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Transcript

The children of Willowbrook.

1

An unethical experiment.

Things were so bad at Willowbrook that in the 1960s (nineteen sixties), Robert Kennedy called it : “zoo-like” and “snake-pit”. Originally designed for 4000 (four thousand) children, in 1963 (nineteen sixty three) Willowbrook had a population of 6000 (six thousand).
However, what is more disturbing are the unethical experiments that the doctors conducted on the same children when they were supposed to be treating them.
Struggling to find answers about the hepatitis outbreak, the medical researcher Saul Krugman « used the children of Willowbrook to answers his questions ».
One of his studies involved inoculating sixty children in good health with live hepatitis virus. Krugman observed that their skin and eyes were turning yellow and their liver was destroying. He watched them vomit and refuse to eat. All of the children fed the hepatitis virus fell ill, some severely.
Krugman reasoned that it was justifiable to inoculate the retarded children at Willowbrook with the hepatitis virus because most of them would have caught anyway.
But, by deliberately giving children hepatitis, Krugman increased that chance to 100% (one hundred pourcent).

The parents had been offered the opportunity of free care for their children in exchange for their agreement to participate in experiments. But, the exact nature of which remains secret, and for good reason. When the scandal is revealed, the doctors defend themselves by claiming that the sanitary conditions make infections almost inevitable and that it is therefore preferable to take the lead.

A hidden experiment?