1885: Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur, a French chemist, microbiologist who laid the foundation for vaccines. After testing the rabies vaccine in 50 dogs, he tested the vaccine on 9-year-old Joseph Meister who was bitten by a rabid dog with a physician in attendance. The experiment . . . Continue reading →

1896: Arthur Wentworth MD

Arthur Wentworth, MD, a pediatrician trained at Harvard Medical School, performed spinal taps on 29 babies and young children at Children’s Hospital, Boston, to determine if the procedure was harmful. Dr. John Roberts of Philadelphia, noting the non-therapeutic indication, labeled Wentworth’s procedures . . . Continue reading →

1897: Giuseppe Sanarelli, MD

Giuseppe Sanarelli, MD, Italian bacteriologist injects the bacillus causing yellow fever five patients without their consent. Three of the five patients died. Dr. William Osler publicly admonished Sanarelli, stating: “To deliberately inject a poison of known high degree of virulency into a . . . Continue reading →

1900: Walter Reed, MD, Yellow Fever

Yellow fever epidemics struck the United States repeatedly in the 18th and 19th centuries. The disease was not indigenous; epidemics were imported by ship from the Caribbean. Dr. Reed decided against self-experimentation and injected 22 Spanish immigrant workers in Cuba instead with . . . Continue reading →

1900–1930: Berlin Code of Ethics

Biomedical research in Germany was considered the most advanced in the world — both in its development and its ethics standards. Berlin Code of Ethics (1900) guaranteed that “all medical interventions for other than diagnostic, healing, and immunization purposes, regardless of other . . . Continue reading →

1906: Richard Strong, MD, cholera

Richard Strong, MD, a professor of tropical medicine at Harvard, conducted cholera experiments on 24 prisoners in the Philippines killing thirteen. Their deaths were attributed to the accidental substitution of bubonic plague serum for cholera. He rewarded the survivors with cigars. During . . . Continue reading →

1909: Luther Emmett Holt, tuberculosis

Luther Emmett Holt, a professor of children’s disease at Columbia University, was accused of conducting 1,000 tuberculin tests on sick and dying babies at NY Babies’ Hospital. (Grodin and Glantz, Children As Research Subjects)

1911: Hideyo Noguchi, MD, syphilis

Hideyo Noguchi, MD, of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research injected a syphilis preparation into 146 children — 100 were institutionalized and 46 were healthy — in an attempt to develop a skin test for syphilis. Several parents sued Dr. Noguchi for . . . Continue reading →

1913: St. Vincent’s House

In Pennsylvania, 146 children were inoculated with syphilis in several hospitals (Sierra, 2011); and in Philadelphia’s St. Vincent’s House researchers “tested” 15 infants at with tuberculin resulting in several children becoming permanently blind. This atrocity was recorded by the Pennsylvania House of . . . Continue reading →

1913–1951: Dr. Leo Stanley

Dr. Leo Stanley, chief surgeon at San Quentin Prison for forty years, performed a wide variety of unethical experiments — which were eugenics in nature — on hundreds of prisoners. He focused on rejuvenating their masculinity through two bizarre methods: sterilization, and . . . Continue reading →