law – The Influence of the Nuremberg Code on U S Statutes – Ethics versus Expediency – Ethics and Modern Medical Research – Universality of the Nuremberg Code – The Doctors Trial and Analogies to the Holocaust in Contemporary Bioethical Debates – Protecting Human Rights by Restricting Publication of Unethical Research – AIDS Research and the Nuremberg Code – Where Do We Go From Here? – Control Council Law No 10 – Declaration of Helsinki: Recommendations Guiding Doctors in Clinical Research – Use of Human Volunteers in Experimental Research – Department of Defense Request for Exemption from Informed Consent Requirements
NOTE: From the publisher: The atrocities committed by Nazi physicians and researchers during World War II prompted the development of the Nuremberg Code to define the ethics of modern medical experimentation utilizing human subjects. Since its enunciation, the Code has been viewed as one of the cornerstones of modern bioethical thought. The sources and ramifications of this important document are thoroughly discussed in this book by a distinguished roster of contemporary professionals from the fields of history, philosophy, medicine, and law. Contributors also include the chief prosecutor of the Nuremberg Military Tribunal and a moving account by a survivor of the Mengele Twin Experiments. The book sheds light on keenly debated issues of both science and jurisprudence, including the ethics of human experimentation; the doctrine of informed consent; and the Code’s impact on today’s international human rights agenda. The historical setting of the Code’s creation, some modern parallels, and the current attitude of German physicians toward the crimes of the Nazi era, are discussed in early chapters. The book progresses to a powerful account of the Doctors’ Trial at Nuremberg, its resulting verdict, and the Code’s development. The Code’s contemporary influence on both American and international law is examined in its historical context and discussed in terms of its universality: are the foundational ethics of the Code as valid today as when it was originally penned?”

Baumslag, Naomi. (2005) “Murderous Medicine: Nazi Doctors, Human Experimentation, and Typhus.” Praeger Pub, Westport, CT.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS (partial):Introduction – War Lice and Disinfection – From Euthanasia to Murder – Jewish Doctors Struggle to Conceal Typhus and Save Lives – Pharmaceutical Companies, Typhus Vaccines, Drugs, Doctors, and Inhuman Experiments – The Red Cross Fails Its Humanitarian Mission – From Bodies to Bombs -Appendices – Resources
NOTE: From the publisher: “More than 1.5 million concentration camp prisoners died of typhus, a preventable disease. Despite advances in public health measures to control and prevent typhus outbreaks, German doctors, fueled by their racist ideology and their medieval approach to the disease, used the disease as a form of biological warfare against Jews, Slavs, and gypsies. Jewish hospitals in ghettos were burned–along with patients and staff–if typhus was present. In concentration camps, even suspected typhus cases were killed in the gas chambers or through intracardiac injections. Typhus vaccines were tested on prisoners deliberately infected with typhus. Only a handful of doctors were ever prosecuted for their crimes.
Against all odds, Jewish health providers struggled to avoid the worst through innovative steps to save lives. Despite the removal of their equipment, drugs, and other resources, they organized health care and sanitary hygienic measures. Doctors were forced to conceal cases, falsify diagnoses and cause of death in order to save lives. This important study explores the role of the International Red Cross in typhus epidemics during and after World War I and World War II. It details the widespread complicity of foreign companies in the Nazi typhus research. Finally, the author stresses the importance of monitoring and holding accountable the medical profession, researchers, and drug companies that continue to invest in research on biological agents as weapons of war.”

Cole, Leonard. (1989) “Clouds of Secrecy: The Army’s Germ-Warfare Tests over Populated Areas.” Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, MD.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS (partial): Biological Warfare in the Past – Living near Gruinard Island – Fort Detricks Mysteries – The Army’s Germ Warfare Simulants – Open Air Vulnerability Tests – Edward Nevin and the Spraying of San Francisco – The Trial – The Yellow Rain Puzzle – Recombinant DNA Technology and Biological Warfare- Field Experiments: the Dugway Issue – Worries and Ambiguities – Information for Members of Congress U – Reports by Dr Stephen Weitzman and Dr J Mehsen Joseph – Current open air testing NOTE: From the publisher: “Assesses the risks of the Army’s biological warfare program, discusses uses of germ warfare in Afghanistan by the Soviet Union, and examines the ethics of such weapons.” Includes material on tests in Minneapolis, St. Louis, San Francisco, and the New York subway system.

