December 28

1947: Prisoners Were Fed Hepatic Liver and Hepatic Feces In Hepatitis Experiment

John Neefe and Joseph Stokes, Jr. conducted a hepatitis experiment in which prisoners in New Jersey State Prison were fed hepatic liver and hepatic feces. “The authors describe the blending of hepatic liver and hepatic feces in a Warring Blender to create “liver suspension in sterile beef heart infusion broth” and “feces pool.” The study “volunteers” were male prisoners with no history of jaundice or hepatitis. The researchers described the inoculation procedure: “On each of 4 successive days, 5 ml. of feces pool . . . was administered in chocolate milk to each of the five volunteers. . .” Despicable experiments such as these, in which otherwise healthy people were infected with contagious diseases may well have helped spread hepatitis and other diseases among the prisoner population.

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