Norman M. Goldfarb
Useful Bodies: Humans in the Service of Medical Science in the Twentieth Centuryby Jordan Goodman
Though notoriously associated with Germany, human experimentation in the name of science has been practiced in other countries, as well, both before and after the Nazi era. The use of unwitting or unwilling subjects in experiments designed to test the effects of radiation and disease on the human body emerged at the turn of the twentieth century, when the rise of… See more details below
Though notoriously associated with Germany, human experimentation in the name of science has been practiced in other countries, as well, both before and after the Nazi era. The use of unwitting or unwilling subjects in experiments designed to test the effects of radiation and disease on the human body emerged at the turn of the twentieth century, when the rise of the modern, coercive state and the professionalization of medical science converged. Useful Bodies explores the intersection of government power and medical knowledge in revealing studies of human experimentation—germ warfare and jaundice tests in Great Britain; radiation, malaria, and hepatitis experiments in the U.S.; and nuclear fallout trials in Australia. These examples of medical abuse illustrate the extent to which living human bodies have been "useful" to democratic states and emphasize the need for intense scrutiny and regulation to prevent future violations.
Contributors: Brian Balmer, University College London; Miriam Boleyn-Fitzgerald, University of Wisconsin; Rodney A. Hayward, University of Michigan; Joel D. Howell, University of Michigan; Margaret Humphreys, Duke University; David S. Jones, Massachusetts General Hospital; Robert L. Martensen, Tulane University School of Medicine; Glenn Mitchell, University of Wollongong; Jenny Stanton, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Gilbert Whittemore, independent scholar/attorney, Boston
Lainie Friedman Ross
Each chapter is a startling case study that examines the nature and degree of the state's involvement in human experimentation... With contributions by leading historians of medicine, science, and public policy, Useful Bodies will be of interest to ethicists, bioethicists and those engaged in the formulation of public health and policy.
Using specific examples of biomedical research in the 20th century, this collection addresses the role and treatment of the body by biomedical researchers.
Offers worthwhile lessons for contemporary researchers, scholars, and policy makers... [and] makes a strong case for adopting a broad perspective in the analysis of research ethics... Besides gaining a rich picture of past scientific practices, readers will be better equipped to monitor the continuing search of 'useful bodies' in our own era.
The well-documented essays cite a rich body of sources.
This excellent volume treats human experimentation in Britain and the United States from 1920 to 1970.
These articles make a significant contribution to our understanding of the role of the state in human subjects research.
Although the chapters examine the tensions and moral ambiguities in research supported, sponsored, or performed by researchers in democratic states, the time period from which these cases are drawn makes a comparison with the research supported and performed by the Nazi government inevitable and disturbing. I highly recommend this book to those interested in the history and ethics of human experimentation.
Well-written and meticulously researched, these essays offer the historical context to understand and evaluate human experimentation.
With a refreshing lack of sensationalism, the essays offer fascinating details and perspectives on human experimentation conducted or funded by governments.
- Johns Hopkins University Press
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What People are saying about this
This volume is a rich, nuanced contribution to our continuing negotiation of the tensions between medical benefit, human subjects, knowledge production, and the power of the state. The case studies are often surprising and provocative. It presents an eye-opening picture of the ambiguity and moral complexity that continue to shape clinical interactions.
M. Susan Lindee, University of Pennsylvania
Meet the Author
Jordan Goodman is an honorary research fellow at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London. Anthony McElligott is founding professor of history at the University of Limerick and director of the Centre for Historical Research. Lara Marks is a visiting senior research associate at Cambridge University and an honorary senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
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