Kids Library Home

Welcome to the Kids' Library!

Search for books, movies, music, magazines, and more.

Available items only
Book Cover
Author Hornblum, Allen M.

Title Against their will : the secret history of medical experimentation on children in cold war America / Allen M. Hornblum, Judith L. Newman, and Gregory J. Dober.

Publication Info. New York, NY : Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.


Location Call No. Status
 GDL Central Library Non-Fiction    174.2989 HOR    Available
Description x, 266 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
text rdacontent
unmediated rdamedia
volume rdacarrier
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-259) and index.
Contents Introduction: "They'd come for you at night" -- The age of heroic medicine: "At their best, medical men are the highest type yet reached by mankind" -- Eugenics and the devaluing of institutionalized children: "The elimination of defectives" -- World War II, patriotism and the Nuremburg Code: "It was a good code for barbarians" -- Impact of the Cold War on human experimentation: "There weren't any guidelines as I can recall" -- Vaccines: "Institutions for hydrocephalics and other similar unfortunates" -- Skin, dietary, and dental studies: "The kids in these institutions are so desperate for affection" -- Radiation experiments on children: "The littlest dose of radiation possible" -- Psychological treatment: " often the starting point in effective treatment" -- Psychological abuse: "I call that brainwashing" -- Reproduction and sexuality experiments: "They treated those girls just as if they were cattle" -- Research misconduct: "Science actually encourages deceit".
Summary "The sad history of young children, especially institutionalized children, being used as cheap and available test subjects - the raw material for experimentation - started long before the atomic age and went well beyond exposure to radioactive isotopes. Experimental vaccines for hepatitis, measles, polio and other diseases, exploratory therapeutic procedures such as electroshock and lobotomy, and untested pharmaceuticals such as curare and thorazine were all tested on young children in hospitals, orphanages, and mental asylums as if they were some widely accepted intermediary step between chimpanzees and humans. Occasionally, children supplanted the chimps. Bereft of legal status or protectors, institutionalized children were often the test subjects of choice for medical researchers hoping to discover a new vaccine, prove a new theory, or publish an article in a respected medical journal. Many took advantage of the opportunity. One would be hard-pressed to identify a researcher whose professional career was cut short because he incorporated week-old infants, ward-bound juvenile epileptics, or the profoundly retarded in his experiments. In short, involuntary, non-therapeutic, and dangerous experiments on children were far from an unusual or dishonorable endeavor during the last century"-- Provided by publisher.
Subject Pediatrics -- Research -- Moral and ethical aspects -- United States.
Children -- Research -- Moral and ethical aspects -- United States.
Human experimentation in medicine -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Added Author Newman, Judith L.
Dober, Gregory J.
ISBN 9780230341715 (hardback)
0230341713 (hardback)
Standard No. 40022523800

Available items only