• Sign up for new title announcements and special offers.

  • The Treatment: The Story of Those Who Died in the Cincinnati Radiation Tests

    Author(s):
    Pages: 376
    Illustrations: 15 b&w photos
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $44.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-2811-7
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • Preface

    Prologue

    Part One: The Story of the Press and the Public Campaign

    1. The First Public Knowledge of the Tests

    2. 1994 and a Secret Drawer Reopened

    3. The Press in Full Flower

    4. African Americans Lost and Found

    5. The Back Files

    6. Testimonies

    7. Author’s Intermezzo

    Part Two: The Medical Story

    8. The Mother Without a Name

    9. The Final Years

    10. The Experiments Must Cease

    Part Three: The Legal Story

    11. A Civil Action

    12. An Angry Judge

    13. The Case Closed

    Appendix 1. Table of Cincinnati Radiations

    Appendix 2. Hearing Testimony of Eugene Saenger

    Notes

    Sources

    Index
  • “[The Treatment] provides a shocking example of why we must remain diligent in our review of medical research. Recommended for all collections.”

    “[E]ffectively conveys the tragic story of the subjects and their families. Her personal struggle to get the story out and to serve as a patients’ advocate is inspiring and courageous.”

    “[E]xtremely well written . . . . [Stephens] is such a good writer and . . . she has such fine skills at marshalling facts and details . . . . It’s a terrible story, but one that needed to be told.”

    “[T]his shameful episode makes for both fascinating and troubling reading. . . . The Treatment belongs on the desk of every legislator, university president and research scientist in the country. It stands as another stark reminder of the harm that can be wrought in the interest of national security or in the name of medical science.”

    “Martha Stephens’ The Treatment exemplifies what a work of non-fiction should accomplish. . . . She brings considerable passion and personality to the muckraking task of her own design . . . . Stephens writes with refreshing clarity and verve, trading the clever glibness that characterizes so many pseudo-books for a forthright tone that places her subjects ahead of herself. . . . Stephens, sadly, must end her book with an eloquent, hypothetical statement that someday might go on a public memorial to the treatment’s victims. Should justice ever get a second chance, I hope Cincinnati listens.”

    "[A] compelling and disturbing story. . . . [I]ts publication is a testimony to Stephens's perseverance as she struggled to tell the full saga, despite serious vision problems that made both research and writing difficult."

    "[A] moving account of all that transpired during this epic battle between medicine and human rights."

    "[Stephens] was among the first faculty members at the university to become concerned about the research; she had access to some of the most important records; and she moved energetically and persistently to bring the events to public attention. Although she is not a scientist or an expert in radiation, the medical and scientific facts are within her grasp. Her book describes the difficulty of capturing the attention of the press, the resistance of the university to pressure from junior faculty members, the inadequacy of the ostensible process of consent for the human subjects, the long and frustrating class-action lawsuit, and most moving of all, the way sin which the research affected the lives of the subjects and their families."

    "Martha Stephens’s The Treatment is a comprehensive and powerful account of one of the most important radiation experiments performed on unsuspecting civilians in post-World War II America."

    "Readers interested in education will find the book valuable because the author highlights the importance of civil vigilance inside an educational institution."

    "Stephens' narrative is passionate and her investigation insistent. . . . [She] reminds us of the importance of the participants, their families, and loved ones, and the bystanders who are brought into and affected by the action in unusual and important ways."

    "The message of this book for researchers, practitioners, and the patient/public is clear. Patients and the public need to be better informed about clinical trial research. Researchers and practitioners need to make sure patients are better informed and fully understand what they are agreeing to take part in and the risks involved. Family members must be included. Informed consents also need to be understandable to participants."

    "This book caught my eye at our town library, and I’m glad it did! . . . I highly recommend this book to those who care to learn more about such a [deliberately] hidden segment of this country’s history! Stephens does a great job of exposing what was hidden and perhaps could have been prevented altogether if more of our society was oh…a bit more democratic, open, and honest."

    Reviews

  • “[The Treatment] provides a shocking example of why we must remain diligent in our review of medical research. Recommended for all collections.”

    “[E]ffectively conveys the tragic story of the subjects and their families. Her personal struggle to get the story out and to serve as a patients’ advocate is inspiring and courageous.”

    “[E]xtremely well written . . . . [Stephens] is such a good writer and . . . she has such fine skills at marshalling facts and details . . . . It’s a terrible story, but one that needed to be told.”

    “[T]his shameful episode makes for both fascinating and troubling reading. . . . The Treatment belongs on the desk of every legislator, university president and research scientist in the country. It stands as another stark reminder of the harm that can be wrought in the interest of national security or in the name of medical science.”

    “Martha Stephens’ The Treatment exemplifies what a work of non-fiction should accomplish. . . . She brings considerable passion and personality to the muckraking task of her own design . . . . Stephens writes with refreshing clarity and verve, trading the clever glibness that characterizes so many pseudo-books for a forthright tone that places her subjects ahead of herself. . . . Stephens, sadly, must end her book with an eloquent, hypothetical statement that someday might go on a public memorial to the treatment’s victims. Should justice ever get a second chance, I hope Cincinnati listens.”

