Let's say you're the CEO of a pharmaceutical company. Your esteemed head scientist -- the one with the hunchback and the wooden leg, not the one with the hand hook and the eye patch -- cautiously knocks on your door, dodges the first two demonic thunderbolts, and, once he has picked himself up after being caught in the chest by the third, exclaims: "Master! Hissssss! I have created the perfect artificial blood! However shall we test it?"
You consider squirting the mysterious muck into the veins of innocent lambs. Perhaps a few innocent puppies. Eventually, you settle for a few abducted innocent maidens. And as you are hoisted off the top floor of your headquarters by your bloodthirsty former underlings, you truly understand: This was a test. You have failed, and whatever dark creature that will take your place didn't. All along, the answer was clear: Just squirt that shit into a bunch of unwary people all around the country and see what happens.
"Yes, make it so. Also, do I get a better parking spot now?"
At least, that's what Northfield Laboratories chose to do when they started testing their new experimental artificial blood in 2006 by ... giving it to hundreds of people and crossing their fingers. Trauma patients around the country (each and every one of whom was non-consenting) were slipped the artificial blood solution. And the results were so depressing that I'm just going to go ahead and quote The Chicago Tribune:
In a trial of 712 patients, Northfield Laboratories Inc. reported 13.2 percent of the 349 who had been given Northfield's product died, compared with deaths of 9.6 percent in the control group of 363 who received either saline solution in the ambulance or blood in the hospital.
Let's dwell on that for a moment. Northfield subjected 349 unwary trauma patients to horseshit fake blood, which killed a whopping 13.2 percent of them. Even if you generously forget the fatality difference between these poor fuckers and the control group (who were basically given whatever, at whichever hour), that's still a multi-percent difference in the oh shit, they're dead statistics.
As such, it was hardly a surprise that Northfield's stock didn't exactly shoot up. "No matter how they slice it, it's a disaster," said a financial professional keeping eye on the situation. "If you look at the absolute number of deaths, it kills more patients than saline does." That professional, by the way, was Martin Shkreli. Yes, fucking Pharma Bro -- the guy with zero qualms about playing the villain to all of medicine-needing mankind -- thought Northfield Laboratories' antics were a bit much.
To the surprise of no fucking one, Northfield Labs folded not long after their evident plan to take over the world via artificial blood parasites failed. Martin Shkreli's gotten worse since.
Now you're an inmate in a gloomy 1950s Philadelphia jail. One day, an ominous figure in a lab coat strolls through the prison gates. He would later describe his glee at the sight of you and your fellow prisoners to a reporter: "All I saw before me were acres of skin. It was like a farmer seeing a field for the first time."
Oh shit, right? Better kick your escape plans in motion ASAP, because your facility's about to go full Human Centipede.
Double oh shit! Your daring escape failed! It's now 20 years later, and you're still stuck in Holmesburg prison, at the mercy of the lab coat man, whom you now recognize and dread as Dr. Albert M. Kligman. For reference, this is Albert M. Kligman:
If you've ever had such bad acne that you've actually read up on it, you might be inclined to think Kligman is something of a hero. He's the dude who came up with Retin-A, a tretinoin-based drug that was one of the first truly effective treatments for pizza face, and its sister product, the anti-wrinkle cream Renova. But for the purposes of this analogy, you're still a prisoner in Holmesburg, and because of that, you're keenly aware why the man's name tends to be written in news articles with the middle initial -- a practice usually reserved for those who have broken the law so hard that you don't want to have people confuse them with a potential namesake. It's because this is how he achieved his results:
Yeah, that "acres of skin" quote at the start of this entry wasn't just hyperbole for the sake of a story. It's a verbatim quote Kligman gave to a newspaper in 1966, 15 years into his two-decade mission of freely experimenting with the prison's populace. For paltry cash prizes, Kligman and his cohorts performed experiments involving "toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, skin creams, detergents, liquid diets, eye drops, foot powders and hair dye," often accompanied by nasty biopsies and painful procedures. The bandage-covered inmates tolerated the procedures -- because let's face it, money is money, and it's not like they had a huge pool of choices in the matter. For his part, Kligman never shied away from his human testing antics, specifically noting in his writings that Retin-A got its start "on the backs and faces of the Holmesburg inmates."
Twenty years into Kligman's experiments, an outsider was finally exposed to the prison's antics. Allen M. Hornblum (let's not speculate on why they insist on using the middle initial here as well) found out about Kligman's bandaged-up test subjects while teaching an adult literacy course. Appropriately shocked, he made his mission to expose Kligman's bullshit to the rest of the world. After years of gathering evidence, he finally released his appropriately-titled expose, Acres Of Skin, in 1998.
You really can't go around spurting quotes like that and expect they'll never bite you in the ass.
At the snap of the fingers and the gasp of several nations, Dr. Kligman watched his squeaky-clean legacy drain down to the gutter occupied by the Tuskegee study and other black annals of medicine.
Original article and pictures take http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-horrifying-medical-experiments-by-actual-mad-scientists/ site