Monday, June 4, 2012

U.S. AEC document: "Subject: Medical Experiments on Humans"

An early document from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, reposted here from the National Security Archive website as a clear example of how the U.S. government deliberately had a policy of covering up secret research on human subjects. It's not known exactly what experiments this document is referring to, except that it is related to research on the effects of radiation on human subjects. The AEC document is released as part of a number of documents NSA posted as part of webpage dedicated to the "Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (ACHRE), [which] was created by President Clinton on January 15, 1994 to investigate and report on the use of human beings as subjects of federally funded research using ionizing radiation."

Note, by April 1947, the AEC had already prohibited some of the experiments on humans, as the document below describes. Unfortunately, radiation experimentation on humans did not end in 1947, as the government's own ACHRE report makes clear.
April 17, 1947

U. S. Atomic Energy Commission
P. O. Box E
Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Attention: Dr. Fidler


1. It is desired that no document be released which
refers to experiments with humans and might have adverse
effect on public opinion or result in legal suits.
Documents covering such work field [sic] should be classified
"secret". Further work in this field in the future has been
prohibited by the General Manager. It is understood that
three documents in this field have been submitted for
declassification and are now classified "restricted". It is
desired that these documents be reclassified "secret" and
that a check be made to insure that if distribution has
inadvertent been made to the Department of Commerce, or
other off-Project personnel or agencies.

2. These instructions do not pertain to documents
regarding clinical or therapeutic uses of radioisotopes and
similar materials beneficial to human disorders and


Colonel, Corps of Engineers.


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