Felton, Mark. (2012) “The Devil’s Doctors: Japanese Human Experiments on Allied Prisoners of War” Pen and Sword Books, Barnsley, England.  Also Google eBook
TABLE OF CONTENTS: The Seeds of Death – Paris of the Orient – Blood Harvest – The Camp – Forced Labour – Guinea Pigs – Precedents and Paper Trails – Flamingo – Reaping the Whirlwind – Operation PX – Dark Harvest – Conclusion – Appendices
Preview in Google books (extensive)

Goliszek, Andrew. (2003) “In the Name of Science: A History of Secret Programs, Medical Research, and Human Experimentation.” St. Martin’s Press, NY, NY.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS: The Chemical Revolution: Bringing Bad Things to Life – Natures Weapons: Man and Biological Warfare – The Eugenics Movement: Past Present and Future – Human Radiation Experiments – The CIA and Human Experiments – Silent Conspirators: The Government-Industry Connection From Aspartame to AZT – Organized Medicine A Century of Human Experimentation – Ethnic Weapons: The New Genetic Warfare – What the Future Holds: Human Experimentation in the Twenty-first Century – Appendices – Bibliography (26 pages)
NOTE: Contains chapters, among others, on biological warfare, the eugenics movement, the radiation experiments, the CIA and mind control experiments, twenty appendices, and a 26 page bibliography

Gray, Fred D. (1988 and 2013) “The Tuskegee Syphilis Study: An Insiders’ Account of the Shocking Medical Experiment Conducted by Government Doctors Against African American Men.” NewSouth Books, Montgomery, AL.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS: Listing of Study Participants: 1932-1972 – Introduction – Macon County Alabama – Origins of the Study – The Study 1932-1972 – The Study Revealed – An Abrupt End to the Study – The Lawsuit – Aftermath – The Presidential Apology – The Legacy – Beyond Tuskegee – Epilogue – Appendix – Bibliography
NOTE: From the publisher: “In 1932, the U.S. Public Health Service recruited 623 African American men from Macon County, Alabama, for a study of “the effects of untreated syphilis in the Negro male.” For the next 40 years — even after the development of penicillin, the cure for syphilis — these men were denied medical care for this potentially fatal disease. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study was exposed in 1972, and in 1975 the government settled a lawsuit but stopped short of admitting wrongdoing. In 1997, President Bill Clinton welcomed five of the Study survivors to the White House and, on behalf of the nation, officially apologized for an experiment he described as wrongful and racist. In this book, the attorney for the men, Fred D. Gray, describes the background of the Study, the investigation and the lawsuit, the events leading up to the Presidential apology, and the ongoing efforts to see that out of this painful and tragic episode of American history comes lasting good.”

