Thursday, June 09, 2011

dr. cornelius p. rhoads

Wikipedia | Cornelius P. Rhoads (1898–1959) was an American doctor and pathologist who became infamous for allegedly performing deadly experiments on human beings.[1]

It has been claimed than in 1931, while working for the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now Rockefeller University), Rhoads deliberately infected several Puerto Ricans patients with cancer cells. Accusations against him are based on a letter he wrote, which states in part:[2]

The Porto Ricans (sic) are the dirtiest, laziest, most degenerate and thievish race of men ever to inhabit this sphere... I have done my best to further the process of extermination by killing off eight and transplanting cancer into several more... All physicians take delight in the abuse and torture of the unfortunate subjects.[3]

He would, however, later state that the writing was done in a moment of anger - his car had been vandalized - and did not reflect anything he had actually done. In 1932, Rhoads was accused by Puerto Rican Nationalist leader, Pedro Albizu Campos of carrying out these experiments.

According to San Juan doctor Hector Pesquera, "At least 13 people died as a result of these experiments." [4] and Science Magazine reported that “13 patients…died during Rhoads's tenure” According to Susan E. Lederer, chair of the Medical History and Bio-ethics department of the University of Wisconsin , however, “Careful review of patient records at the Presbyterian Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where Rhoads had performed his research revealed that no patients in the young pathologist's care had died under suspicious circumstances.” [5] The project Rhoads worked for "was studying hookworm-caused anemia and tropical sprue anemia” [6] and "Puerto Ricans who had hookworm infestation and anemia" had "high mortality" [7]. Rhoads was subject to separate investigations ordered by the governor of Puerto Rico and the Rockefeller Institute, “neither…was able to uncover any evidence that Dr. Rhoads had exterminated any Puerto Ricans.” [8]

According to his critics he was later placed in charge of two chemical warfare projects in the 1940s establishing U.S. Army Biological Warfare facilities in Maryland, Utah, and Panama.[9] After World War II Rhoads served as director of the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and an adviser to the United States Atomic Energy Commission regarding nuclear medicine [10]. He was also awarded the U.S. Legion of Merit by the government for his research.[11]

In 2002, controversy over the letter and the alleged experiments arose once again when University of Puerto Rico biology professor Edwin Vazquez contacted the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). In 2003 the AACR announced that the Cornelius P. Rhoads Memorial Award would be renamed, after an investigation commissioned by them and led by bioethicist Jay Katz "concluded that although there was no evidence of Dr. Rhoads' killing patients or transplanting cancer cells, the letter itself was reprehensible enough to remove his name from the award."[12]


Braveheart said...

If Dr.Rhodes were alive today I would hunt him down and torture him to death,just for the letter alone.

CNu said...

Doubtful. But we commend the passion if not the focus. There are plenty enough little Mengeles out and about right now and what they're working with and the media environment in which they work is far more prolific than anything that Rhodes could have ever imagined

Braveheart said...

Are you telling me he would be untouchable today?

Vic78 said...

Have you ever heard of Charles Murray and Andrew Sullivan? Those two are high profile and untouchable.

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