All of us have always been afraid of evil and depravity, especially if it is an evil experiment performed by humans involving other humans. Horrific medical experiments in movies and television shows are common, and hard to avoid. A good portion of these are fictional and fabricated, but several are based on real experiments and torture carried out in the past. The real, utterly repugnant evil experiments should be examined by searching the pages of history in order to prevent history from repeating itself.
Listed below are ten of the most horrific medical experiments performed on humanity. Women, African Americans, prisoners, warriors, LGBT people, and children have been among the prominent victims.
This horrific medical experiment was conducted in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1932. At the time treatment for syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease that causes pain, insanity, suffering and ultimately death, was toxic and futile. Mercury was used as a treatment but mercury itself is a toxic compound that causes kidney failure, tooth loss, mouth ulcers, and death. A team of government funded doctors decided not to treat the disease to see if no treatment was better.
The study was funded for 6 months. However, it went on without funding for more than 40 years. This horrific experiment denied treatment to 399 syphilitic patients. Most of them were poor, illiterate African American men. Even after the emergence of penicillin as an efficacious treatment, these patients were either denied treatment or were given placebos. Due to this horrific experiment, most of the subjects eventually died of syphilis.
Prisoners were the victims in this deadly experiment. The intention was to produce a tasteless and odorless poison that couldn’t be detected post mortem. Prisoners were unwillingly brought to the secret laboratory of the Soviet Union known as Kamera, or “the cell”. These prisoners were given ricin and mustard gas containing substances, digitoxin, curare, and cyanide with meals and beverages as a medication. The secret police were finally able to produce their dream poison which they named C-2 (carbylamines choline chloride). This poison causes physical changes i.e. victims become weakened, and eventually die within 15 minutes. Many of the prisoners died in this horrific medical experiment.
A stuttering experiment carried on 22 orphan children in 1939 in Iowa later became infamous worldwide as the Monster Study. It was performed by Wendell Johnson, a speech pathologist at the University of Iowa. The horrific experiment was performed by his graduate student Mary Tudor. All the 22 orphans were split in to two groups. One group was given positive therapy for their fluent speech other was given negative therapy and were criticized for their imperfection in speech. This result of this cruel and horrific experiment was the negative group suffering from negative physiological effects, and some of them suffering from speech problems for the rest of their lives.
- Marion Sims was considered the father of modern gynecology for years. Unfortunately, all of his knowledge of the female reproductive system came from a horrific experiment he conducted on female slaves from 1845 to 1849.
Vesicovaginal fistula, a medical condition describing a tear between the bladder and vagina, was considered to be a no cure complication of childbirth. Sims conducted this experiment on his black African slaves brought to him by other slave owners for this purpose. One of the slaves was operated for more than 30 times without any anesthesia. This cruel experiment was criticized as he operated on African slaves without anesthesia who could not even consent.
5. Project 4.1:
This was designation of a cruel and horrific medial study performed on the inhabitants of the Marshall Islands. These natives were exposed to nuclear radiation fallout from The Castle Bravo nuclear test at Bikini atoll. This nuclear test had an unexpectedly large yield. Instead of warning the residents of the radiation, the US government decided to stay quiet and to observe the effects of radiation for research purposes.
This exposure increased miscarriages and still births. Many of the children carried to term had developmental problems. One third of the islanders developed tumors and died due to the negative effects of the nuclear radiation.
Dr. Albert Kligman, in collaboration with Dow chemicals and the US army conducted a horrific medical experiment. This research was performed under the guise of dermatological research, but it was actually study of effects of Agent Orange on humans.
Many prisoners were injected with a byproduct of Agent Orange known as dioxin. Aftermaths of this were prisoners with volcanic eruptions of chloracne (intense acne combined with pustules, cysts, black heads, etc.) in armpits groin and on face. At the end of study, the prisoners continued to suffer from the effects of Agent Orange.
The victims of the Tuskegee Study were not the only victims of morally abominable studies related to syphilis. Guatemalans were also affected by experimentation related to this disease.
Penicillin emerged as an effective cure for syphilis in 1947. In order to test its effectiveness, the government turned to syphilitic prostitutes, prison inmates, mental patients, and soldiers. They were made subjects of this horrific experiment without any consent or knowledge. Some of them were given penicillin to see if it worked and some of them were not. Almost 1500 of the people fell in to latter category. More than 80 people died due to the experiment.
During the time of cold war both the US and Soviet Union were eager to discover whether or not the human body could survive a nuclear attack. This cruel experiment was also performed on African Americans.
From 1960 to 1971 Dr. Eugene Saenger, a radiologist, exposed more than 88 cancer patients to heavy amount of radiation. These people were unaware that the experiment was funded by the Pentagon. They were told that the experiment was a treatment that could potentially help cure them. Patients were exposed to radiation for one hour. Nausea, vomiting and mental confusion were side effects of exposure to radiation and was experienced by all of the patients. Most of them died of radiation poisoning.
9. Aversion Project:
Gay men were not welcome in the South African military. It was another cruel experiment performed to get rid of the gay population. All the homosexuals were sent to military hospital near Pretoria. These victims were subjected to electric shock therapy and chemical castrations to cure them of their so-called “sexual condition”. Men were put through sex change operations against their will. Gender reassignment was often incomplete, and the victims were cast off to the outer world.
10. World War II:
World War II was considered to be the heyday of evil experiments. Many prisoners were subjected to streptococcus, tetanus, and gas gangrene. Glass particles and woods were inserted deep into the wounds of the prisoners. A woman had her breasts tied with a string to see how long her breast-feeding child could last without feeding. The Japanese killed more than 200,000 people in numerous experiments. Wounds were opened and attended to without any anesthesia. Nazi doctors performed genetically altering experiments on Jewish children. Thousands of people endured pain beyond description.