By Spencer Hunt
Henry Langlois was one of 38 soldiers who were told in 1955 that they were serving their country when they volunteered to inhale a biological agent that the government was testing.
A year later, inmates at the Ohio Penitentiary were told they were serving society when they volunteered to let researchers inject them with live cancer cells.
The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues met last week to discuss “human subjects protection” after the government apologized in October for a 1940s-era experiment. In the research, Guatemalan soldiers, prisoners and mental patients were infected with syphilis to test penicillin treatments.
In the 1960s and 1970s, 15,000 Marines were told the same thing when Ohio State University scientists tested a pneumonia vaccine on them.
These and other government-funded experiments on military personnel, prisoners and mental patients are driving an investigation into the rules that are meant to protect people who volunteer for scientific studies.