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California class action lawsuit over human testing will be heard

It may seem like something straight out of science fiction, but a California judge has given the go-ahead for current and former military personnel who may have been experimented on by the government to join a class action lawsuit. The government has claimed that as many as 100,000 people were used for human experimentation between the years of 1922 and 1975. The class action lawsuit could lift the veil over soldiers who can now come forward and talk about what they experienced at the hands of the government.

The suit is seeking to force the government to provide the subjects the health care that they promised while they were being experimented on. The suit is not requesting monetary damages, mainly because the government is mostly immune from any damage claims brought against them by military personnel. Approximately 30 years ago, the National Academies of Science found that test subjects had no lasting physical harm, except for those who may have been exposed to high levels of mustard gas.

However, in 2004, it was found that post-traumatic stress disorder could affect the test subjects due to their 'perceived exposure to biochemical warfare agents.' Documents in the case indicate that veterans were exposed to many different agents, including LSD, amphetamines, mustard gas, Sarin, Thorazine and other agents at several levels above the known tolerances. The subjects who volunteered for the tests were often not told any of the risks involved or the chemicals to which they may have been exposed.

Many of the subjects who sought treatment for later health problems possibly due to the experimentation refused to tell their own doctors what they had been exposed to because of the oath they took. The class action lawsuit is scheduled to be heard next summer in the state of California. Hopefully veterans who were subjected to such experimentation will be able to receive the health care that they need and deserve.

Source: McClatchey, "Class-action suit is linked to man's efforts to uncover military's experimentation mystery," Marth Quillin, Oct. 10, 2012

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