Friday, February 4, 2011

Some Unethical Experiments Carried Out On Human Beings

Some Unethical Experiments Carried Out On Human Beings

Over the years, innumerable researchers and doctors have carried out experiments on humans and animals with the aim of finding cures to certain diseases or tapping in to the human psyche. While some were acceptable, others were grossly unethical. The following fall into the second category. 

1. Stanford Prison Experiment
This experiment was carried out at Stanford University by Philip Zimbardo. A mock prison was created and volunteers were asked to live in it for a while. However, the guards soon went out of control and their behavior became sadistic and vicious while the prisoners developed severe emotional problems.
2. Speech Therapy
The subjects of this experiment were over 20 orphan children in Iowa. The supervisor of the project, Tudor, divided the children into two groups- one group was given positive and encouraging speech therapy but the other group was not as lucky. The children in the second group were made fun of if they stuttered or made mistakes and they grew up with speech problems.
3. The Marshall Islands Experiment
Marshall Islands residents were forcefully exposed to radioactive substances in 1954. Over the years, several results were seen- women went through miscarriages, stunted growth was noticed in children and some developed thyroid cancer.
4. The CIA Experiment
This project was carried out by the CIA during the 1950s. Drugs like LSD were surreptitiously given to employees, prostitutes, those who suffered from mental problems and the general public. The motive here was to keep a track of their reactions to the drug.
5. The Removal of Homosexuality
Homosexual soldiers were forced to go through sex-change operations by the army in South Africa. Many of them were given electric shocks and subjected to chemical castration. The aim was to ‘remove homosexuality’ from the army.
6. North Korean Experiments
These experiments were carried out on women prisoners in North Korea- they were made to eat cabbage leaves that were poisoned and if they refused, their families would be punished. Each and every woman died in less than half an hour either of anal bleeding or severe vomiting. Others were led to ‘suffocation chambers’ while the supervisors looked on as they choked to death.
7. The Soviet Experiments
This experiment was supervised by the Soviet secret police agencies. They used poisons like ricin digitoxin and mustard gas on Gulag prisoners to find out whether they could find such a gas that could not be discovered by doctors when they carried out autopsies. The victims actually became shorter and died quickly.
8. The Syphilis Study

This was carried out for 40 years in Alabama and African American individuals were not allowed to recover from Syphilis. Some patients were made to undergo placebo treatments in order to evaluate the different stages in the fatal progression.
9. Unit 731
Unit 731 was an experiment carried out by the Imperial Japanese Army from 1937 to 1945. Living people were vivisected; limbs of prisoners were removed and stitched onto different parts of their bodies while the others were frozen and then thawed. Some prisoners were injected with different diseases and then studied.
10. Nazi Experiments
Nazi Experiments were carried out at Auschwitz wherein inmates were the subjects of the research. Josef Mengele focused on twins and tried to change their eye colors by injecting a wide variety of harmful chemicals into their eyes. Prisoners were also made to stand in tubs of freezing cold water to find out the best way to get rid of hypothermia.


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