1940s: Fiendish “Refrigeration” experiments on mental patients at Harvard, U. of Cincinnati

A series of fiendish Hypothermia experiments subjected mental patients for prolonged periods to freezing temperatures. They were conducted by prominent psychiatrists at Harvard University’s McLean Hospital and the University of Cincinnati.
DB Dill, MD, and WH Forbes, MD, described the procedure for freezing human beings in their published journal report:

the naked and slightly anesthetized patient is placed between rubberized blankets. These contain rubber coils through which a refrigerated fluid circulates . . . peripheral vasoconstriction and shivering occasionally delay the fall in rectal temperature for some hours. . . Within 1 to 4 hours the administered anesthetic has been dissipated. . . (Am. J of Physiology, 1941)

John Talbott, MD a prominent Harvard psychiatrist used prolonged total body hypothermia as a means of administering shock therapy to psychotic patients at Massachusetts General Hospital. He reported two deaths from cardiac arrest (Talbott, Physiologic Effect of Hypothermia, 1941). Talbott became editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association (1959–1972); and editor of Psychiatric Services (1981–2004); and was elected president of the American Psychiatric Association (1984).

In 1943, Douglas Goldman, MD, and Maynard Murray, MD, Psychiatrists at the University of Cincinnati published a report describing a series of “Studies on the use of Refrigeration Therapy in Mental Disease.” Their stated purpose was “to study the effect of frigid temperature on mental disorders.” They describe their despicable experiment which was conducted on sixteen mentally disabled patients who were put into refrigerated cabinets at 30 degree Fahrenheit, and forced to remain for 120 hours. The experiment resulted in the death of two patients from pneumonia, and several of the survivors suffered from mental retardation and physical decay bordering on cachexia (Goldman & Murray, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 1943).

The experiments bear a striking similarity to those conducted by Nazi doctors at Dachau * pt. 2* and Japan’s Unit 731 * Pt. 3*