The words “human medical experimentation” conjure up visions of Nazi medicine, which has come to exemplify the worst evils in the history of humankind. Places like Auschwitz and Dachau, where human life was cheap and test subjects plentiful were used as laboratories.

In 2010 the US government apologized to Guatemala for allowing U.S. doctors to infect Guatemalan prisoners and mental patients with syphilis 65 years earlier, while acknowledging dozens of similar experiments in the United States. These included studies that often involved making healthy people sick. such as in the Tuskegee syphilis study.

These experiments were often life threatening and took place with the direct approval and/or supervision of some of the country’s most prestigious research institutions and some of the leading medical researchers. Among these was the prestigious cancer research center in New York City, Sloan Kettering Hospital and its director of cancer research Chester Southam, MD.



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