Re: SAVE This Evidence

Ian Goddard (
Thu, 28 Jan 1999 13:32:26 -0500

At 11:17 AM 1/28/99 -0500, Ron Kean wrote:

>> I'd rather see 1520(a) start for saying that
>> "No agency or member of the U.S. Government,
>> or contracting for same or any entity may..."
>> Instead, only one official is restrained.
>Wanting the entire government to be prohibited from doing such testing,
>as opposed to just the Defense Dept. is a good idea. But the fact that
>1520 does not do what you want is not necessarily a defect of 1520. I
>suspect that the context of 1520 was that it addresses the Defense Dept.

IAN: Talk about conducting experiments of harmful chemical and biological warfare agents on "civilian populations" is disconcerting to me and to us. With respect to new law 1520(a), what civilian population would consent to such? "Hay New Jersey, the DoD would like to know if you'd consent to some Anthrax tests."

In short, if any document talks about mass poisoning, and in the case of 1520, makes no mention of consent, that is on its face evidence that something's wrong! Consensual mass poisoning is improbable on its face, so I doubt that context would explain away that law.

Also, having read a fair amount of Code, context is usually indicted by references to other sections, a fact that can make reading some Code a nightmare! But no such references existed in 1520 (or 1520(a)), which, in context, suggests it was standing alone.

But I looked around for more meaning of "consent" in the U.S. Code and I found a section that seems to provide protection (I have no idea when this section was passed or if it's been repealed):


Subtitle A - General Military Law

S 980. Limitation on use of humans as experimental subjects

Funds appropriated to the Department of Defense may not be used for research involving a human being as an experimental subject unless -

(1) the informed consent of the subject is obtained in advance; or
(2) in the case of research intended to be beneficial to the subject, the informed consent of the subject or a legal representative of the subject is obtained in advance.

But this clearly applies only to tests involving just "a human being," and continually defines the tested as singular. A "civilian population" is not "a human being." Also, the above applies only to funds appropriated to the DoD. But most important, it defines "informed consent" as possibly only informing "a legal representative of the subject," which takes us right back to 1520, which only required that "civilian officials" be notified, which may be why 1520 never referenced 10(980).

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