Working draft:

They are dying anyhow?


In 1963, studies were undertaken at New York City's Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital to develop information on the nature of the human transplant rejection process.

These studies involved the injection of live cancer cells into patients who were hospitalized with various chronic debilitating diseases.

Researchers said that consent had been given orally, but was not documented. They felt that documentation was unnecessary because it was customary to undertake much more dangerous medical procedures without the use of consent forms.

Further, patients were not told that they would receive cancer cells because, in the view of the investigators, this would frighten the patients unnecessarily. Investigators defended this view on the basis that they had good cause to predict that the cancer cells were going to be rejected.

Two of the physicians responsible for the research were put on probation for a year. Three years later, despite these sanctions, one of the researchers was elected president of the American Association for Cancer Research.


This is medical. I think it speaks volumes to how many in the medical industry view themselves versus the rest of humanity (i.e., closer to God than the rest of us). For that reason I suspect that it was screened according to the standards of the day in medical research and approved without a second thought by the medical gods. And they clearly expected to get away with a contrived explanation after the fact re verbal consent; well, they usually do get away with it -- they were just trying to "do good." Earth to medical profession: A confession to having done worse is not a good defense!

This is basic Golden Rule stuff, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" (for those who skipped Bible School). It is a sad demonstration of why some think of the Hippocratic Oath as the Hypocritic Oath.

How about some hard jail time, instead of a national honor? But there is no sense in which industrial-strength reviewing of Social Science proposals is connected to nor justified by this sorry incident.