Abstract

In March 1944, doctors at the University of Chicago began infecting prisoners at Stateville penitentiary with a virulent strand of malaria to test the effectiveness and side-effects of potent anti-malarial drugs. According to Dr. Alf Sven Alving, the principal investigator, malaria "was the number-one medical problem of the war in the Pacific, for we were losing far more men to malaria than to enemy bullets." This refrain would rehearse one of the most productive ways of speaking about live prisoner experimentation. The Stateville inmates became human once again and regained their citizenship and political voice by giving their bodies to the war effort. In this essay, I explore how the consent of the prisoners was constructed and how it compares to the way in which we fabricate the willingness of soldiers to sacrifice their lives for their country. I begin to explore the question: How is it, exactly, that we ask someone to die for us?

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-768X
Print ISSN
0037-783X
Pages
pp. 443-478
Launched on MUSE
2014-04-30
Open Access
No
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