Originally published November 2 2013
Conventional prostate cancer treatment shares many similarities to unethical 1950s era Bowery experiments
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) Imagine if you were down and out in a skid row section of Manhattan known as the Bowery, and a medical researcher from Columbia University comes along and promises you a clean bed and food and medical attention as needed if you volunteer for his study.
What's there to lose, right? Well, maybe a few body parts.
The doctor's name is Dr. Perry Hudson, and he received funding from the National Institutes of Health and other sources during the 1950s and '60s to conduct prostate biopsies on men without signs or symptoms, then pursue aggressive treatments on those whose biopsies showed signs of cancer.
The purpose was to determine if early aggressive approaches would decrease prostate cancer mortality rates.
These vulnerable and desperate Bowery "volunteers," a total of 1200 over more than a decade, were escorted to NYC's Francis Delafield Hospital. They received physical exams including X-rays and underwent invasive tests, including biopsies that removed larger amounts of tissues then today's prostate biopsies.
If cancerous cells were discovered, they underwent radical surgeries, including removing the prostate and testicles. They were also administered synthetic estrogen hormones. All of these procedures are more carcinogenic than curative.
Hudson's testing was not able to prove that early aggressive approaches had any positive effect on the mortality rate of prostate cancer.
The Bowery study was conducted without those involved getting full disclosures of losing bladder control, impotence, rectal tearing and possibly exacerbating any existing cancer with the invasive procedures. These study subjects were medically ignorant and desperate for shelter and food.
Today, Bowery study critics point out that, under normal living conditions, no men would have volunteered if fully informed of the dangers. But they stopped short of another obvious unethical point: The Bowery "volunteers" were disposable citizens, just as the black men in Tuskegee, Alabama, were up until 1972.
An even worse American medical experiment on conned volunteersSome critics of the 1950s Bowery study compare it to the Tuskegee syphilis experiments started in the 1930s and conducted for 40 years. There, black men were conned into thinking they were getting free treatments for syphilis.
They just had to agree to donate their bodies for medical research when they died.
The reality is that those syphilis sufferers were not treated. The researchers gave them pink aspirins and spinal taps solely for research fluids while waiting to collect their cadavers for further syphilis research. In many cases, the Tuskegee men were actually denied known syphilis treatments.
The plan was to get them in, give them phoney meds and do spinal taps for research purposes. Some of those men had been ordered by the military to undergo syphilis examinations after their tour of duty.
They were the perfect "volunteers" for this study. Accusations and comparisons of Nazi medical war crimes were raised toward those involved with the Tuskegee study. Their reactions were very similar: "We were following orders."
Was the Bowery study necessary or remotely fruitful? Autopsies on older men who died from other causes have shown they had prostate cancer without knowing it.
In other words, many who have prostate cancer don't die from it. But if it's diagnosed early enough, the chances of dying from the treatments are often greatly increased.
After years of creating more problems with even noninvasive PSA (prostate specific antigen) testing as a precursor to biopsies, some of the mainstream medical community has adopted a wait and see policy. But most persist with aggressive actions similar to those barbaric Bowery experiments.
Even the discoverer and creator of PSA testing publicly announced in the NY Times that it's not foolproof and shouldn't automatically require aggressive biopsies (http://www.naturalnews.com).
Meanwhile, some have even overcome prostate cancer with natural means (http://www.naturalnews.com).
Sources for this article include:
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