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Title:
PLUTONIUM EXPERIMENT ( VOLUME XXXV, NO. 22, SCIENCE TRENDS )
Subject Terms:
HREX; ARTICLES; ETHICS; GOVERNMENT; HEALTH HAZARDS; HEARINGS; HUMANS; MEDICAL SURVEILLANCE; PLUTONIUM; PLUTONIUM INJECTION EXPERIMENT; WORLD WAR II
Document Location:
Location - NNSA/NSO Nuclear Testing Archive Address - P.O. Box 98521 City - Las Vegas State - NV Zip - 89193-8521 Phone - (702)794-5106 Fax - (702)862-4240 Email - CIC@NV.DOE.GOV
Document Type:
JOURNAL ARTICLE
Publication Date:
1976 Feb 23
Declassification Status:
Never classified
Document Pages:
0003
Accession Number:
NV0700066
OpenNet Entry Date:
1994 Aug 27
Description/Abstract:
THIS THREE-PAGE TYPEWRITTEN DOCUMENT IS AN ARTICLE ENTITLED, "PLUTONIUM EXPERIMENT" FROM THE PUBLICATION, SCIENCE TRENDS, VOLUME XXXV, NUMBER 22, PAGES 127-129, DATED FEBRUARY 23, 1976. NO AUTHOR FOR THE ARTICLE IS PROVIDED. THE ARTICLE WAS STAMPED AS BEING RECEIVED BY THE ERDA LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D.C. ON FEBRUARY 26, 1976. THE ARTICLE DISCUSSES INFORMATION RELATED TO THE PLUTONIUM INJECTION EXPERIMENT IN 1945 TO 1947. THE ARTICLE INDICATES THAT THIS WAS "A BIZARRE MEDICAL EXPERIMENT SECRETLY BEGUN BY THE GOVERNMENT IN THE CLOSING MONTHS OF WORLD WAR II (WHICH) IS NOW BEING DISCLOSED BY RESEARCHERS WHO FIND IT "REPREHENSIBLE" FROM THE STANDPOINT OF ETHICS, BUT VALUABLE FROM THE LESSONS LEARNED...MOST, OR PERHAPS ALL OF THE SUBJECTS, WERE APPARENTLY UNAWARE THAT THEY WERE RECEIVING A SUBSTANCE WHICH HAS SINCE, BEEN DESCRIBED AS ONE OF THE MOST TOXIC KNOWN TO MAN. AND THOUGH ALL WERE CONSIDERED TERMINALLY ILL AT THE TIME, THREE ARE STILL ALIVE TODAY, SOME 30 YEARS LATER." ERDA (U.S. ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY) OFFICIALS DECLINED TO "...PROVIDE THE NAMES OF THE INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED, EITHER AS SUBJECTS OR EXPERIMENTS. WRITTEN RECORDS WERE SAID TO BE 'SCARCE' AND 'FUZZY.' AND OFFICIALS SAID IT IS NOT EVEN CLEAR WHO ORDERED THE EXPERIMENTS PERFORMED." THE MEDICAL EXPERIMENTS WERE COMPARED TO EXPERIMENTS CARRIED OUT BY THE NAZIS IN WORLD WAR II, WHICH WERE CONDEMNED BY AN INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL AT THE NUREMBURG DOCTORS' TRIAL. OTHER DISCLOSURES WERE ALSO MENTIONED IN THE ARTICLE, SUCH AS RECENT DISCLOSURES OF HAZARDOUS MEDICAL TESTS PERFORMED ON CHILDREN, PRISONERS, THE MENTALLY INFIRMED, AND OTHERS BY DRUG COMPANIES AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, WHICH LED TO CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS AND ESTABLISHMENT OF A NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECTS (THROUGH THE NIH). THE ARTICLE CREDITS DR. P.W. DURBIN (LAWRENCE BERKELEY LABORATORY) AND R.E. ROWLAND (ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY) WITH THE "ELABORATE SCIENTIFIC 'DETECTIVE' WORK" IN IDENTIFYING 17 OF THE 18 SUBJECTS INVOLVED IN THE PLUTONIUM INJECTION STUDIES. BOTH DRS. DURBIN AND ROWLAND, WHO HAD NO CONNECTION WITH THE ORIGINAL EXPERIMENTS, WERE SURPRISED TO FIND THAT SOME OF THE SUBJECTS WERE STILL ALIVE. FROM EXAMINATION OF THE DEATH CERTIFICATES OF THE REMAINING SUBJECTS, "....IT APPEARS THAT PLUTONIUM CANNOT BE CONSIDERED TO BE A CONTRIBUTING CAUSE FOR ANY OF THESE CASES...(SINCE)...THESE INDIVIDUALS WERE ALL GRAVELY ILL AT THE TIME OF THE PLUTONIUM INJECTIONS..." THE ARTICLE STATES THAT "...WHEN THE INCIDENT WAS BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF OFFICIALS AT ERDA LAST YEAR, THE MATTER WAS INVESTIGATED, AND IT WAS DECIDED TO INFORM THOSE SURVIVING OF THE TRUE NATURE OF THEIR 'TEST' PERFORMED THREE DECADES AGO."


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