We surely owe a lot to science and technology for improving our lives. However, doctors and scientists have also been involved in some appalling human experimentation in the past and it's disturbing beyond words. Prisoners, slaves, children, pregnant women, almost everyone considered an enemy was subjected to these evil and unethical methods in the name of science.
Here are some spine-chilling human experiments from the past:
1. In 1943, the US Navy tested mustard gas on its own sailors.
Throughout the second world war, the US and Britain feared that the enemy would use poison gas against them. So, in order to test their protective clothing and masks, researchers asked young sailors to participate in the experiment. They were told that the experiment would help shorten the war. However, it involved the use of mustard gas which was poisonous enough to cause third degree internal and external burns. All the participants ended up in a critical condition with the Navy not taking responsibility for any of it.
2. After World War II, radioactive materials were tested on pregnant women.
Medical researchers in America fed radioactive edibles to 829 pregnant women while working on their idea of radioactivity and chemical warfare after World War II. The victims were told that they were given 'energy drinks' which would improve the health of their babies. Not only did the babies die from leukemia, the mothers experienced severe rashes and bruises, along with some cancerous diseases.
3. From 1937 to 1945, the Japanese Army developed a chemical and biological warfare research experiment. They called it Unit 731.
The subjects involved in these evil experiments were mostly Chinese and Russian. Men, women, children, infants, the elderly, and pregnant women, were subjected to the removal of organs from a live body, amputation for the study of blood loss, germ warfare attacks, and weapons testing. Some of them even had their stomachs surgically removed and their esophagus reattached to the intestines.
4. In 1932, the US Public Health Service in collaboration with the Tuskegee Institute studied 600 people with an aim to track the progression of untreated syphilis.
Out of those 600 people, 399 were found to have contracted syphilis. However, they were not told anything about the disease. The participants were even given free meals for taking part in the study. The sad part is that even after the cure was found, they continued working on the experiment until 1971. This study is often regarded as the most infamous biomedical experiment in U.S. history.
5. In 1969, hundreds of homosexuals were handed over to Dr. Aubrey Levin who allegedly helped in 'curing' them. They called it the Aversion Experiment.
According to reports, Levin tortured gay men by using electro-convulsive aversion therapy. In the experiment, he strapped electrodes to the patients' upper arm which was further connected to a dial. In order to reorientate his patients, Levin showed pictures of naked men to them. The ones who fantasised were given severe electric shocks.
6. In 1943, a Nazi researcher named Josef Mengele, experimented on as many as 1,500 sets of twins imprisoned at Auschwitz camp. The experiment involved sewing them together to create conjoined twins.
Not just that, dyes were injected into their eyes to see if they change colour or not. Out of those 1500 sets of twins, only 200 survived.
7. In 1939, psychologists at the University of Iowa conducted a gruesome study on 22 orphan children. It is called the Monster Study.
Wendell Johnson and Mary Tudor divided the children into two groups where group A was given positive speech therapy and group B was given negative speech therapy. The normal speaking children from group B didn't just suffer some major psychological effects but also retained speech imperfections for the rest of their lives.
8. In the 1960s, researchers at the University of California used new born babies to study changes in blood pressure and blood flow.
Around 113 babies aged one to three months were used in various experiments. In one of the experiments, 50 newborns were individually tied onto a circumcision board. They were then tilted to a certain angle to make blood rush to their head so that their blood pressure could be examined.
9. From 1913 to 1951, many inmates at San Quentin prison were subjects of Dr. Leo Stanley's spine-chilling experiments.
Dr. Leo Stanley, who was the chief surgeon at San Quentin then, used prison inmates for various disturbing experiments like sterilization, testicle transplants and other bizarre studies for the treatment of the Spanish flu.
10. In 1948, the Guatemalan Health ministry in collaboration with the US government worked on a dreadful project which involved deliberately infecting mental patients, soldiers, prostitutes and prisoners with syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases.
By doing that, they wanted to track the untreated natural progression of these diseases. As many as 30 people died as a result of this experiment.
11. In 1942, researchers used prisoners at a Nazi concentration camp to test the limits of human endurance at high altitudes.
In order to help the German pilots, the German Air Force locked prisoners from Dachau concentration into an airtight, low-pressure chamber. The chamber was designed as such that the conditions inside it were at an altitude of up to 66,000 ft. This dangerous experiment led to the death of 80 out of the 200 subjects. Those who survived were executed.