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Acres of Skin Human Experiments at Holmesburg Prison a True Story of Abuse and Exploitation in the Name of Medical Science

by Allen M. Hornblum

  • ISBN: 9780415919906
  • ISBN10: 0415919908

Acres of Skin Human Experiments at Holmesburg Prison a True Story of Abuse and Exploitation in the Name of Medical Science

by Allen M. Hornblum

  • List Price: $69.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Publish date: 05/01/1998
  • ISBN: 9780415919906
  • ISBN10: 0415919908
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Description: 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 account, 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, respectively, performed and enforced these experimental tests, Hornblum paints an appalling 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 all too 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.

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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