July 3, 2022

PAYOUT FOR INFAMOUS US EXPERIMENT

An infamous American case of doctors experimenting on orphans without their consent is close to settlement. The state of Iowa has agreed to pay US$925,000 to several people who were dragooned into a study on stuttering in 1939. The plaintiffs had sought $13.5 million.

The experiment, run by Dr Wendell Johnson, a pioneer of speech pathology, involved harassing and badgering children in the state- run Iowa Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home in an effort to turn them into stutterers. None did, but some became reluctant to speak or self- conscious. The experiment was kept secret for decades until it was exposed by the San Jose Mercury in 2001.