The University of Rochester injected 31 healthy patients with individual doses of radioactive plutonium, uranium, polonium, americium or zirconium.
Scientists choose healthy hospital patients, including an 18-year-old boy, to be experimented on. The goal was to see what type or amount of exposure would cause damage to normal people in a nuclear war, how sick they would become, and how they died.
“The individuals chosen as subjects were a miscellaneous group of male and female hospital patients for the most part with well-established diagnoses,” said one document written in 1950 by Dr. Samuel Bassett, who carried out some injection experiments.
The patients in the experiments, carried out from 1945 to 1947, were never told they were being experimented on, according to reports Dr. Patricia Durbin wrote for the Atomic Energy Commission in 1971 after interviewing Dr. Langham and others who conducted the experiment.
They were simply sent home and lied to as they became ill from the radiation.