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eBook The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War download

by Eileen Welsome

eBook The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War download ISBN: 0385319541
Author: Eileen Welsome
Publisher: Delta; 1 edition (October 10, 2000)
Language: English
Pages: 592
ePub: 1605 kb
Fb2: 1287 kb
Rating: 4.5
Other formats: docx txt doc mobi
Category: History
Subcategory: Americas

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The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War, by Eileen Welsome. Levy, Barry S. Bibliographic Citation. Journal of Public Health Policy 2002; 23(3): 374-375. URI. Find in a Library.

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Plutonium Files - America's Secret Experiments in the Cold War. Interview with Eileen Welsome - Democracy Now . Interview with Eileen Welsome - Democracy Now TV May 5th 2004. Spanning the 1930s to the 1990s, filled with hundreds of newly declass ified documents and firsthand interviews, The Plutonium Files traces the behind- the-scenes story of an extraordinary fifty-year cover-up.

First Online: 01 September 2002.

Secret experiments are done in hospitals.

book by Eileen Welsome. As World War II reached its climax, the . Secret experiments are done in hospitals. People are lied to and lured into treatments they don't need. And its all for the good of the state, not the people who are "treated. The Code forbids medical experimentation on non-consenting citizens.

Now, in The Plutonium Files, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Eileen Welsome reveals for the first time the breadth of the extraordinary fifty-year cover-up surrounding the plutonium injections, as well as the deceitful nature of thousands of other experiments conducted on American.

Now, in The Plutonium Files, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Eileen Welsome reveals for the first time the breadth of the extraordinary fifty-year cover-up surrounding the plutonium injections, as well as the deceitful nature of thousands of other experiments conducted on American citizens in the postwar years. Welsome's remarkable investigation spans the 1930s to the 1990s and draws upon hundreds of newly declassified documents and other primary sources to disclose this shadowy chapter in American history.

panel that was charged with investigating the experiments.

580 pp. New York, Dial Press, 1999. panel that was charged with investigating the experiments. at the documents, and each saw very different issues. In. The Plutonium Files, Welsome slashes the moral Gordian. knot by unabashedly caring about the people described in.

Plutonium, a key ingredient in the atomic bomb, is the most toxic substance known to man. Some of the 4,000 secret studies that . Some of the 4,000 secret studies that took place in this country included monitoring of poisoned workers in bomb factories, citizens injected with plutonium with no chance of medical benefit, special needs children fed "radioactive" cereal, and over 800 pregnant women unknowingly fed "radioactive" iron.

In a Massachusetts school, seventy-three disabled children were spoon fed radioactive isotopes along with their morning oatmeal....In an upstate New York hospital, an eighteen-year-old woman, believing she was being treated for a pituitary disorder, was injected with plutonium by Manhattan Project doctors....At a Tennessee prenatal clinic, 829 pregnant women were served "vitamin cocktails"--in truth, drinks containing radioactive iron--as part of their prenatal treatmen....In 1945, the seismic power of atomic energy was already well known to researchers, but the effects of radiation on human beings were not. Fearful that plutonium would cause a cancer epidemic among workers, Manhattan Project doctors embarked on a human experiment that was as chilling as it was closely guarded: the systematic injection of unsuspecting Americans with radioactive plutonium. In this shocking exposé, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Eileen Welsome reveals the unspeakable scientific trials that reduced thousands of American men, women, and even children to nameless specimens with silvery radioactive metal circulating in their veins. Spanning the 1930s to the 1990s, filled with hundreds of newly declassified documents and firsthand interviews, The Plutonium Files traces the behind-the-scenes story of an extraordinary fifty-year cover-up. It illuminates a shadowy chapter in this country's history and gives eloquent voice to the men and women who paid for our atomic energy discoveries with their health--and sometimes their lives.
Comments: (7)
Usishele
I remember when this book came out. It was in the 1990s and President Clinton had just appointed Secretary Hazel O'Leary as Secretary of Energy. (DOE) . Eileen Welsome, being the considerate journalist contacted O'Leary's office and advised them of what was to be published in her book. It shocked O'Leary to find out that children had been fed oatmeal laced with radioactive elements. It dismayed her to find out that impoverished women seeking prenatal care were given vitamins that would further the experiments of doctors seeking to know what this stuff would do to people. No one was asked for their permission. Children with sinus problems had nasal injections that were supposed to "cure" their ills... it caused future injury...

Why should I tell you the story? Read for yourself the shocking data that Eileen worked years to bring to light. Her documentation is awesome. Her research is air tight. If you're looking for the style of a real journalist, look no further. If you want history, unvarnished, you have found it. I purchased a copy from Amazon here to give to another colleague who had a friend who had been injected with the nasal radiation as a child. It will be both horrifying to find out what had happened to her, but also a relief to find out that she's not all alone.

