articles on human injustice

Page Six: On Human Injustice




Colleen’s articles are © copyright. Articles aren't to be used in part or whole by any retrieval methods, either electronic, or otherwise, in media or print without permission. To ask permission to use any of the articles, please email Colleen by clicking the link below.




Dept. of Energy 'Human Radiation Experiments' Still Are Occurring


Colleen Johnston © 2003


Source: The DOE website and DOE database and

It reads like a horror story, In the 1950s at many of the nation's most respected university medical facilities, terminally ill patients where given high doses of radiation, either by x-ray or isotope without their consent, just to see what would happen to them.

What is even more alarming is Iodine-131 (I131) was used to study the uptake of iodine in normal, newborn infants at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, in 1954. Seven male infants (one white and six black) between 2 and 3 days old were injected intravenously. The concentration of I131 in the thyroid was measured 24 hours after injection. Absorbed doses to the infant thyroids were estimated to be about 60 rads. The I131 uptake of the thyroid of the subjects was found to lie within the range of values that would be found in hyperthyroid adults. This study was supported by a grant from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. A few of facilities in question are:


1. University Of Tennessee in Memphis

2. University of California, San Francisco

3. University of Arkansas at Little Rock

4. Argonne Cancer Research Hospital

5. University of Michigan

6. Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies

7. University of Rochester in New York


Another study was supervised in 1963 by a graduate student at the University of Rochester to investigate the human body's metabolism of radioiodine found in dairy products. The research sought to determine if iodine found in milk was transferred to the thyroid in the same quantities as the inorganic iodide commonly used in medical studies. As much as 40 percent of the iodine found in milk was found to be protein bound. The study focused on the range of uptake percentages in children of various ages.

  Subjects for the experiment were chosen with an accentuation on the younger age groups, since the majority of known research had been conducted on adults. The subjects ranged in age from 6 to 50 years; seven were less than 21 years old. The milk used for this study was obtained from Cornell University's Department of Veterinary Medicine, where a cow had been fed Iodine-131 (I131) All subjects were put on an iodine-restricted diet prior to the study and then were fed the I131 milk for a minimum of 14 days. One of the children in this study subsequently developed thyroid carcinoma. The research was performed under a contract with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

  In 1995 many of the documents have became part of public record and can be studied at the Dept of Energy HREX database. Radioactive isotopes were given to healthy children, most who came from poor economical backgrounds, whose parents were never notified.

DOE now states that the goal of the Human Subjects Research program is to 'ensure that the rights and welfare of human research subjects are protected'.

  The DOE also states that all its employees, contractors, and grantees must be mindful of the importance of protecting the rights and welfare of human subject research volunteers. All research conducted at DOE, supported with DOE funds, or performed by DOE employees, including classified and proprietary, must comply with Federal regulations and DOE Orders to protect human subjects. It is still unclear why DOE uses humans for experimentation, especially when incurable malignancies are not present.

  Below is a case of research on people who didn't suffer from incurable cancers but are susceptible to alcoholism.

  Funding for the human radiation research came from both the DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism spending a total of $67,000 for the fiscal year of 1999. Articles do not suggest whether subjects were financially compensated for their participation.

The tests were performed at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY in whom five human subjects participated in this project that involved the application of external and internal of ionizing radiation for clinical research. Subjects were selected on a voluntary basis according to the report, which also included a collection of personally identifiable bodily materials (blood or blood products, urine, cells, tissue, teeth, organs, excreta, etc. As well as the use of physical materials collected specifically for this project.

The objective of the study at Brookhaven National Laboratory Upton, NY was to see what effects ionizing radiation, radioactive substances, or chemical substances had on subjects who where exposed and what risk exposure causes if any.

The study included the characterization of various levels of dopamine, a naturally excreted painkiller in that occurs especially as a neurotransmitter in the brain. Tests were conducted during early and late alcohol withdrawal.

Alcoholic subjects were evaluated 2-4 weeks after last alcohol use and then 3-4 months after an abstinence of alcohol to assess reversibility of possible DA changes. In parallel, test-retest studies were done in nonalcoholic subjects to evaluate the reproducibility of the measures at 3-4 month intervals.

Each subject was studied twice within a four-month period. After administration of the radioactive tracer, subjects are subsequently scanned with positron emission tomography (PET). A potential side effect of radiation is the induction of cancer. However, the study claims that no harm in a human individual or in a large population exposed at the doses as low as those delivered in this procedure (2500 mrem) has been reported.

The estimation of risk of harm can be obtained only by extrapolation from much higher doses. Arterial catheterization has the following rare but possible complications: pain during placement of the catheter; a risk of bleeding at the skin puncture site; the possibility of local infection and temporary or permanent impairment of the blood supply to portions of the hand.

Whenever blood is removed or a substance injected by venipuncture, there is minor discomfort and a slight possibility of local bleeding in the tissues. DOE claims all records are confidential and may not be disclosed without the subject's written consent with the exception that the FDA and/or funding agencies may inspect the records. It is not clear at this point if there will be long-term effects on those who partook in the experiments. But how do you get consent from a dead subject?


Colleen’s articles are © copyright. Articles aren't to be used in part or whole by any retrieval methods, either electronic, or otherwise, in media or print without permission. To ask permission to use any of the articles, please email Colleen by clicking the link below.


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