Science is held up as a bastion of truth and rationality
Yet if the scientist is not ethically and morally sound they may use the tools and investigative processes to perform immoral, and even criminal experiments.
Humans are curious, and sometimes our curiosity goes too far.
We see examples of this explored in many books and movies that have depicted characters like Frankenstein, which explore the depths of depravity that a scientist could potentially fall to.
Unfortunately, this depravity crosses over into the real world. Children, adults and animals have been tortured, and even murdered in the name of science. We have examined below some disturbing instances where scientists have crossed the line in real life.
Child Psychiatrist from Hell
The sadistic Dr. Lauretta Bender would experiment with electroshock therapy on children as young as 3, that she had diagnosed, through crude methods, with schizophrenia and autism.
On other occasions she would give these children hallucinogenic drugs like LSD. Even though she was touted as a leader in her field, many of the children she tortured were left with brain damage, serious memory loss and on occasion wished to commit suicide. Nevertheless, there are still many psychiatrists who see this as a viable treatment for children, to this day.
Live Human Dissections
During World War II, the Japanese were committing barbaric acts, in the name of science, against prisoners of war (and the local villagers) in China.
While some scientists involved in the experimentation would administer anesthesia before the dissection process, that would ultimately kill the patient. Others felt it necessary to observe the patients while awake.
All of this was authorized by the Japanese government, and a member of the Japanese royal family even toured the facility, named Unit 731, in an official capacity.
It wasn’t only dissections and other sadistic experimentation that took place – of the approximately 12000 who were murdered, a further 40000 local villagers perished at the hands of disease experiments that were performed, called plague bombing.
The most heinous factor was that the American government allowed the Unit 731 to be erased from the official archives as it wished to acquire the biological warfare research findings for it’s own use.
Humans can be completely heartless to the creatures we share this planet with. Under the guise of using animals for experimentation so to avoid experimenting on humans. Many scientists have managed to get away with committing sadistic and torturous acts on animals.
Just as the Japanese dissected human beings while still alive during World War II, animals today experience exactly the same horror.
Sometimes these experiments are extremely bizarre. In the 1950s there were reports that Vladimir Demikhov, a Russian scientist, had transplanted the head of a dog onto another dog. A neurosurgeon in the US became fascinated by the possibilities and decided to begin experiments along the same lines.
In 1965, Dr. Robert J White affixed 6 dog brains inside other living dogs. He then went further and managed to keep the brain of a monkey alive outside of it’s body for 12 hours.
Later, in 1970 he managed to transplant the head of a monkey onto the body of a headless monkey. Even though the body didn’t function any longer, the brain function kept working for over a week, and the monkey could still hear, taste and see.
Human Head Transplant
A computer scientist in Russia, called Valery Spiridonov, has volunteered to be the first human to have their head transplanted onto a different body. Wheel chair bound and terminally ill, he suffers from spinal muscular atrophy.
Spiridonov wants to have a chance to avoid death by taking part in this extremely risky science experiment. Most people with his condition never survive to his age. He fears he doesn’t have long before the disease kills him, and this makes him willing to risk the outcome.
Neurosurgeon, Dr Canavero, will severe the head of a brain dead patient, who is otherwise physically healthy, and attach Spiridonov’s head to it using techniques he claims that will allow the spinal cords to be fused together.
This surgery is supposed to be taking place in 2017.
In 1950 the US government decided to use the city of San Francisco in a giant and unethical science experiment. The Navy sprayed a giant cloud of bacteria into the sky that quickly blended with the fog.
800,000 citizens were then subject to breathing in this germ infected air. This did lead to tragedy, as 11 people contracted urinary tract infections that were initially untreatable by antibiotics. One man even died of heart complications.
This didn’t stop the experiments and a further 239 were performed around the US before President Nixon placed a ban on it in 1969.
Society seems to think that when people commit crimes they are somehow sub-human, regardless of the context in which those crimes were committed.
So sadly, little sympathy has been offered by the government and the military when they are looking for humans to experiment on when they choose prisoners.
During World War II, the American military experimented on inmates at the Stateville Penitentiary. They asked for volunteers to be exposed to malaria-infected mosquitos, without informing them as to the side-effects. One inmate died as a result.
Also, during the 60s and the 70s, US inmates at Penitentiaries in Oregon and Washington were told that they would be given more luck with the parole board if they participated in radiation experiments that would cause them to suffer more than their crimes likely originally deserved.
130 prisoners were subjected to lethal radiation poisoning in which their testicles were exposed to 400 rads of atomic force. This resulted in cancers, cysts, lesions, and even death.
In 19th century America, people of African descent were perceived as sub-human and incapable of experiencing pain.
The President of the American Medical Association, a gynecologist by the name of J. Marion Sims, made ground-breaking discoveries in regards to curing fistula. But in the most sadistic and heinous way imaginable.
He would buy or rent black slave women and perform experimental surgery on them. One woman was operated on 30 times. These poor women were also subject to being watched by other male doctors who were being taught the techniques.
Sickeningly, statues of J. Marion Sims still stand in Alabama, South Carolina – and even New York City.