Acres of Skin: Human Experiments at Holmesburg Prison - Hornblum, Allen M. - EBSCO Book Services
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Acres of Skin: Human Experiments at Holmesburg Prison [Illustrated]
Author: Hornblum, Allen M.
Pages: 297

Your Price: $64.94


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Title Description
In this expose, Allen M. Hornblum tells the story of Philadelphia's Holmesburg Prison. From the early 1950s through the mid-1970s, Holmesburg's inmates were used, in exchange for a few dollars, as guinea pigs in a host of medical experiments. Based on in-depth interviews with dozens of prisoners as well as the doctors and prison officials who, respectively, performed and permitted these experimental tests, Hornblum paints a disturbing portrait of abuse, moral indifference, and greed. Central to this account are the millions of dollars many of America's leading drug and consumer goods companies made available for the eager doctors seeking fame and fortune through their medical experiments. Many of these doctors established their illustrious careers on the backs of the inmates who served as the ideal test subjects - isolated, cheap, and locked behind bars.

Hardcover (May 1998)
Routledge ; ISBN-10: 0415919908 ; ISBN-13: 9780415919906 ; Dimensions (in inches): 9.25 x 9.00 x 6.75 ; Weight (in pounds): 1.60
Contributors
  • Author: Allen M. Hornblum


Publisher's Note

At a time of increased interest and renewed shock over the Tuskegee syphilis experiments, Acres of Skin sheds light on yet another dark episode of American medical history. In this disturbing expose, Allen M. Hornblum tells the story of Philadelphia's Holmesburg Prison. For more than two decades, from the mid-1950s through the mid-1970s, inmates were used, in exchange for a few dollars, as guinea pigs in a host of medical experiments.
Based on in-depth interviews with dozens of prisoners as well as the doctors and prison officials who performed or enforced these experimental tests, Hornblum paints a disturbing portrait of abuse, moral indifference, and greed. Cantral to this account are the millions of dollars many of America's leading drug and consumer goods companies made available for the all too eager doctors seeking fame and fortune through their medical experiments.

In addition to testing innocuous commerical products such as detergents, shampoos and diet drinks, the experiments at
Holmesburg evolved into a far more dangerous corrupted human laboratory. Hundreds of prisoners were subjected to painful skin hardening experiments, fingernail extraction studies, chemical warfare agents, and frighteningly high does of dioxin and radioactive isotopes. Many of the test subjects became ill, required hospitalization and are scarred for life. However, as prisoners were viewed by corporate America and US government as valuable "raw materials" for product development.

In often graphic detail, Acres of Skin exposes what really happened behind the locked doors of this American prison where men were treated like laboratory animals.



Review
"Hornblum's book reminds us that to be "informed", irrespective of where experiments or observations or clinical trials are done, the patients must be explicitly told of the rewards to the physicians and to their institutions for the work carried out on their bodies....The sins of our colleagues or predecessors are quickly forgotten. They need more rehearsal, discussion over and over again if we doctors are not endlessly to repeat them. More than a place in experimental laboratories an libraries, Hornblum's book deserves much consideration at ethical conferences. While many, including me, will not agree with all of his contentions, the ensuing debates will profit us all the patients who take part in our trials."   -  Lancet

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