S government doctors once thought it was fine to experiment on disabled people and prison inmates" (Stobbe). According to writer, Mike Stobbe, he wrote in his article Ugly past of U.S. Human Experiments Uncovered, that such experiments involved giving hepatitis and cancer cells to mentally, and chronically ill patients. Shocking as it may seem, there have been many studies that involved making perfectly healthy people sick. However, these studies took place 40 to 80 years ago. Although human experiments have been conducted for research purposes over the years, the development of HeLa cells and the Nuremberg Code have changed the way research is now conducted.
For many years patients did not have rights. Common medical practice meant that physicians made decisions for their patients (patient rights). In Dani Veracity's article Human medical experimentation in the United States: The shocking true history of modern medicine and psychiatry (1833-1965) she relates that subjecting live human beings to science experiments that are sometimes cruel, sometimes painful, sometimes deadly and always a risk-is a major part of U.S history that would not be found in most history or science books (Veracity,Dani). Unfortunately, many patients did not have much to say in what happened. The doctors do not have the right to touch or treat a patient without that patient's approval. This is because the patient is the one who must live with the consequences and deal with any discomfort caused by treatment (patient rights). Sadly, many humans were used for experimental purposes conducted as early as the 1800's. Prison inmates, African Americans, and cancer patients were primary test subjects. As a result, there have been many scientific breakthroughs, some which were good, and others which were not.
Pursuing this further, human exploitation also occurred as late as the 1950's and 1960's. "Government researchers in the 1950's tried to infect about two dozen volunteering prison inmates with gonorrhea using two different methods in an experiment at a federal penitentiary in Atlanta" (Stobbe, Mike).