The U.S. government used Americans as unwilling test subjects in their human experiments and got away with it for decades.
Science is hard, and good science requires a lot of work to control variables and manage large amounts of data. Medical science, in particular, usually calls for elaborate precautions to be taken, not just to ensure the accuracy of the data, but to protect the test subjects.
People have rights, after all, and it’s highly unethical to subject them to drug trials against their will or to poison them without consent to test a theory. Those constraints make medical research one of the hardest fields to work in, since most experiments have to be done on animals, and the findings are not necessarily applicable to humans.
Over the years, however, some American medical researchers have deliberately violated the rules to gain the inside track to scientific knowledge, usually at a horrific cost to the innocent people involved. The results of these human experiments were atrocious.
Human Experiments: The Horrors Of Mustard Gas
It’s a curious fact that, after the horrors of World War I, chemical weapons seem not to have been used during World War II. U.S. military officials in the early part of WWII didn’t know for sure that that would be the case, of course, and until 1943 or so, there was a legitimate fear among British and American leaders that Germany would turn to chemical weapons as the tide turned.
That fear was a big part of the reason why the U.S. Army used its own soldiers for human experiments to test the effects of mustard gas on otherwise healthy young men.