Canada to Apologize to Female Inmate Test Subjects

The Correctional Services of Canada issued a report recommending that apologies and settlement packages be offered to female prison inmates who were involved in LSD studies in the 1960’s. In 1964, psychologist Mark Eveson wrote in theCanadian Journal of Corrections that he had tested LSD on at least 30 women without their consent. Eveson wrote, “It is the fundamental responsibility for every professionally trained worker in this field to carry out such research — to try to answer in an objective manner the questions posted by our inability to effectively and consistently deal with the offender.”

Although LSD was legal in Canada at the time, many of the subjects suffered disturbing hallucinations and the effects of the study caused permanent damage to at least two of the women.

Dr. Somerville of McGill University condemned the experiments. Somerville said, “You don’t lose your right not to be used as an experimental animal …. It is sometimes said that you can best test the ethical tone of a society by how it treats its most vulnerable, weakest and its most in-need members … It’s not how you treat the people you like that tests your ethics; it’s how you treat the people you really despise.”


Ottawa Citizen - March 1, 1998

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