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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Science Run Amuck!

The Wanderer had a shocking article in From the Mail in the December 3 issue that described Army experiments on GIs from about 1945 until at least 1975. A number of these took place at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland. One of the programs, MKULTRA, was a top secret program to test various substances using "volunteer" military grunts as guinea pigs who signed vague "consent" forms that never clearly explained the experiments. They were sprayed, fed, and injected with numerous harmful substances including serin gas, LSD, mescaline, anthrax, mind-altering drugs, etc.

According to The Wanderer article, Gordon P. Erspamer is the lead attorney for a lawsuit by a group of veterans harmed by these immoral experiments many of whom still suffer serious medical consequences today. Erspamer wrote an article for TruthOut in October from which From the Mail quotes.

An additional kink in the story is the fact that a number of Nazi scientists secretly brought into the country after W.W. II under Operation Paper Clip were working at Edgewood Arsenal during the time of these immoral experiments. Some of the scientists imported into the U.S. were involved in human experimentation at Nazi concentration camps for which they should have faced war crimes tribunals.

This is the ugly side of science that treats humans as guinea pigs for research. It sure isn't the first time. Tuskegee comes to mind as do the mass eugenic sterilizations that took place all over the U.S. in the early years of the 20th century, often with the approbation of the courts. The same abuse continues today with cloning and embryonic stem cell research that treat little unborn babies as so much "lab material" to be manipulated and disposed of. The only difference is the size of the victims.

Science has the capacity to do great good, but only when the dignity of human life is respected. "First do no harm" is supposed to be the rule of medicine. Unfortunately, in the culture of death, individuals are expendable.


Cynthia Beattie Mcgill said...

Stem cell therapy is set to become a major part of ATS, cancer, hearing loss treatments and of course plastic surgery. The need is however, is to ensure that these are stored in perfect condition before actually getting transplanted to the receiver’s body. This has made the industry of 'controlled rate freezers' to grow at a fast pace to keep up with the demand. I am doing a paper on ‘The Uses of Stem Cell Perseverance and the Techniques of Storing Them’ and found your post valuable.

Cynthia Beattie Mcgill

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Adult stem cell therapy is moral and has shown incredible results in aiding all types of physical problems. Embryonic stem cell research has, for the most part, been disastrous and hurt many patients who have participated in experiments because the cells tend toward uncontrolled growth. But that hasn't stopped the Dr. Frankensteins.