Cross-posted from Article of Faith:

“An influential federal panel of medical advisers has recommended that the government loosen regulations that severely limit the testing of pharmaceuticals on prison inmates.

“Supporters of such programs cite the possibility of benefit to prison populations, and the potential for contributing to the greater good.”

LOL. Supporters like big pharmaceutical companies, staffed by their ghoulish geneticists, biologists, dermatologists and other so-called “real” scientists.

As a social scientist, let me offer some perspective. This won’t work because, as one guy is quoted as saying, “What starts as scientific research becomes pure business, and no amount of regulations can prevent that from happening again.” The greed and avarice of these “scientists” who work for big pharm inevitably leads down the eugenics path of skin lesions, syphilis, sterilization and other madness, all in the name of “science”.

In fact, this kind of research is nothing more than pseudo-science because it suffers from methodological fallacies, the most glaring of which is population and sampling. The populations these ghouls zero in on (prisoners) for such testing aren’t representative of the larger population the drugs are supposedly being researched and designed for.

And the fact that the loosening of these regulations is being pushed by “doctors” who were involved in the infamous Holmesburg prison, where inmates were “paid hundreds of dollars a month to test items as varied as dandruff treatments and dioxin, and where they were exposed to radioactive, hallucinogenic and carcinogenic chemicals,” is even more sickening.

Dr. Albert M. Kligman, who directed the experiments at Holmesburg, said “My view is that shutting the prison experiments down was a big mistake.” Then go take a look at the picture of the guy in the article. The dude looks like he just stepped out of central casting for “Triumph of the Will”.

What makes this testing so insidious is that it’s always the lowest of the lows in society (the poor, minorities, uneducated, etc.) that are targeted, and being that they’re “criminals” already doing time in prison, most people figure “why not?”, right? They’re just “scum” or “predators” or “vermin”, so who cares?

Tell ya what: I’ll support the lifting of these regulations and start up the experiments on prisoners again if we can also do similar testing on, say, people who live in gated communities. And Fortune 500 CEO’s. And politicians. And people who hold MD’s. And pharmaceutical company employees and their stockholders. SUV drivers. College students. Soccer moms. Young Republicans. Children in daycare. And…

You get the point?

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3 Responses to Sick

  1. Ginny in CO says:

    Sick and evil. Google Prison Health Care. This is
    from Understanding Prison Health Care

    As prisoners have “lost their rights” by committing and being convicted of crimes, it is easier for the general public to see prisoners as less than human or to not see prisoners at all. Unfortunately, the ability of the general public to not consider prisoners, results in the prison system being further shielded from the public eye and the compassion for prisoners being lost. Moreover, as the culture of prison circles around punishment, it becomes an institutional conflict to provide “care” to inmates. This pervasive culture can threaten the human rights of prisoners, including their right to receive medical care.

    One of the huge issues in prison health care is that the population from the beginning is heavily poor and minorities who started out with poor nutrition, education, inadequate health care and more mental health problems than the general population. Once in the close quarters of a prison, the spread of communicable diseases becomes inevitable. So this group has higher rates of Hepatitis B & C, TB, and HIV/AIDS. And their health care sucks:

    U.S. seizes state prison health care 7/1/05

    A U.S. district judge found that substandard medical care violated prisoners’ rights and has led to unnecessary injuries and deaths in California prisons. He agreed to appoint an administrator to take over the health care system.

    The administrator will answer to the court, not the Schwarzenegger administration, and will have the power to order improvements regardless of how much it costs state taxpayers.

    Prisoner rights advocates and prison officials will recommend candidates to take control of health care programs. The judge will have the final say. The judge also may appoint a temporary receiver until a permanent appointee is named.

    164,000: Approximate number of inmates at 33 state prisons.

    $1.1 billion: What state will spend this year on prison health care.

    64: The number of inmates who may be dying unnecessarily in state prisons each year because of poor medical care, according to court-appointed physician Michael Puisis.

    Experts said the order by U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson of San Francisco was unprecedented in its scope …
    The prison medical system offered “at times outright depravity, and I intentionally call it that,” said Henderson.

    I have seen a minimal amount of prison health care – it was rife with the conflict of providing standards of care in an environment that was overly stringent in controlling the patients. (Why does a very weak, utterly depressed paraplegic need to have a guard in the room while a nurse and aide are doing patient care?)

    A very dear friend is a public service lawyer – primarily for capital cases. The whole system is sick enough. This would only make it worse.

    The really stupid aspect is how many times the FDA has refused to allow controversial drugs or treatments in limited circumstances – for AIDS victims, etc. Even the legalization of medical marijuana.

    Now, if they wanted to allow Nutraceutical testing for the inmates, I would not have an objection if there could be adequate supervision and the advocates for the prisoners think it would be fair and safe. Nutraceuticals are given in doses that are nowhere near toxic. Determining the lowest effective doses would be very helpful – and the prisoners might actually get more effective treatment than mainstream medicine provides.

  2. battlebob says:

    Here is some information about the Holmesburg prison experiments:

    I remember these horrors from the ’70’s. No one really gave a damn. The public never really complained that much. A lot of the doctors that experimented on people continued with their professions. Most folks think prisioners have no rights.

    I always associated these experiments with the Nazi experiments on prisoners.

  3. Ginny in CO says:


    I wonder if I will ever understand how some humans can reduce others to non human status. The really sick part of this is the pharmaceutical companies dodging the lawsuits because the statute of limitations had run out. Legal, sure. Ethical? Does anybody give a damn?

    BushCo has gotten me to consider uglier punishment for the really evil. I know the number of sociopaths is probably growing. And the question for me is still: what are we doing for the children of the world so they don’t grow up to have this kind of perception of others? What kind of parenting education could we be doing to hold the numbers down…

    Oh, yeah, we are bombing the homes of a lot of kids, killing their parents, blowing off their arms, legs…