Prison Law Blog

Sara Mayeux

Eugenics and Testicle Transplants: San Quentin’s Dark History

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Aerial view of San Quentin Prison. Courtesy CDCR

Under Dr. Leo Stanley, chief surgeon at California’s San Quentin Prison from 1913 to 1951, prisoners became subjects in a wide variety of medical experiments: sterilization; testicle transplants (using testicles from executed prisoners, as well as from goats and boars); Spanish flu treatments. As historian Ethan Blue recounts in his article on Dr. Stanley’s career (may be behind a firewall for non-university readers, but cite is Pacific Historical Review 78(2), 2009):

The benefits of human experimentation in prisons were many, [Dr. Stanley] believed, because “in such a place all men are treated alike, and live under the same conditions of food, work, and general surroundings . . . .[P]atients could be under daily observation, and the ‘follow up’ conditions were ideal.” San Quentin prisoners had access to esteemed doctors from the Bay Area, and hence the benefits of medical modernity unavailable to a great many other prison inmates. The downside of this privilege was that these doctors also had access to them. (p. 227)


Written by sara

January 28, 2010 at 6:51 pm

One Response

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  1. I read about this when doing a report on euthanasia. Its rather disgusting what scientists and medical doctors will do if they have the remotest chance of gaining wealth and fame. Man’s inhumanity to man
    will never cease because we are disgusting people who are too afraid to be kind, generous and loving to one another. Think what our world would have been like if we had followed the real examples and words
    of Jesus instead of the phony Roman/Catholic establishment that ultimately promotes pedophilia, and
    the most harmful and cruel behaviors ever seen in mankind other than this goat testes story. I often think, if only……but the meek, kind, mild and gentle people of God are continually wiped out by the pigs of greed and it has only gotten worse. Our world is so unsafe now, there are not really too many places a person can go and feel safe – surrounded by the beauty of nature – God’s gift to us. If it is not a dangerous psycopath, or pedophile, or eugenics driven mad man, it is a world so unsafe from nuclear lies and chemicals in the air and water – it is certain most will not survive the fourth reich that is waiting in the wings. to take control of our world. We have no rights now and no one protested – stupid people only cheered on when the Big pretend killing took place and Big Seal 6 reported they killed, stole the body and dressed it for burial in the sea from a helicopter, people actually cheered loudly and celebrated. What kind of nuts are you? What nut believes that ridiculous story? In truth, the idea of killing a man who was not tried, and not even listed on the FBI list is an unethical, immoral and disgusting thing to even propose. It was for a bump – he died long ago. Everyone with an IQ higher than 60 already figured that out. Stupid twits who cheered
    like hyenas – you deserve what you are going to get. Prepare for the End – it awaits us all for our failure to act in the way we were taught and our ignorance of belief that has led us to the slaughterhouse. No pity just great sorrow.

    Amy Brown

    February 3, 2012 at 12:13 am

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