Hornblum, Allen M. (1998) “Acres of Skin: Human Experiments at Holmesburg Prison: A True Story of Abuse and Exploitation in the Name of Medical Science.”
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Hornblum, Allen M., Newman, Judith Lynn and Dober, Gregory J. (2013) “Against Their Will: The Secret History of Medical Experimentation on Children in Cold War America.” St. Martin’s Press, NY, NY.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS (partial): Introduction: They’d Come for You at Night – The Age of Heroic Medicine – Eugenics and the Devaluing of Institutionalized Children – World War II, Patriotism, and the Nuremberg Code – Impact of the Cold War on Human Experimentation – Vaccines: Institutions for Hydrocephalics and Other Unfortunates – Skin, Dietary, and Dental Studies – Radiation Experiments on Children – Psychological Experiments on Children – Psychological Abuse: I Call That Brainwashing – Reproductive and Sexuality Experiments – Research Misconduct: Science Actually Encourages Deceit – Conclusion
NOTE: From the publisher: “Through rare interviews and the personal correspondence of renowned medical investigators, they document how children—both normal and those termed “feebleminded”—from infants to teenagers, became human research subjects in terrifying experiments. They were drafted as “volunteers” to test vaccines, doused with ringworm, subjected to electric shock, and given lobotomies. They were also fed radioactive isotopes and exposed to chemical warfare agents. This groundbreaking book shows how institutional superintendents influenced by eugenics often turned these children over to scientific researchers without a second thought. Based on years of archival work and numerous interviews with both scientific researchers and former test subjects, this is a fascinating and disturbing look at the dark underbelly of American medical history.”

Kodish, Eric, Ed. (2005) “Ethics and Research with Children: A Case-Based Approach: A Case-Based Approach.” Oxford Univ. Press, NY, NY.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS (partial): Research Involving Healthy Children – Research Involving at Risk Children – Research Involving Children with Serious Illness
NOTE: From the publisher: “After years of debate and controversy, fundamental questions about the morality of pediatric research persist: Is it ever permissible to use a child as a means to an end? How much authority should parents have over decisions about research that involves young children? What should be the role of the older child in decisions about research participation? How do the dynamics of hope and desperation influence decisions about research involving dying children? Should children or their parents be paid for participation in research? What about economic incentives for doctors, researchers and the pharmaceutical industry?”

Lederer, Susan E. (1995) “Subjected to Science: Human Experimentation in America before the Second World War.” Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore, MD.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS: The Charge of Human Vivisection – The American Medical Association and the Defense of Research – Human Experimentation and the AMA Code of Ethics – The Continuing Campaign against Human Vivisection – Human Experimentation in an Age of Medical Progress
NOTE: From the publisher: “… provides the first full-length history of biomedical research with human subjects in the earlier period, from 1890 to 1940. Lederer offers detailed accounts of experiments – benign and otherwise – conducted on both healthy and unhealthy men, women, and children, including the yellow fever experiments (which ultimately became the subject of a Broadway play and Hollywood film), Udo Wile’s “dental drill” experiments on insane patients, and Hideyo Noguchi’s syphilis experiments, which involved injecting a number of healthy children and adults with the syphilis germ, luetin.”

Lee, Martin A. and Shlain, Bruce. (1985) “Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD, the CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond.” Grove Press, NY, NY.
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NOTE: From the publisher: “Acid Dreams is a complete social history of the psychedelic counter-culture that burst into full view in the Sixties. With new information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the authors reveal how the CIA became obsessed with LSD during the Cold War, fearing the Soviets had designs on it as well. What follows is one of the more bizarre episodes in the covert history of U.S. intelligence as the search for a “truth drug” began to resemble a James Bond scenario in which agents spied on drug-addicted prostitutes through two-way mirrors and countless unwitting citizens received acid with sometimes tragic results. The story took a new turn when Captain Al Hubbard, the first of a series of “Johnny Appleseeds” of acid, began to turn on thousands of scientists, businessmen, church figures, policemen, and others from different walks of life.”

Milgram, Stanley. (1974) “Obedience to Authority; An Experimental View.” Harper Row, NY, NY.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS: Foreword – The Dilemma of Obedience – Method of Inquiry – Expected Behavior – Closeness of the Victim – Voice Feedback – Individuals Confront Authority – Further Variations and Controls – Change of Personnel – Closeness Of Authority – Women As Subjects – The Victims Limited Contract – Institutional Context – Subject Free To Choose Shock Level – Individuals Confront Authority II – Role Permutations – Learner Demands To Be Shocked – An Ordinary Man Gives Orders – The Subject as Bystander – An Ordinary Man Commanding – Contradictory Commands – One As Victim – Group Effects – Two Peers Rebel – A Peer Administers Shocks – Why Obedience? An Analysis – Applying the Analysis – Strain and Disobedience – Is Aggression the Key? Epilogue
NOTE: From the publisher: “In the 1960s Stanley Milgram carried out a series of experiments in which human subjects were given progressively more painful electro-shocks in a careful calibrated series to determine to what extent people will obey orders even when they knew them to be painful and immoral-to determine how people will obey authority regardless of consequences. These experiments came under heavy criticism at the time but have ultimately been vindicated by the scientific community. This book is Mailgram’s vivid and persuasive explanation of his methods.”

