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Putting Consent in Context: Military Research Subjects in Chemical Warfare Tests at Porton Down, UK

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 January 2011

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Copyright © Donald Critchlow and Cambridge University Press 2011

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References

1. Mellanby, Kenneth, Human Guinea Pigs (London, 1945), 30.Google Scholar

2. See Annas, George and Grodin, Michael, eds., The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code: Human Rights in Human Experimentation (New York, 1992)Google Scholar; Faden, Ruth and Beauchamp, Tom, A History and Theory of Informed Consent (New York, 1986)Google Scholar; Katz, Jay, “Informed Consent: Must It Remain a Fairy Tale?Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy 10 (1994): 69–91Google ScholarPubMed; Hornblum, Allen M., Acres of Skin: Human Experiments at Holmesburg Prison (New York, 1998)Google Scholar; Moreno, Jonathan, Undue Risk: Secret State Experiments on Humans (New York, 2001)Google Scholar; Lederer, Susan, Subjected to Science: Human Experimentation in America Before the Second World War (Baltimore, 1995).Google Scholar

3. Final Report of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (New York, 1996).Google Scholar

4. Jordan Goodman noted that, despite William Bynum’s drawing attention to the gap in the history of human experimentation in 1988, little has been written to address this. Useful Bodies: Humans in the Service of Medical Science in the Twentieth Century, ed. McElligott, Anthony and Marks, Lara (Baltimore, 2003), 1.Google Scholar

5. Dörner, Klaus, Ebbinghaus, Aneglika, and Linne, Karsten, eds., The Nuremberg Medical Trial 1946/7 (English edition), fiche 123, 11568Google Scholar. I am grateful to Ulf Schmidt for providing a copy of this document.

6. Weindling, Paul, “The Origins of Informed Consent: The International Scientific Commission on Medical War Crimes, and the Nuremberg Code,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 75, no. 1 (2001): 37–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Weindling, Paul, Nazi Medicine and the Nuremberg Trials: From Medical War Crimes to Informed Consent (Basingstoke, 2006).Google Scholar

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8. Schmidt, Ulf, Justice at Nuremberg: Leo Alexander and the Nazi Doctors’ Trials (Hampshire, 2004).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

9. Hazelgrove, Jenny, “The Old Faith and the New Science: Human Experimentation Ethics in Britain, 1946–1973,” Social History of Medicine 15, no. 1 (2002): 110.Google Scholar

10. Ibid., 133.

11. Schmidt, Justice at Nuremberg, 4.

12. Ibid., 267.

13. See Bolton, T., “Consent and the Construction of the Volunteer: Institutional Settings of Experimental Research on Human Beings in Britain During the Cold War” (Ph.D. diss., University of Kent, 2008).Google Scholar

14. Tröhler, Ulrich, “Human Research: From Ethos to Law, from National to International Regulations,” in Historical and Philosophical Perspectives on Biomedical Ethics: From Paternalism to Autonomy? ed. Maehle, Andreas-Holger and Geyer-Kordesch, Johanna (Aldershot, 2002), 99.Google Scholar

15. Letter from Treasury solicitor to secretary of the MRC, 21 June 1933, TNA, FD1/428. “Human Volunteers: Experiments on Legal Position (forms and discussions), 1933–54,” National Archives (TNA), FD1/428.

16. See Bolton, “Consent and the Construction of the Volunteer,” chap. 2.

17. Goodman, McElligott, and Marks, Useful Bodies, present case studies of UK and U.S. research on human subjects.

18. Evans, John Grimley and Beck, Peter, “Informed Consent in Medical Research,” Clinical Medicine 2, no. 3 (2002): 271.Google ScholarPubMed

19. Minutes of the vitamin C subcommittee, 4 August 1945, TNA, FD1/144.

20. Data sheets on chronology of symptoms and treatments of the vitamin C experimental subjects, TNA, FD1/145.

21. Grimley Evans and Beck, “Informed Consent in Medical Research,” 271.

22. For charges of unethical work, see, in particular, Evans, Gassed; Schmidt, Ulf, “Cold War at Porton Down: Informed Consent in Britain’s Biological and Chemical Warfare Experiments,” Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 15 (2006): 360–80.Google Scholar

23. Carter, Gradon,Chemical and Biological Defence at Porton Down, 1916–2000 (DERA, 2000), 129.Google Scholar

24. Goodman, , McElligott, , and Marks, ,“Making Human Bodies Useful: Historicizing Medical Experiments in the Twentieth Century,” in Useful Bodies, ed. Goodman, , McElligott, , and Marks, , 7.Google Scholar

25. Carter, , Chemical and Biological Defence, x–xi.Google Scholar

26. Ministry of Defence, “Historical Survey of the Porton Down Service Volunteer Programme, 1939–1989,” chap. 4, 13, www.mod.uk/Defence (accessed 2 September 2006).Google Scholar

27. Balmer, Brian, Britain and Biological Warfare: Expert Advice and Science Policy, 1930–1965 (Hampshire, 2001),186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

28. Carter, , Chemical and Biological Defence, 70.Google Scholar

29. This figure is that given by Carter, , Chemical and Biological Defence, 121Google Scholar. However, Evans estimates the figure to be nearer thirty thousand. See Gassed, 365–67.

