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any unethical practices and medical studies that took place within the 20th century without the awareness of the general population. Many of these studies were either sourced by governmental bodies or kept hidden between medical staff that wanted to come up with a breakthrough for financial gain and not necessarily for the lives being saved as this can be justified by the number of lives lost and tortured with these studies.

Willowbrook and hepatitis

Willowbrook medical state school in New York has one of the most notorious and unethical medical studies performed, without even the government knowing of what was going on, and somehow it was kept successfully hidden from the public for 14 years.

The study was to see how hepatitis affects the organism and from a better understanding of the disease, the scientists were trying to come up with a vaccine. A vaccine that was tested by deliberately infecting even more mentally disabled children with hepatitis.

Willowbrook medical state school was formed in 1947 due to the increase of mentally disabled children within New York, but this did not mean that it was planning to do any good for these children. Most of the disabled children at the time and throughout most of the 20th century were abandoned by their parents due to their mental disability for various reasons, living their faith in the hands of some sick medics that used them as guinea pigs for their experiments.

Within the first few years when the medical school was formed, hepatitis broke out around the United States(especially hepatitis A). Due to this, professors from New York University and Yale University had undergone some unethical experiments on mentally disabled children from Willowbrook.

Unethical experimentation

Besides not having any sort of consent to do these experiments on mentally disabled children, I am pretty sure that human experimentation was illegal at the time. The idea was to infect the children with hepatitis and see how their organisms would react to the disease. Based on the results they wanted to come up with a vaccine.

The second idea was to also test the gamma globulin injections as protection against hepatitis. The experiments started in 1956, or at least so do the records found say and they only came public in 1970 when the World Medical Association questioned the practices through which the results from the experiments were gathered, more specifically on the ethical side.

When the doctors that conducted these experiments were asked in 1971 about the ethical and illegal implications of the experiment, Saul Krugman one of the lead professors within the hepatites studies tried to defend himself by saying the whole institution was infected with hepatitis and that all of the experiments were in the benefits of the disabled children in order to make immune to the disease.

Some people supported his view, but most of the population disregarded this information, saying that the children were kept away from most of the population out there, which makes it seem more plausible of them being deliberately infected.

No matter what, the experiments are still illegal as with any physical experiment, the child has to give consent over the parents and if the child is mentally disabled, meaning not able to give consent, no experiments are allowed to take place. From a medical perspective, the experiments did help the professors make strives toward combating hepatitis, but at what cost?

To make things even worse, there are rumors of other experiments that took place after 1971 when the public found out, and in a federal investigation from 1986, it was found out that the children were also physically and sexually abused since the doors of the institution have been opened. This was the last nail in the coffin which caused the government to close the institution down in 1987.

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