December 28

1944: The largest malaria experiment involved 800 prisoners

US Army and State Department funded a crash program to develop new drugs against malaria. The largest single CMR malaria experiment involved 800 prisoners at federal penitentiary in Atlanta, New Jersey State Reformatory and Illinois State Penitentiary. A series of experiments were conducted at Stateville Penitentiary by medical researchers from the University of Chicago led by Dr. Alf Alving. Four-hundred prisoners were exposed to infected mosquitoes carrying the most virulent strain of malaria, then given drugs to test the drugs’ efficacy. The inmates were all on one floor, they were given general information about helping the war effort: but they were not informed about the nature of the experiment. Nazi doctors at Nuremberg cited the Chicago studies to defend their own research. Dr. Alving also infected 60 psychiatric patients at Illinois State Hospital with malaria to test the effect of experimental treatments. (Comfort. The Prisoner as Model Organism… 2009; Ethics Protocols, 2010)

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