Probably few Bible scholars or scientists are aware that Daniel—the same Daniel who was cast into the lion’s den—was also a scientist. Daniel proposed (what is now recognized as) a classic experimental design: comparing the effect of a vegetable and water diet to a diet of the king’s meat and wine for 10 days.  Only…

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The Hippocratic medical ethics oath is attributed to Hippocrates, and was adopted as a guide to the  medical profession conduct throughout the ages and still used in the graduation ceremonies of many medical schools. In essence, the Hippocratic Oath: “Primum non nocere” (“First do no harm” or “Above all, do no harm”).   “I will…

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In the first century B.C. Cleopatra devised an experiment to test the accuracy of the theory that it takes 40 days to fashion a male fetus fully and 80 days to fashion a female fetus. When her handmaids were sentenced to death under government order, Cleopatra had them impregnated and subjected them to subsequent operations…

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“The eternal providence has appointed me to watch over the life and health of Thy creatures. May the love for my art actuate me at all time; may neither avarice nor miserliness, nor thirst for glory or for a great reputation engage my mind; for the enemies of truth and philanthropy could easily deceive me…

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Dr. Maitland inoculated six prisoners with smallpox, promising them release from prison. (Read D. Wooton, Bad Medicine: Doctors Doing Harm Since Hippocrates, 2006.)

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Jenner used children to test a theory — based on folklore, not scientific evidence — that cowpox, a disease common in the rural parts of western England in the late eighteenth century, conferred immunity against subsequent exposure to smallpox. He tested his theory primarily on healthy children. He injected eight-year-old James Phillips first with cowpox…

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J. Marion Sims performed multiple experimental surgeries on enslaved African women without the benefit of anesthesia. After suffering unimaginable pain, many lost their lives to infection. One woman was made to endure 34 experimental operations for a prolapsed uterus. Read: Wendy Brinker, 2002.

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Dr. Armauer Hensen, a Norweigian microbiologist who discovered the bacterium that causes leprosy, having failed to grow the bacterium in a petri dish or any experimental animal, he tried to inoculate leprosy into the eye of a woman without her consent or knowledge. In 1880, she sued him in a Norwegian court and he was…

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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 was controversial and he was brought before the French National Academy of Medicine.…

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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 “human vivisection.” (Grodin and Glantz, Children As Research Subjects: Science, Ethics, and Law,…

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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 human being, unless you obtain the man’s sanction, is criminal.” (Subjected to Science)

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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 the agent for yellow fever. He paid them $100 in gold and free…

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