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Selling Science: Polio and the Promise of Gamma Globulin.


Selling Science: Polio and the Promise of Gamma Globulin

Stephen E. Mawdsley

Rutgers University Press


210 pages



Critical Issues in Health and Medicine


The author relates the story of the first large clinical trial to control polio using healthy children from an open population, when medical researcher William McD. Hammon and the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis conducted an experiment in the early 1950s on about 55,000 healthy children in Texas, Utah, Iowa, and Nebraska, to assess the safety and effectiveness of gamma globulin to prevent paralytic polio. Despite its questionable results, the study was used to rationalize a federally sanctioned mass immunization study between 1953 and 1954. He considers how white and African American parents were persuaded to volunteer their healthy children for research, the indifference of researchers toward medical ethics, and the effects of marketing on medical research and the legacy of the gamma globulin clinical trials. ([umlaut] Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR)

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Article Type:Book review
Date:Jul 1, 2016
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