Moreno, Jonathan D. (2001) “Undue Risk: Secret State Experiments on Humans.” Routledge, NY, NY.
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Moreno, Jonathan D. (2006) “Mind Wars: Brain Research And National Defense.” Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.
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NOTE: From the publisher: “From neuropharmacology to neural imaging to brain-machine interface devices that relay images and sounds between human brains and machines, Moreno shows how national security entities seek to harness the human nervous system in a multitude of ways as a potent weapon against the enemy soldier. Moreno charts such projects as monkeys moving robotic arms with their minds, technology to read the brain’s thought patterns at a distance, the development of “anti-sleep” drugs to enhance soldiers’ battle performance and others to dampen their emotional reactions to the violence, and advances that could open the door to ‘neuroweapons’ –virus-transported molecules to addle the brain.”

Paola, Frederick Adolf, Walker, Robert, and Nixon, Lois LaCivita. (2010) “Medical Ethics and Humanities.” Jones and Bartlett, Sudbury, MA. Also Google e-book.
Preview in Google books (extensive)
NOTE: From the publisher: “A survey of medical ethics and humanities geared toward physician assistants, analyzing important ethics, humanities, and law topics. The book explains the various approaches to ethical analysis and illustrates their application through the use of cases. “Medical Ethics and Humanities” includes chapter objectives, chapter summaries, illustrative case studies, and review questions at the end of each chapter. Important topics include moral rules, confidentiality, pediatric ethics, and medical malpractice.” Concise and comprehensive.

Petryna, Adriana. (2009) “When Experiments Travel: Clinical Trials and the Global Search for Human Subjects.” Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, NJ. Also Google e-book.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS (partial): ETHICAL VARIABILITY: Treatment Saturation – Experimentality – Ethics as Workable Document – Floater Sites and Hidden Harms – The Aftermath of Clinical Trials – ARTS OF DRUG DEVELOPMENT: Drug Development Services – From Vulnerable to Professional Subjects – The Pharmaceutical Boom and Everyday Research – Engineering Out Harm – The Scientific Plateau and the New Safety Paradigm – THE GLOBAL CLINICAL TRIAL: The Polish Market and the Nonexistent Patient – Clinical Research Frontiers – Collaborations in Global Science – Akademia Kliniczna – The Work of Slack – Patient Consumers – Our Society Was Not Competitive – Pivotal Countries – Insurance and Legal Protection – PHARMACEUTICALS AND THE RIGHT TO HEALTH: Pharmaceuticals are the new gold – Health Technology Assessment in Brazil – The Judicialization of Health – Alternative Treatment Guidelines – The Clinical Research Unit – When a Country Is a Pharmacy – What Happens When Clinical Trials End – The Values Patients Bring – Information Asymmetry and Agency – THE FUTURE OF GLOBAL MEDICINE: Drugs as Public Goods – Global Health Markets – Innovation
NOTE: From the publisher: “Our hope for medical progress increasingly depends on the willingness of the world’s poor to participate in clinical drug trials. While these experiments often provide those in need with vital and previously unattainable medical resources, the outsourcing and offshoring of trials also create new problems….Moving between corporate and scientific offices in the United States and research and public health sites in Poland and Brazil, When Experiments Travel documents the complex ways that commercial medical science, with all its benefits and risks, is being integrated into local health systems and emerging drug markets…. Are such trials exploitative or are they social goods? How are experiments controlled and how is drug safety ensured? And do these experiments help or harm public health in the countries where they are conducted?”

