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It may be surprising to learn that the United States government once allowed medical tests and experiments on humans. Some of these studies were on healthy disabled people, mental patients and prison inmates. They were done in order to find cures for diseases. Most of the research started in the 1940s and continued until the 1960s. People back then were desperate to find cures for infections that killed many people. They felt it was okay to experiment on certain people in society. Much of this research has been hidden and buried. Most people are aware of the famous Tuskegee syphilis study, so it will not be mentioned here.

Mental Patients Injected With the Flu

Back in 1942, federally funded medical tests were allowed to experiment with flu vaccine injected into males at a Michigan state insane asylum. Many months later, they were exposed to the flu to see how well the injections worked. The men were not mentally stable enough to understand or describe their symptoms, leaving the results of the testing in question. Dr. Jonas Salk was involved in this experiment and he later invented the polio vaccine.

Public Service Employees Injected With Malaria

In the late 1940s, research at the University of Minnesota involved medical tests on 11 public service volunteers who were injected with malaria. They were given hardly anything to eat for five days and some were required to do hard labor. They all were treated for fever with quinine sulfate and they all lost about 14 pounds. Ancel Keys, the scientist who invented K-rations for the military and the Mediterranean diet was one of the authors of this study.

Mental Patients Exposed to Hepatitis

Another group of experiments and medical tests in the 1940s, exposed men in mental institutions in Connecticut to hepatitis. There were eight men who were made sick under the direction of Dr. W. Paul Havens. He was one of the first scientists to determine the causes of different types of hepatitis. This particular study did nothing more to help understand the disease.

Reformatory Prison Inmates Given Stomach Germs

Young men from the State Vocational Institution in New York were given unfiltered stool suspension to study a deadly stomach bug in the 1940s. It was felt that swallowing the germs was the best way to spread the illness rather than have it spread through the air. No one knows if these guys volunteered for medical tests or were rewarded for being involved in this disgusting research. It also is not clear whether the study was beneficial in any way.

Prison Inmates Infected With Gonorrhea

Back in the 1950s government studies and medical tests involved two dozen prison inmates being infected with gonorrhea. The inmates were said to be volunteers, but it is not known how much they really understood what was about to happen or if they were forced to do it. After the men developed the disease, they were treated with antibiotics. The study was mentioned in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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