Sunday, November 07, 2004

Book review in Washington Post for Vaccine A

Reviewed by Jonathan D. MorenoSunday, November 7, 2004; Page BW05
The Covert Government Experiment That's Killing Our Soldiers -- and Why GI's Are Only the First Victims
By Gary Matsumoto. Basic. 362 pp. $25

The history of American medical experiments with soldiers is one of ambivalence and ambiguity. Since the 1930s, high-ranking officers and civilian officials have at times foresworn the use of military personnel as human guinea pigs; at other times soldiers have been the most likely candidates to help answer scientific questions related to national security. According to one attitude these young soldiers are our best, our heroes, and must not be exploited for experimental purposes; another holds that they have already agreed to perform risky service for their country and so are natural experimental subjects. Often these views have coexisted, with one arm of the security establishment resisting the opportunity to use military personnel in medical studies while another arm takes advantage of it. During World War II, for example, the White House Committee on Medical Research decided not to approve the use of soldiers in experiments, while the Navy pushed sailors into mustard gas studies. more

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