30. Royale, Trevor, The Best Years of Their Lives (Kent, 1988), 59, 73–74.Google Scholar See also David Lodge’s fictionalized account of his personal experience of military service in Ginger You’re Barmy (1961; London, 1988).

31. Keijzer, Nico, Military Obedience (Alphen aan der Rijn, 1978), 19–20.Google Scholar

32. Ibid., 48.

33. Osiel, Mark, Obeying Orders: Atrocity, Military Discipline, and the Law of War (Atlantic Highlands, N.J.), 164–65.Google Scholar

34. Sections 34 and 36 of the Army Act, which accorded with the Acts of the other Services, quoted in Osiel, Obeying Orders, 77.

35. Lodge, Ginger You’re Barmy, 90. One National Serviceman described the “misery of ‘jankers’ imposed by the ‘bully boys’” at training camp, quoted in Royle, The Best Years of Their Lives, 48.

36. Richardson, Frank M., The Fighting Spirit: A Study of Psychological Factors in War (London, 1978), 7–13.Google Scholar

37. Morgan, David, “It Will Make A Man Of You”: Notes on National Service, Masculinity, and Autobiography (Manchester, 1987), 29Google Scholar; Royle, The Best Years of Their Lives, 50.

38. Internal minutes from permanent undersecretary to Porton, 14 December 1953, TNA, WO32/20843.

39. Letter from Porton’s director Eric Haddon to J. E. Gale at the Ministry of Supply, 17 August 1961, TNA, WO32/20843.

40. Ibid.

41. Porton Note No. 119, “The Service Volunteer Observer Scheme at CDEE from 1959 to 1965,” 28 October 1965, TNA, WO195/16136.

42. P. L. Burton, Air Ministry, to J. C. P. Spicer, Treasury, 17 October 1955, LHC, AIR20/12171.

43. Permanent Secretary of State for War to Permanent Undersecretary, 13 December 1960, LHC, AIR20/12171.

44. Hickman, T., The Call-Up: A History of National Services (London, 2005)Google Scholar, xix. See also P. Buonanno, “Long-term Effects of Conscription: Lessons from the UK” (2006), www.unibg.it/dati/bacheca/657/23064.pdf (accessed 10 September 2007).

45. “Proposal regarding army volunteers for medical investigations sponsored and controlled by the Army Medical Directorate,” 1959, TNA, WO32/18677.

46. Deputy Director General, Army Medical Services, to Directorate of Personal Services, 4 March 1960, TNA, WO32/18677.

47. Letter from Treasury solicitor to secretary of the MRC, 21 June 1933, TNA, FD1/428. Human volunteers: experiments on legal position (forms and discussions), 1933–54, TNA, FD1/428.

48. Permanent Secretary of State for War to Permanent Undersecretary, 7 December 1960, LHC, AIR20/12171.

49. Loose minutes, Directorate of Personal Services to Deputy Director General, Army Medical Services, 11 March 1960, TNA, WO32/18677.

50. Internal minutes from Army Medical Services to Army Medical Directorate, 4 December 1967, TNA,WO32/18677.

51. Deputy Director General, Army Medical Services, to Directorate of Personal Services, 4 March 1960, TNA, WO32/18677.

52. Minutes of a meeting to discuss chemical tests on service volunteers at CDEE, 21 December 1959, Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives (LHC), King’s College London, Gassed Collection, DEFE7/1451.

53. Ibid.

54. Letter from J. A. Drew, MoD, to War Office, 29 November 1960, LHC, DEFE7/1451.

55. Recommendations and conclusions of the eleventh Tripartite Conference on toxicological warfare, TNA, WO195/14065.

56. Minutes of 32nd meeting of Chemistry Committee, 5 March 1959, TNA, WO195/14637.

57. Cohen, Sidney, “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide: Side Effects and Complications,” Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases 130 (1960): 40.Google ScholarPubMed

58. Porton Note No. 166, “Screening Tests Prior to Administration of Psychotomimetic Drugs in Human Subjects” by Surgeon Commander W. A. Burnett, 7 September 1966, TNA, AIR 20/12171.

59. Ibid.

60. Minutes of 4th meeting of the Applied Biology Committee, 26 April 1967, WO195/16462.

61. The falling numbers were provided in table form by Col. R. P. Bradshaw in a paper titled “The Service Volunteer Observer Scheme 1959 to 1965,” LHC, WO 195/16136.

62. World Who’s Who in Science, ed. Debus, Allen G. (Chicago, 1968).Google Scholar

63. Porton Note No. 173, 1960, TNA, WO195/15070.

64. “Notes of a meeting … to discuss nerve gas tests on human observers,” September 1959 LHC, AIR 20/10719.

65. DDG to DPS, 4 March 1960, TNA, WO32/18677.

66. Directory of British Scientists, 1964–1965 (London, 1964)Google Scholar; Porton Technical Paper No. 857, June 1963, LHC, WO195/15638.

67. Evans, Gassed, 175.

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