In fact, if you read between the lines... or just read the research documentation at the back, you'll find out that we're all part of the Files... we're all a case study in exposure. Speaking of case studies... here's another primer in your learning about 20th Century and it's "cold" war... Under the Cloud: The Decades of Nuclear Testing Read Richard Miller's account and you'll be well rounded with these two books under your belt. Not enough? Need more atomic history about US? Try this one... Some places won't seem to be so friendly to live in after it: The Day We Bombed Utah . . . Here's one more: We Almost Lost Detroit.... Well, I think that's enough for today. Class dismissed.
Alsardin
I've worked in the field of nuclear medicine for 35 years. This book is a strong and what I believe accurate account of the time period of WWII discoveries and usage of nuclear warfare at its early stages. Difficult to believe the country used its citizens as experimental subjects but its not the first nor last time.
Ceroelyu
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Eileen Welsome uncovered decades of "dark medicine" and later wrote The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War (1999). Plutonium, a key ingredient in the atomic bomb, is the most toxic substance known to man. Some of the 4,000 secret studies that took place in this country included monitoring of poisoned workers in bomb factories, citizens injected with plutonium with no chance of medical benefit, special needs children fed "radioactive" cereal, and over 800 pregnant women unknowingly fed "radioactive" iron. At least eighteen men, woman and children were experimentally injected with plutonium between 1945 and 1947, most going to their graves without knowing what had been done to them. Resultant cancer data and radioactive body parts were forwarded to Los Alamos.

President Clinton's 1995 declassification of human experimentation files confirmed that the U.S. Army Manhattan Project, the top-secret World War II machine that built the atomic bomb, engaged in human radiation experiments that remained classified for over half a century. The Manhattan Project became the civilian-run Atomic Energy Commission in 1947. Welsome writes that AEC research advanced nuclear medicine, but the aim of the military industrial complex was to establish occupational standards for defense industry workers exposed to highly toxic chemicals and radiation, and to help the Army, Navy and Air Force fight more effectively on the nuclear battlefield.

With over-all responsibility for making the atomic bomb, General Leslie R. Groves explained that in 1943, "The most urgent problem was to determine the toxicity of the materials we were using: primarily, uranium and plutonium compounds; the related heavy elements, such as radium, polonium and thorium; and certain accessory process materials, such as fluorine and beryllium. This required the study of the manner in which the materials might be introduced into the body, whether by ingestion, inhalation, skin absorption or in other ways."

During World War I, the U.S. War Department considered using "tetraethyl lead" as deadly nerve gas. After The Plutonium Files had been published, it was revealed that Medical Director of the Ethyl Corp., Robert A. Kehoe, M.D., principal defender of keeping highly toxic "tetraethyl lead" in gasoline, had joined forces with the AEC in 1946. This was an ideal arrangement because radioactive material, like lead from gasoline, was becoming a component in the bones of exposed U.S. citizens. Once lead (also strontium 90 from atomic testing) enters the bloodstream, the body mistakes it for calcium and incorporates it into bone and soft tissue. When Robert Kehoe investigated toxic workplace hazards - lead, benzene and fluoride - used to manufacture leaded gasoline, health data was passed on to those who owned the factories, but not to those who worked inside them. Kehoe collaborated with the AEC in order to protect defense contractors from worker injury lawsuits.

General Groves considered the potential of personal injury lawsuits as the most serious threat to the nuclear program. A secret AEC document, dated April 17, 1947, warned young radiologists, "It is desired that no document be released which refers to experiments with humans that might have an adverse effect on public opinion or result in legal suits. Documents covering such field work should be classified 'Secret.'"

Alluding to medical experiments conducted in the Nazi concentration camps, an editorial writer for the AMA wrote in 1946, "the medical profession in the United States would rally behind any enlisted officer who refused to conduct an unethical human experiment, even if ordered to do so by the 'highest political leaders.'" In the U.S. military today, it is emphasized that medical officers are "physicians first" - following the Hippocratic Oath - and "officers second" - meeting military needs. (NEJM September 11, 2008)

There is no evidence of American GIs being subjected to Nazi Germany's chemical or radioactive weapons during World War II; toxic exposure occurred back home in medical labs, U.S. bomb factories and uranium mines. During the Cold War, defense contractors systematically denied that working with the most hazardous materials ever known had made any workers sick enough to become a compensable occupational disease.

In the early days of the Cold War, Eileen Welsome reminds the reader that "twenty-three medical doctors, including Hitler's personal physician, went on trial for assorted crimes involving murder and torture performed in the name of medical science." Nevertheless, as a result of Operation Paperclip, doctors from Nazi Germany were recruited by the AEC to work in the USA. One senior American scientist described the AEC radiation experiments as having "a little of the Buchenwald touch."

In one of the most important books of the past century, The Plutonium Files emphasizes that AEC scientists deliberately "downplayed the amount of radioactive pollution emanating from the bomb factories and the health risks of fallout, reasoning that a few extra leukemias, bone cancers, or genetic mutations were an unfortunate but unavoidable side effect in the struggle against communism."
Lbe
This is a very compelling and complete book regarding some of the secret experiments that went on during the early days of the atomic age. Unconscionable testing on patients, healthy subjects, the poor, military pilots, sailors, soldiers, healthy subjects, pregnant women, animals, children, orphans, mentally incapacitated, local residents, prisoners, cancer patients and patients suffering from various diseases, without their consent and some without their knowledge. Scientists and physicians ignored the moral imperatives of the Nuremberg code and the ethical implications of their actions. In fact, in some ways, all of us living on the planet during the nuclear environmental tests and still today...we may all be paying the price of radiation that has swept the globe and still exists today. Scientists playing god, risking all our futures for their own selfish interests in the ploy of knowledge and national security.