CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Opening the Doors to Medical Experimentation on Prisoners

From Philadelphia Inquirer: Thirty years ago, the federal government severely limited medical experimentation on prisoners after the discovery that pharmaceutical companies and medical researchers were using Philadelphia inmates as medical guinea pigs.

Now, an independent panel has suggested easing those restrictions. But with the lingering specter of Nazi experiments and the local Holmesburg Prison scandal, some say the door should remain shut.

"This is a dangerous cul-de-sac to go down again," said A. Bernard Ackerman, a New York dermatologist who worked at Holmesburg Prison as a second-year resident at the University of Pennsylvania during the trials. "There has to be experimentation in medicine, but populations that are aged, vulnerable or defective mentally should not be used." Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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