Rappoport, John, Editor. “U.S. Government Mind Control Experimentation on Children.” Flatlands Distribution, P.O. 2420 Fort Bragg, CA 95437, 1995.
NOTE: Testimony from survivors used in prostitution, pornography and other U.S. government sponsored programs. Difficult to find.

Ross, Colin A. (2006) “The C.I.A. Doctors: Human Rights Violations by American Psychiatrists.” Greenleaf Book Group, Austin, TX. Formerly published in 2000 as “Bluebird: Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality by Psychiatrists.” Manitou Communications, Austin TX. Also Google e-book.
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NOTE: From the publisher: “The C.I.A. Doctors provides proof based on 15,000 pages of documents obtained from the CIA through the Freedom of Information Act that there have been pervasive, systematic violations of human rights by American psychiatrists over the last 65 years. Author Dr. Colin Ross proves that the Manchurian Candidate “superspy” is fact, not fiction. Experiments conducted by psychiatrists to create amnesia, new identities, hypnotic access codes and new memories in the minds of experimental subjects are described from the doctors’ own publications. The C.I.A. Doctors proves extensive violations of human rights funded by the CIA and the military and conducted by American psychiatrists in North America, perpetrated not by a few renegade doctors, but by leading psychiatrists, psychologists, pharmacologists, neurosurgeons and medical schools.”

Reams, Bernard D. and Gary, Carol. (1987) “Human Experimentation: A Bibliography of Materials on Federal Policy and Related Issues. Oceana Publications, NY, NY.

Rivera, Geraldo. (1972) “Willowbrook; A Report on How it is and Why it Doesn’t Have to Be That Way” New York, Random House, NY, NY.
NOTE: Deals with general abuses and the hepatitis experiments performed at Willowbrook.

Shamoo, Adil E., Ed. (1996) “Ethics in Neurobiological Research with Human Subjects: The Baltimore Conference on Ethics.” Gordon and Breach, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
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NOTE: From the publisher: “The purpose of this conference was to bring together ethicists, psychiatrists, researchers, family members, consumers, and representatives of government, industry and academia to discuss the following issues: History and Ethics of Neurobiological Research with Human Subjects, Current Practices, Informed Consent, Government Oversight/Institutional Review Boards, and the Patient and Family Perspective.”

Washington, Harriet A. (2008) “Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present.” Harlem Moon (Random House), NY, NY. Also Google eBook
Preview in Google books (extensive)
NOTE: From the publisher: “Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans. Starting with the earliest encounters between black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed, and unfit for adult responsibilities. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions.” 20 page bibliography, much of it available in the preview.

 “Human Drug Testing by the CIA.” Hearings before the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research of the Committee on Human Resources, United States Senate, Ninety-fifth Congress, First Session, March 8 and May 23 1977. (Government Printing Office, Washington, DC., 1977).

“Biological Testing Involving Human Subjects by the Department of Defense, 1977.” Hearings before the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research of the Committee on Human Resources, United States Senate, Ninety-fifth Congress, first session, March 8 and May 23, 1977. (Government Printing Office, Washington, DC., 1977).

“The Interim Report of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments.” Superintendent of Documents, stock #061-000-00819-5, $9.00. US Govt. Printing Office, P O Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954.

Human Subject Experimentation.” Hearing before the Legislation and National Security Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, September 28, 1994. (Government Printing Office, Washington, DC., 1994).

“Presidential Report on Radiation, March 15, 1995 Testimony of MC Victims.”

NOTE: Videotape of the government hearing: Missoulians for a Clean Environment, P O Box 2885, Missoula, MT 59806.

“Compensating for Research Injuries: A Report on the Ethical and Legal Implications of Programs to Redress Injuries Caused by Biomedical and Behavioral Research.” President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research, (Government Printing Office, Washington, DC., 1982).

updated 01/2014