Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Obama Administration Debates Anthrax Experimentation on Children

Gen. Shiro Ishii, Unit 731
The Obama administration is wrestling with the thorny question of whether scientists should inject healthy children with the anthrax vaccine to see whether the shots would safely protect them against a bioterrorism attack.
The Obama administration often reminds me of the German health system of the NAZI era when step by teeny-tiny step otherwise good and ethical people became inured to the pain and barbaric treatment of others, or the horrid experiments of Shiro Ishii's Unit 731 of the Imperial Japanese Army that infected prisoners of war with plague, cholera, anthrax, and many other pestilences to see how the diseases progressed. There should be no debate at all - this is just wrong on its face; even broaching the subject is just wrong.

In fairness and to maximize the redistribution of risk, Obama should volunteer Sasha and Malia before anyone else is asked to have their children used as guinea pigs.
The other option is to wait until an attack happens and then try to gather data from children whose parents agree to inoculate them in the face of an actual threat.
Despite all the talk and hype of anthrax attacks since 2001, there has never been an anthrax attack that has encompassed an area large enough to do any large scale damage. This is no longer an era in America when government can test dangerous materials on citizens  as was done with nuclear radiation on thousands in the 20th century or the several decades that Black men were subjected to the ravages of untreated syphilis in the "Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male."

As a general description of what happened in US human experimentation, Wikipedia explains the experiments involved
the deliberate infection of people with deadly or debilitating diseases, exposure of people to biological and chemical weapons, human radiation experiments, injection of people with toxic and radioactive chemicals, surgical experiments, interrogation/torture experiments, tests involving mind-altering substances, and a wide variety of others. Many of these tests were performed on children, the sick, and mentally disabled individuals, often under the guise of "medical treatment". In many of the studies, a large portion of the subjects were poor racial minorities or prisoners.
If we no longer need to test cosmetics and chemicals on small animals, why do we still need to test deadly diseases on small people? We've already slipped the slippery slope with torture, what it is and isn't, who can and cannot be tortured, who can be killed by silent death from the sky and who cannot. This is a time when we must be fully cognizant of how near the bounds of decency truly are and still maintain our humanity.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

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