    "[A] compelling and disturbing story. . . . [I]ts publication is a testimony to Stephens's perseverance as she struggled to tell the full saga, despite serious vision problems that made both research and writing difficult."

    "[A] moving account of all that transpired during this epic battle between medicine and human rights."

    "[Stephens] was among the first faculty members at the university to become concerned about the research; she had access to some of the most important records; and she moved energetically and persistently to bring the events to public attention. Although she is not a scientist or an expert in radiation, the medical and scientific facts are within her grasp. Her book describes the difficulty of capturing the attention of the press, the resistance of the university to pressure from junior faculty members, the inadequacy of the ostensible process of consent for the human subjects, the long and frustrating class-action lawsuit, and most moving of all, the way sin which the research affected the lives of the subjects and their families."

    "Martha Stephens’s The Treatment is a comprehensive and powerful account of one of the most important radiation experiments performed on unsuspecting civilians in post-World War II America."

    "Readers interested in education will find the book valuable because the author highlights the importance of civil vigilance inside an educational institution."

    "Stephens' narrative is passionate and her investigation insistent. . . . [She] reminds us of the importance of the participants, their families, and loved ones, and the bystanders who are brought into and affected by the action in unusual and important ways."

    "The message of this book for researchers, practitioners, and the patient/public is clear. Patients and the public need to be better informed about clinical trial research. Researchers and practitioners need to make sure patients are better informed and fully understand what they are agreeing to take part in and the risks involved. Family members must be included. Informed consents also need to be understandable to participants."

    "This book caught my eye at our town library, and I’m glad it did! . . . I highly recommend this book to those who care to learn more about such a [deliberately] hidden segment of this country’s history! Stephens does a great job of exposing what was hidden and perhaps could have been prevented altogether if more of our society was oh…a bit more democratic, open, and honest."

  • “Read this book not only to grasp the horror of what official medicine did to ninety families, but also for the fuel you need to fight such outrageous injustices in our midst.” — Jim Hightower

    “Stephens is a skilled investigative journalist, piecing together medical records, Pentagon reports, and firsthand interviews to weave a damning and unforgettable picture of what happened in the basement of Cincinnati General Hospital.” — Eileen Welsome, author of, The Plutonium Files: America‚Äôs Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War

    “Stephens tells her story in a clear and sure voice, forging a compelling narrative that presents this tragedy in a very human and accessible manner.” — George Annas, author of, Standard of Care: The Law of American Bioethics

    An invaluable, outstanding work that will endure to enhance respect for informed consent in human research, as hope for vigilant advocates of human rights, and as a case study of how history unfolds.” — Carl Gandola, MD, Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Images/Art

    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Mail:
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    The Treatment is the story of one tragedy of medical research that stretched over eleven years and affected the lives of hundreds of people in an Ohio city. Thirty years ago the author, then an assistant professor of English, acquired a large set of little-known medical papers at her university. These documents told a grotesque story. Cancer patients coming to the public hospital on her campus were being swept into secret experiments for the U.S. military; they were being irradiated over their whole bodies as if they were soldiers in nuclear war. Of the ninety women and men exposed to this treatment, twenty-one died within a month of their radiations.
    Martha Stephens’s report on these deaths led to the halting of the tests, but local papers did not print her charges, and for many years people in Cincinnati had no way of knowing that lethal experiments had taken place there. In 1994 other military tests were brought to light, and a yellowed copy of Stephens’s original report was delivered to a television newsroom. In Ohio, major publicity ensued—at long last—and reached around the world. Stephens uncovered the names of the victims, and a legal action was filed against thirteen researchers and their institutions. A federal judge compared the deeds of the doctors to the medical crimes of the Nazis during World War II and refused to dismiss the researchers from the suit. After many bitter disputes in court, they agreed to settle the case with the families of those they had afflicted. In 1999 a memorial plaque was raised in a yard of the hospital.
    Who were these doctors and why had they done as they did? Who were the people whose lives they took? Who was the reporter who could not forget the story, the young attorney who first developed the case, the judge who issued the historic ruling against the doctors? This is Stephens’s moving account of all that transpired in these lives and her own during this epic battle between medicine and human rights.

    About The Author(s)

    Martha Stephens was for many years Professor of English at the University of Cincinnati. She is the author of The Question of Flannery O’Connor, the novels Cast a Wistful Eye and Children of the World. An activist for many years, Stephens was the first to break the story of this scandalous project and continues to work for justice for the victims and their families.

Explore More

Sign up for Subject Matters email updates to receive discounts, new book announcements, and more.

Share

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.


Contact Us

  • Duke University Press
  • 905 W. Main St. Ste 18-B
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • U.S. phone (toll-free): 888-651-0122
  • International: 1-919-688-5134
  • orders@dukeupress.edu