Undue Risk: Secret State Experiments on Humans (State Secrets)

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9780716731429: Undue Risk: Secret State Experiments on Humans (State Secrets)
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In 1994, Jonathan Moreno became a senior staff member of a special commission created by President Clinton to investigate allegations of government-sponsored radiation research on unknowing citizens during the cold war. The top secret documents he helped to declassify revealed a shocking truth-- that human experimentation played an extensive role in this country's attempts to build and protect against weapons of mass destruction.

In Undue Risk, Moreno presents the first comprehensive history of the use of human subjects in atomic, biological, and chemical warfare experiments from World War II to the twenty-first century. From the courtrooms of Nuremberg to the battlefields of the Gulf War, Undue Risk explores a variety of government policies and specific cases, including plutonium injections into unwitting hospital patients, U.S. government attempts to recruit Nazi medical scientists, the subjection of soldiers to atomic blast fallout, secret LSD and mescaline studies, and the feeding of irradiated oatmeal to children. It is also the first book to go behind the scenes and reveal the government's struggle with the ethics of human experimentation and the evolution of agonizing policy choices on unfamiliar moral terrain.

As the threat of foreign and domestic terrorist attack continues to grow, the need for our country to defend itself against insidious weapons is greater than ever. Can a democracy justify using humans in potentially risky experiments in order to answer scientific questions vital to national security? Exploring the possibilities, Undue Risk highlights a program of human experimentation that is a moral model for all others, civilian and military.

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From the Publisher:

[Letterhead of W. H. Freeman and Company] August 24, 2000 Brian J. Davey, M.D. Johan de Wittlaan 32 2517 JR The Hague The Netherlands Re: “Undue Risk: Secret State Experiments on Humans” by Jonathan D. Moreno

Dear Dr. Davey:

The undersigned are (1) the President of W. H. Freeman and Company (“Freeman”), the publisher of the above-referenced book, and (2) Dr. Jonathan D. Moreno, the author of the book.

The purpose of this letter is to express to you, and to the members of your family, the profound regret of each of the undersigned, and of Freeman, at the inclusion in the first printing of “Undue Risk” of references to you which we now recognize to be false. By this letter, we intend to correct the record by retracting passages in the book which suggested

(1) that you had engaged, during your service as a physician in the South African Defense Forces (SADF) in the 1980s, in experiments with biological agents so unethical and morally culpable as to justify investigation for possible prosecution in the International Court of Justice, and

(2) that your position with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had placed you “beyond the reach” of the investigatory power of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (“TRC”) established by the Mandela government of South Africa.

We now unequivocally withdraw and retract all statements, implications and suggestions made by the passages concerning you at pages 295 to 296 in the first printing of “Undue Risk”. Based on evidence you have provided to us, we accept that you cooperated voluntarily and extensively with investigators of the TRC, provided valuable information to them, were prepared to go to South Africa to testify at the trials of others at the request of prosecuting authorities, and that neither the TRC nor South African prosecutors, after investigation, found any basis for any charges against you.

We apologize to you for the inclusion of such passages in the book which was distributed in the United States and internationally as a hard cover book. We also regret and apologize for the fact that these false passages were also published on the Freeman website. As you know, the entire text of the passages referring to you has been and will continue to be removed from all subsequent printings, including any soft cover edition.

You are free to use this letter in any manner, in any context or circumstance where you deem it necessary to refute any statement or implication by anyone based on the erroneous first printing of “Undue Risk”. The undersigned, or other spokespersons for Freeman will be pleased to authenticate this letter should any third party to whom it is shown wish to inquire as to its authenticity.

Very truly yours,

W. H. Freeman and Company

By:
Elizabeth Widdicombe
Dr. Jonathan D. Moreno

From the Inside Flap:

Unethical experimentation will always be with us, Dr. Moreno wrote, but if secrecy is limited and good model experimental programs can be developed, the abuses may be limited.
--Philip J. Hilts, New York Times

In 1994, Jonathan Moreno became a senior staff member of a special commission created by President Clinton to investigate allegations of government-sponsored radiation research on unknowing citizens during the cold war. The top secret documents he helped to declassify revealed a shocking truth-- that human experimentation played an extensive role in this country's attempts to build and protect against weapons of mass destruction.

In Undue Risk, Moreno presents the first comprehensive history of the use of human subjects in atomic, biological, and chemical warfare experiments from World War II to the twenty-first century. From the courtrooms of Nuremberg to the battlefields of the Gulf War, Undue Risk explores a variety of government policies and specific cases, including plutonium injections into unwitting hospital patients, U.S. government attempts to recruit Nazi medical scientists, the subjection of soldiers to atomic blast fallout, secret LSD and mescaline studies, and the feeding of irradiated oatmeal to children. It is also the first book to go behind the scenes and reveal the government's struggle with the ethics of human experimentation and the evolution of agonizing policy choices on unfamiliar moral terrain.

As the threat of foreign and domestic terrorist attack continues to grow, the need for our country to defend itself against insidious weapons is greater than ever. Can a democracy justify using humans in potentially risky experiments in order to answer scientific questions vital to national security? Exploring the possibilities, Undue Risk highlights a program of human experimentation that is a moral model for all others, civilian and military.

JONATHAN MORENO, a former senior staff member of President Clinton's Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, is Kornfeld Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics at the University if Virginia. He is also Senior Research Fellow at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, an Adjunct Associate of the Hastings Center, and a member of the board of directors of the American Society of Law, Medicine, and Ethics. A regular bioethics columnist for abcnews.com, Moreno is the author of Deciding Together: Bioethics and Moral Consensus. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780415928359: Undue Risk: Secret State Experiments on Humans

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ISBN 10:  0415928354 ISBN 13:  9780415928359
Publisher: Routledge, 2000
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9781138146174: Undue Risk: Secret State Experiments on Humans

Routledge, 2016
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