Medical Data Exploitation

CODIS went online in 1998 with samples from 8,000 convicted child molesters, and by 2001, it contained the profiles of 1.5 million felons. In 2002, the U.S. Attorney General ordered the FBI to expand CODIS to 50 million profiles, and by 2004, CODIS stored 2.6 million samples containing the DNA of people convicted of almost any crime. In October 2005, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a law, which was pending when this book went to print, to force anyone who is merely detained by federal authorities to provide DNA, and in August 2006 the database contained more than 3.5 million samples. The FBI predicts that CODIS will accommodate 50 million samples “in the near future.”

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Children as Test Subjects

The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research concluded in 1977 that children were an especially vulnerable population because they could not offer consent. Yet, children today are more likely to become research subjects now that federal policies begun in the mid-1990s have changed the face of the “typical research subject.”

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Brain Surgery for Docility

From the 1960s through the early 1970s, disenchantment with the widespread use of tranquilizers fostered interest in brain surgery as an alternative to “quiet” patients. University of Mississippi neurosurgeon Orlando J. Andy, M.D., capitalized on this trend, performing many types of brain ablations, including thalamotomies (destruction of the thalamus, which controls emotions and analyzes sensations), on African American children as young as six who, he decided, were “aggressive” and “hyperactive”…Today, Andy is revered as a neurosurgical pioneer, one whose work was never challenged in his lifetime and who never suffered any disciplinary action

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Radioactive Experiments on Orphans

Vanderbilt University physicians administered radioactive cocktails to pregnant women in Nashville. The University of Chicago fed the radioactive elements strontium and cesium to 102 unwitting patients at state schools. One Dickensian institution, the Fernald School in Waltham, Massachusetts, added radioactive oatmeal to the menus of thirty orphans in a program sponsored by the AEC with the support of the Quaker Oats Company.

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