Abington event focuses on children as medical test subjects

Penn State Abington invites the public to a Sept. 25 panel discussion that focuses on the heinous post-World War II medical experiments on institutionalized children in the United States and the current ethical challenges presented by such testing. The free discussion begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, in Lares Building, 1600 Woodland Road.

Against Their Will: Children as Medical Test Subjects was inspired by a new book co-authored by an Abington faculty member. The book details how disenfranchised children became “cheap and available test subjects” for medical and scientific experiments.

The panelists at the event include:
-- Gordon Shattuck, a surviving test subject whose case is documented in the book
-- Judith Newman, associate professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Abington and co-author of "Against Their Will"
-- Karen Alves, the sister of a child test subject
-- Vera Sharav, president, Alliance for Human Research Protection
-- Moderator: Allen Hornblum, co-author of "Against Their Will" and author of "Acres of Skin" and "Sentenced to Science"

The book, "Against Their Will: The Secret History of Medical Experimentation on Children in Cold War America," will be sold at the event, and Newman and Hornblum will be sign them.

The authors spent years interviewing surviving test subjects and their family members and collecting data from long-closed state hospitals and orphanages, medical and university archives, and libraries. Their quest documented how and why thousands of children were subjected to lobotomies and exposed to diseases and chemicals in the name of science.

For more information, www.abington.psu.edu/events/2013/09/against-their-will-panel-discussion…