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Famous Studies On Humans That Would Never Be Allowed Today
[Image via The Telegraph]

Soviet Union Poison Experiment

  • Year Conducted: 1921 to 1970s (reactivated in 1990s)
  • Parties Involved: The Soviet Union & Russian Governments

The Soviet Union is not going to be remembered by history as amazing. In fact, they will go down most likely as terrible, especially due to how they treated their people. One such example of mistreatment is the now infamous Soviet Union Poison Experiment. Starting in 1921, the government employed poison laboratories known as Laboratory 1, Laboratory 12, and Kamera. They operated as covert research facilities that performed tests on prisoners from the Gulags.

Famous Studies On Humans That Would Never Be Allowed Today
[Image via The Washington Post]
The prisoners were exposed to several deadly poisons. Of course, these experiments were done to find a tasteless, odorless chemical that could not be detected postmortem. Among the poisons used includes mustard gas, ricin, digitoxin, curare, and many more. The Soviets even decided to test people outside prisons. Thus, men and women of multiple ages and physical conditions being brought into labs to be given poison. They told them was medication, a meal, or a drink. Dozens died.

Famous Studies On Humans That Would Never Be Allowed Today
[Image via Neonatology on the Web]

University Of California Newborn Experiments

  • Year(s) Conducted: 1960s
  • Parties Involved: University of California

While testing on children is pretty bad to do, one would assume that you would have some limitations on testing. Well, not if you spoke to researchers from the University of California in the 1960s. Known today mostly as the Newborns Experiment, the university decided to study several blood-related issues using infants. They used exactly 113 newborns ranging from just one hour to three days old!

Famous Studies On Humans That Would Never Be Allowed Today
[Image via Time Magazine]
During one experiment, a catheter was inserted through the umbilical arteries and into the aorta. Some newborns had their feet submerged in ice water to test aortic pressure. Possibly one of the worst was when they strapped 50 newborns onto a circumcision board. They would then tilt the table so that blood rushed to their head in an effort to test blood pressure. Most if not all of this could have been massively harmful to any child. Even some mothers did not even know about the experiments.

Famous Studies On Humans That Would Never Be Allowed Today
[Image via Medium]

Operation Midnight Climax

  • Year Conducted: 1955 to 1965
  • Parties Involved: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency

The United States Government has been obsessed with finding a way to perform mind control for literally decades. They tested out some form of this from the 1920s to at least the 1990s. However, some of their studies on this remained top secret for a long time. One of the most infamous on their list of studies on humans is known as Operation Midnight Climax. The study was given its nickname due to how the CIA lured in participants. Seriously, the CIA used prostitutes to lure in unsuspecting men in both San Francisco & New York City.

Famous Studies On Humans That Would Never Be Allowed Today
[Image via iMDb]
No one consented to the experiments. The most common experiment was giving LSD or other mind-altering drugs to people to see how it affected them. They might have one person in the room with them, but there was always one or more people behind one-way glass used to monitor the person. Of course, Operation Midnight Climax did not result in mind-control. Yet it did involve sexual blackmail, surveillance technology, and giving people drugs that could affect their brains. Naturally, all of this was illegal even then.

Famous Studies On Humans That Would Never Be Allowed Today
[Image via History.com]

Tuskegee Syphilis Study

  • Year(s) Conducted: 1932 to 1972
  • Parties Involved: United States Government, Tuskegee Institute

The U.S. Government has already proven it is willing to use its own people to do some horrific things. Yet one stands out above them all. In fact, the United Nations claims it is a human rights violation. Studies on humans can be controversial, but this specific study led to the nationwide outbreak of a very dangerous disease. Beginning in 1932, the U.S. Public Health Service began working with the Tuskegee Institute to track the natural progression of syphilis. They decided to go to Macon County, Alabama, where they were able to find 600 poor, illiterate, male sharecroppers (all being black).

Famous Studies On Humans That Would Never Be Allowed Today
[Image via New York Times]
Of the 600 men they found, 399 had previously contracted syphilis. However, none were told they had it. Instead, they were told they would be getting free healthcare, meals, and even burial insurance for participating in this unknown study. Even when we found that penicillin was a cure for syphilis in 1947, the Health Service continued their study up to 1972 on these men. Unsurprisingly, many of their wives contracted the disease and several of their children were born with congenital syphilis. It is by far the worst thing (outside of slavery & war) that we’ve ever done to our own people.

Famous Studies On Humans That Would Never Be Allowed Today
[Image via United States Holocaust Memorial Museum]

The Nazi Concentration Camp Experiments

  • Year(s) Conducted: 1933 to 1945
  • Parties Involved: Nazi-German Government

We all know by now how horrific the Holocaust was. It led to the deaths of over 6 million Jewish people in Germany between the 1930s to around the mid-1940s. Jewish people were often rounded up and thrown into “concentration camps” where several were simply killed. Yet one might say they were the lucky ones because some camps decided to keep Jewish men, women, and children alive. Why? Well, to do medical experiments on them obviously!

Famous Studies On Humans That Would Never Be Allowed Today
[Image via WNYZ]
Among the experiments included forcing them to drink seawater as they found a way to make it drinkable. Yet some involved throwing Jews out of planes to see the distance one could parachute to safety. Meanwhile, some were forced into freezing conditions to test hypothermia symptoms. The Nazis also forced tested poisons on people, as well as conducted bone-grafting surgeries on some. However, others were given life-threatening diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and infectious hepatitis as a way to develop vaccines. Sadly, we only covered about 3% of the total experiments conducted.



New York Times

New York Post

The Guardian

New York Daily News


Research Gate

National Institutes of Health

American Central Intelligence Agency

Center for Disease Control

Marquette University

Stanford University




United States Holocaust Memorial Museum