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Experimental Vaccines Can Be Administered to Military
Without Consent

January 4, 2000

On September 30, 1999 President Clinton signed an executive order [Executive Order 13139] giving any president of the United States the authority to waive informed consent for military personnel regarding experimental vaccines, antidotes, and treatments.

The order reads: "It is the expectation that the United States Government will administer products approved for their intended use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, in the event that the Secretary [of Defense] considers a product to represent the most appropriate countermeasure for diseases endemic to the area of operations or to protect against possible chemical, biological, or radiological weapons, but the product has not yet been approved by the FDA for its intended use, the product may, under certain circumstances and strict controls, be administered to provide potential protection for the health and well-being of deployed military personnel in order to ensure the success of the military operation."

Under what circumstances will a president be able use this new power? The order continues: ". . . [T]he President may waive the informed consent requirement for the administration of an investigational drug to a member of the Armed Forces in connection with the member's participation in a particular military operation, upon a written determination by the President that obtaining consent:

(1) is not feasible;
(2) is contrary to the best interest of the member; or
(3) is not in the interest of national security."

Who is going to inform the nation's Armed Forces personnel about this new order? Will volunteers who don't want to serve as experimental subjects be given the opportunity to resign? Will new recruits be informed through written contracts about this new military "duty"? These are serious questions that our national leaders and media should be addressing.

Not informing citizens of their involvement in experimental medical studies is an infringement of their human rights.

[A copy of the September 30, 1999 Presidential Executive Order is posted here.]

This article was originally published in the November/December 1999 issue of Health Freedom Watch.

Page updated November 4, 2009.