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Description - Acres of Skin by Allen M. Hornblum

For more than two decades, from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s, inmates of Holmesburg Prison, Philadelphia, were used, in exchange for a few dollars, as guinea pigs in a host of medical experiments. Based on interviews with dozens of prisoners as well as doctors and prison officials who performed and enforced these experimental tests, this book paints a portrait of abuse, moral indifference and greed. Central to the account are the millions of dollars which many of America's leading drug and consumer-goods companies made available for doctors seeking fame and fortune through their medical experiments. Many of those doctors established their careers on the backs of the inmates who served as ideal test subjects - isolated, cheap, and locked behind bars. The author argues that at Holmesburg the American medical establishment betrayed the ideals of the Hippocratic Oath and the Nuremberg Code. An array of doctors, in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania and prison officials, established Holmesburg as a laboratory testing ground. Hundreds of prisoners were used to test products from facial creams and skin moisturizers to perfumes, detergents and anti-rash treatments. Other experiments used the inmates as test subjects for far more hazardous, even potentially lethal, substances such as radioactive isotopes, LSD and chemical-warfare agents.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415923361
ISBN-10: 0415923360
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 13-May-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Allen M. Hornblum

Allen M. Hornblum teaches Urban Studies at Temple University. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia Prison System and as the Chief of Staff of Philadelphia's Sheriff's Office.

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